Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

The latest news on Entrepreneurship from Business Insider

(Page 1) | 2 | 3 | .... | 34 | newer

    0 0

    ben stover airtime

    Airtime, a video chat service that's like Chatroulette for Facebook, finally went live today after years of development.

    It's led by Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning. Parker was also an early president of Facebook and serves on the board of Spotify.

    It's largely because of these two star-studded entrepreneurs that Airtime is as hot as it is right now. But there are plenty of people working behind the scenes too.

    One of them is Benjamin Stover, who we have heard is Airtime's superstar engineer.

    One industry source close to Stover described him as a "badass" when it comes to privacy and security.

    Another person close to Stover said he's a "down to earth" guy who cares about "doing the right thing" and using technology to help people.

    Now Stover is working on (among other things) Airtime's privacy and security, keeping the site safe for its users. That's a big task for what is essentially an upgrade of an older site (Chatroulette) frequented by sexual exhibitionists.

    Stover came from Mozilla, the developer behind the Firefox web browser and a number of other online applications like the Thunderbird email client.

    He had a focus on mobile working on the Mobile Firefox team. He was a hard worker and held his own, and also had some experience in web development, we hear from those close to him.

    While he was at Mozilla, he worked on projects like enabling scrolling on non-highlighted browsers, and which parts of a browser to replicate after it's closed or crashed.

    Before Mozilla, Stover worked at Vidoop, a computer security company that was at the time known for developing a log-in process that didn't use a password. That login process was said to be resistant to brute force attacks, keystroke logging and other forms of cyber attacks (though this was refuted and the company went out of business in 2009).

    He graduated from University of Tulsa, where he studied mathematics and computer science.

    He also appears to be a pretty compassionate guy. In one Quora thread, he asks how he can actually (logistically) help homeless people. His Facebook feed is filled with superlatives.

    He's also apparently a fan of the Tacocopter, a flying device that delivers food. (Yes, this is a thing.)

    Still, online randomized video chatting is a deviant's playground. We'll see soon enough whether Stover and the rest of the team can keep things rated PG-13.

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Airtime launch event

    Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning launched their new social video chatting platform, Airtime, this week, with celebrities and plenty of media coverage.

    Reviews are mixed about whether Airtime reflects something really new or a rehash of earlier products, but with Parker’s and Fanning’s track records and $33 million in capital, this startup has had no trouble getting attention.

    What can entrepreneurs with fewer resources do to distinguish their businesses?

    Airtime holds star studded launch. Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning spared no expense launching the new social video chatting platform on Tuesday. Some news reports focused on technical hiccups, but a parade of celebrities including actresses Olivia Munn and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and comedians Joel McHale and Ed Helms gave the launch added pizzazz and another focus for the media.—Venture Beat

    New platform really nothing new, and plagued with glitches. Not everyone is impressed with Airtime. A video analysis a day after the launch focuses on the platform as fun, but nothing new, and centers on some technical glitches mentioned in the media. You can sometimes “next” someone if you don’t hit it off in a chat and then be suddenly reconnected in chat instead of going on to the next person, a bit awkward according to this reviewer.Business Insider

    At it’s heart, Airtime re-humanizes the Internet. But beyond technical problems and other complaints, one review focuses on how the new platform distinguishes itself way beyond anything out there today. Airtime makes the Internet more human and more social. This is the part of a business model any entrepreneur can duplicate. No matter how much or how little hype surrounds your brand, your product or service must stand apart. TechCrunch

    Seven Ways to Distinguish Your Business

    Simplify your idea for greater profits. Marketing expert Susan Oakes makes some suggestions about simplifying your product or service. Streamlining what your business offers makes your product or service more specific and distinguishes it from competitors, even in your own niche.  (M4B Marketing)

    Get your employees on board for change. Distinguishing your business will require adjustments on everyone’s part, especially for your employees. Small Business Trends founder Anita Campbell makes some suggestions about how you can ready your workers for innovation in your business. (Open Forum)

    Build team spirit around your brand. An additional step beyond preparing employees for the changes they’ll likely face is building the spirit of your team and giving them a better understanding of what your brand represents. Make working for your business more than just a job, give employees a way to share in company success, and teach them to care about the outcome. (RealBusiness)

    Use blogging to set yourself apart. Blogging is an effective way of creating a new business or changing the direction of an existing one. Read this guest post from Tom Ewer about how blogging helped him start a business and change his life in just 11 months. How could blogging help you change your brand? (

    Segment your customers for better understanding. Blogger Leah Singer talks about the importance of grouping your customers and tailoring your communications to meet their unique needs. Whether you do this by segmenting your customer e-mail list or in some other way, the results are increased revenue and loyalty. (Merchantos)

    Use a living business plan to evaluate progress. Using elements like financials, goals, and objectives, in your internal business plan, you can measure on a regular basis how your business is doing and whether changes need to be implemented to reposition your business for better growth. Once you make these changes you can measure their effectiveness. (Ability Success Growth)

    Hire a marketing consultant. Bringing in a marketing consultant from outside your business may help you see your company the way others do. Among the benefits listed by Fiona McEachran, a marketer:  it gives you a new point of view, doesn’t require benefits, and can provide a resource goldmine for your business. All these benefits could be helpful when distinguishing your business from competitors. (Abnormal Marketing)

    Read more posts on Small Business Trends »

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Sloan conference Malcolm Gladwell

    Author Malcolm Gladwell recently spoke at the Toronto Public Library's Appel Salon, and he had some interesting insights about entrepreneurs in our culture.

    "We venerate entrepreneurs in our culture," said Gladwell. "They are our new prophets. Literally, we worship them. If you read the literature about great entrepreneurs, it is iconography," or "hagiography," he continued.

    Are they worthy of this extreme level of reverence? Gladwell doesn't think so.

    Eventually, entrepreneurs will be venerated for how they helped mankind, not their ability to make a ton of money. He used the contrast between legendary entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as an example:

    "Gates is the most ruthless capitalist, and then he wakes up one morning and he says, 'enough.' And he steps down, he takes his money, he takes it off the table.

    "I firmly believe that 50 years from now, he will be remembered for his charitable work, no one will even remember what Microsoft is.

    "And of the great entrepreneurs of this era people will have forgotten Steve Jobs. Who's Steve Jobs again? There will be statues of Gates across the third world."

    So, why aren't entrepreneurs like Jobs worthy of idolization? Gladwell points to one thing that all great entrepreneurs have in common.

    "The greatest entrepreneurs are amoral. It's not that they're immoral, it's that they're amoral," he explained, referencing a 2011 article he wrote for the New Yorker about L'Oreal's dealings with Nazi Germany.

    "They are completely single-minded and obsessively focused on the health of their enterprise," said Gladwell. "That's what makes them good at building businesses, but that's what also makes them people who are not worthy of this level of hagiography."

    "So we need to be clear when we venerate entrepreneurs what we are venerating," said Gladwell. "They are not moral leaders. If they were moral leaders they wouldn't be great businessmen. So when a businessman is a great moral leader, it is because they have maintained their conscience separately from their operations."

    NOW SEE: 12 Mind-Blowing Concepts From Malcolm Gladwell's Bestsellers >

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Virgin Galactc

    With the anticipated first flight of Virgin Galactic ahead, entrepreneur Richard Branson has inaugurated a new market for space tourism, one that has already attracted 500 customers who have made deposits for the first seats on his SpaceShipTwo.

    Though you may not be building your business in outer space, or even in sub-orbit, seeking out new markets can help your small business boldly go where none have gone before, finding new customers and profits on a new frontier with few competitors. Here’s more:

    Finding New Frontiers

    Virgin Galactic gets FAA clearance for test flight. British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic received a green light recently from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to test SpaceShipTwo, its six passenger space craft. The company plans to sell tickets at $200,000 per seat for future suborbital flights. What totally new markets are you exploring for your small business? Reuters

    Branson says new ideas come from filling a need. It may seem that new products for never before imagined markets come by magic to some entrepreneurs, but at a recent press conference launching the Virgin Strauss Water Company, Branson said sometimes the best test of whether there is a market for a new product is whether you want that product one for your home. The Independent

    Sir Richard touts small business. And who do those new ideas come from? It might surprise some to hear Sir Richard Branson, a billionaire tycoon on the verge of launching a space tourism industry, tout small business. However, Branson himself was an upstart entrepreneur once and recently criticized political leaders for not giving adequate support to small and medium-sized businesses, which he calls the engines of any health economy. The Guardian

    Tips for Seeking Your New Market Niche

    Get out of your rut. Get help and some new ideas, follow the leader (and then zag!), and engage with customers to find the truth. These are just a few suggestions from Internet entrepreneur Nick Loper, in a guest post about how to find a whole new way of doing business. Other advice includes taking some time off to reflect on a new direction. The Frugal Entrepreneur

    Develop some creativity. Whether your workplace is a small office, your living room, or the kitchen table, infusing your business with creativity is the key to innovation and new ideas. Here are some important tips that should help you and your employees to break out of your mold and get the creative juices flowing. Participating in social networks, changing your surroundings, and getting more input are all places to start. Buzz Small Business Magazine

    Employ the wow factor. Business consultant Paul Castain outlines one of the simple ways to turn an ordinary service into an extraordinary customer experience—a simple way to separate you from the crowd and from what any of your competitors are doing. Here Paul talks about the night he arrived at his hotel to discover he had been designated “guest of the day.” How can you make your customer’s experience similarly transcendent? Sales Playbook

    Look for untapped customer bases. Shashi Bellamkonda recently got a pedicure, not something that most  males do, but maybe something they should. The fault, however, may lie with the nails/manicure/pedicure industry for not making more effort to target this untapped market. Check out some suggestions Shashi came up with while getting his pedicure done. Do you have an untapped customer base you haven’t explored in your business?  Small Business Trends

    Find a fresh set of eyes. BizSugar contributor of the week Robert Peters founded his business, Fresh Eyes Consultancy, on the idea that everyone could use some help when it comes to a second opinion on their business. He helps entrepreneurs create the perfect customer profile, choose a marketing strategy that brings results, and avoid the feast and famine cash flow cycle to transform their business effectively. Who can give you a second opinion on your business? BizSugar Blog

    Reach a whole new audience. Martina Iring suggests that guest blogging is much more than simply a way to increase your traffic online. It can be a way of reaching a whole new audience that has never been exposed to your message or brand. Are there other ways you can think of to expose new potential customers to what you offer? There are many ways to find a new market by simply talking to a different audience. Small Business Bliss

    Do some research. You’ll need more than an idea to launch a business in a new market successfully. It is essential to do research to determine whether a good market exists for your business and to see if that business has room to grow. Successful new markets are discovered at the point where great ideas and in depth market research meet. You will need to seek new and profitable places for your business to expand.

    From Small Business Trends

    Like Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic, Seek New Business Markets


    Read more posts on Small Business Trends »

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    The only way to secure your financial future is to work for yourself.

    At least that's what Scott Gerber, author of Never Get A Real Job. thinks.

    "Now, more than ever, you need to be entrepreneurial to be successful; you need to create a job to keep a job," says Gerber.

    "When you work for someone else you're putting all your eggs into one basket. If you want to secure your financial future regardless of the bad economy, you need to be in control of your own life," he insists.

    Ready to take a stab at entrepreneurship?

    1. Get your ego in check

    "You can't build a successful business if you don't have your priorities straight and ego in check," says Gerber.

    While entrepreneurs should be confident, if you go overboard you'll get in your own way.

    2. Keep your idea simple

    "If your idea is not simple, you're stupid," says Gerber. "Build a business that is nuts and bolts practical and not complex." 

    "Create a simplified product or service that sells X product to Y customer for Z profit," he says.

    3. Always be prepared for the worst

    "Every decision should be thought through; plan for the worst so you're not caught off guard if it happens," says Gerber.

    "Come up with three alternatives for every decision so you've taken all outcomes into consideration," he suggests.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Yell Leaders

    If no one follows you, you aren’t leading. You’re just blazing a trail.

    And that’s ok as long as you don’t expect others to help you make it to the finish line.

    Which begs a deeper question: How do you get people to help you?

    You hurt in front of them.

    You don’t fake it. You stop pretending like you have all the answers. You ask for help. And opinions. And criticism.

    You desperately search for answers.

    And when you fail you pull yourself off the floor and try again.

    No pretension. No pandering. No pride.

    Just the vulnerability of a warrior who bleeds blood. Who cries tears. Who strives for greatness beyond the exceptions of those onlooking.

    Just because you have authority doesn’t mean you are a leader. Just because you don’t have authority doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader.

    Be vulnerable. Be fearless.

    Bleed. Fight.


    Please follow Careers on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    The United States has produced viable female presidential candidates, women athletes who command millions of dollars in endorsements, and the first female Nobel economist. Yet there is still no female equivalent of a Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Women continue to lag behind men in computer science, where their share of the workforce has actually declined over the past 25 years. Today, women hold 27 percent of all CS jobs, down from 30 percent a decade ago, and account for just 20 percent of undergraduate CS majors, down from 36 percent in 1986.

    The tech gap begins at home, where boys get their first computers and video game consoles at a younger age than girls and are more likely to play with toys that build spatial reasoning skills, like Lego. It continues in schools, where female students voice less confidence in math, science, and computing, and it persists in the corporate world. Even among the younger generation of tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, fewer than 10 percent of all computer programmers—the field's core job—are women, according to industry insiders.

    Click here to

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    chef, cooking, lemon

    It sucks to be a chef for a startup, according to one chef, Jonas Luster, writing on Quora.

    Here's why:

    It is shit. Let me say this again: shit.

    I have never had such a job but I am friends with people who were, are, or work under someone who is.

    First, tech companies are places where people with strong opinions and even stronger beliefs in their own universal excellence go to work. To quote my friend who is the chef in one (non-Silicon Valley) company: "I have never met so many chefs in my life". Everyone is "a little bit of a chef" themselves and knows better than the hired guy what to make and how to make it.

    Secondly, tech companies are (this is a good thing) melting pots. Every dietary habit, creed, religion, and understanding, correct or not, of food converges on a company like this. Out in the field you get to run your place and whomever doesn't like it eats somewhere else. Even in other corporate jobs you're more or less a three-direction pony. In tech companies you have religious dietary habits with much a-whinin' if the kosher food is prepared next to the treyf food. And the vegan food next to the vegetarian which is cooked next to the food for the 20+ paleodrones which is cooked by the same guy who makes the special food for the "no salt, no sugar, no fat" crowd. And then there's the fish on Fridays which you can't cook next to the chicken for those who don't eat fish or beef or pork and the special food for everyone and the fact that it's perfectly OK to demand that everyone else like your heritage food but to protest loudly if any other heritage food is cooked. Not to mention the whining if your heritage food doesn't taste like you think it should, and so on and so on.

    Thirdly, while it might sound like a dream job, you're the first to feel cost cutting measures. Before servers, desks, laptops, bluetooth mice, and golf outings for the CEO it's the food that suffers. Yes, even in places that make a big stink about how local and fresh and healthy they are.

    You're usually (I know of one place where this isn't the case) overseeing a bunch of employees supplied by another company like Aramark, Centerplate, or OneSource. They generally aren't cooks per se, more lunch ladies, know that the worst that can happen to them is that they'll be sent to a different place to work, and are protected by many layers of outsourcing company bureaucracy and union bullcrap that whipping them into shape is a pain and not always successful.

    Yes, there's stock and there's above-average compensation. No one in those jobs makes as much as my country-club or personal chef friends make but it's more than someone in a restaurant makes. And, yes, there's the fact that you're cooking for millionaires and people who know millionaires so at some point when you're leaving you might have fat cash in hand for your own.

    But, no, it's not an "awesome" job by much any stretch of the imagination.

    Read the whole thing at Quora >>

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    David Brooks

    Americans are strong advocates of individuality and equality, and that might be a huge contributor to current societal issues we're facing.

    In his latest column at the NYT, David Brooks says that our cynicism in authority has resulted in our refusal to deem anyone worthy enough of leading us because we think that we're just as smart as everyone else. 

    And this is why we end up with opposing-authority movements, such as Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Parties.

    But Brooks says our country doesn't have a leadership problem, we have a followers problem, and before we can have these great leaders again, we have to re-learn how to "elevate those who are extraordinary," and "trust their discretion."

    He writes:

    "The common assumption is that elites are always hiding something. Public servants are in it for themselves. Those people at the top are nowhere near as smart or as wonderful as pure and all-knowing Me.

    "Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions. That’s not mostly because our institutions perform much worse than they did in 1925 and 1955, when they were widely trusted. Vanity has more to do with rising distrust than anything else."

    "To have good leaders you have to have good followers — able to recognize just authority, admire it, be grateful for it and emulate it."

    Click here for 17 tips on becoming a charismatic leader >

    Please follow Careers on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    noor sidiqui

    Every now and then, you'll find a brilliant entrepreneur under the age of 20 that has, say, already created nuclear fusion.

    Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel has found that person, and 19 more just like him. He is giving them $100,000 to drop out of college and become a "Thiel Fellow."

    That's an offer that's hard to ignore.

    As a Thiel Fellow, these 20 young guns will have access to mentorship from the Thiel Foundation's network for two years.

    They'll be able to work on building revolutionary products, and technology.

    We assume that in exchange, Thiel has the right to invest in whatever company they build while Thiel Fellows. It's a pretty clever way to do an incubator, when you get right down to it. Anyway, keep reading to meet the brainiacs who decided to become Thiel Fellows...

    Clay Allsopp has a project that makes creating apps easier.

    Age: 20

    Allsopp has a startup called Apptory, which helps individuals create and distribute content for touch-screen devices.

    It's done with an "intuitive, easy-to-understand interface."

    Kettner Griswold wants to make building genetic constructs easier.

    Age: 19

    Griswold is working with fellow Thiel fellow Paul Sebexenon on a device that would allow individual labs and medical practices to create large genetic constructs in-house.

    This would let labs conduct gene manipulation without having to outsource the process of getting a gene construct to some other firm.

    Anand Gupta wants to make it easier to analyze biomedical images.

    Age: 20

    Gupta is developing software with fellow Thiel Fellow Tony Ho that will help doctors and researchers conduct quantitative analysis of biomedical images.

    This will help doctors and researchers have more accurate diagnoses of complex diseases.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    So many tech startups begin the same way: One founder, one dream and a plan to make it happen. Most businesses stay that way - there are many more solo entrepreneurs than business owners with employees. But to succeed, most startups need a much broader set of skills and experience.

    If you intend to build a scalable business, you know you can’t do it alone. If you plan to get funded, you need to build a team - a complete, kickass team - that will both get the job done and impress the money people. And you need to do it sooner rather than later.

    Click here to

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    canadian bacon john candy canada

    While the majority of the biggest names in tech are from the United States, there are a select few who are from our neighbors to the north, Canada.

    Since you probably don't know who they are, we've decided to gather them up here. Enjoy!

    Jeffrey Skoll was eBay's first employee and president

    He's also the founder of Participant Media, which has worked on films such as Syriana, Charlie Wilson's War, and Waiting for Superman.

    Source: Skoll Foundation

    Randy Blumer founded the first poker website, Planet Poker

    He's pretty much responsible for online poker. He's got our teenagers by their wallets.

    Source: Bluff Magazine

    Jim Balsillie co-founder Research in Motion and was co-CEO until January

    It turns out that Research in Motion gave him $8 million after he left the company. He's also in the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Yes, there's a Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

    Source: Huffington Post

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    tony hawk

    Today's advice comes from skateboarder Tony Hawk in his interview with

    "People don't call you a sellout until your stuff finally sells."

    When Hawk, a professional skateboarder, gained attention for his video game, others in his industry began to suspect that he had become a "sellout."

    He says that, instantly, there was a backlash and it was because he was gaining too much popularity and getting successful for someone who's just "a skateboarder." 

    But Hawk says you can't worry about things like that. You have to do what you believe in, and if people think you've become a sellout, it's because you're now someone they've heard of.

    "Skaters are very finicky about anything where skating is maybe taken outside of the core industry and taken elsewhere. I feel good about how I represent skating and I just keep going."

    Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.

    Please follow Careers on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Alice Lee

    They're automating dorm rooms and becoming the world's youngest VCs.

    Meet 9 college students that tech companies should -- or are already trying to --- poach before graduation.

    Alice Lee spent four hours creating a resume website for Instagram that went viral. Now she's interning at Path

    Twitter Handle: @byalicelee

    Currently attends: University of Pennsylvania, class of 2013

    Majors: Economics, Marketing, Computer Science

    Past experience: Interned at Microsoft, Foursquare and now Path

    What she has accomplished: In February, Alice Lee spent 2.5 days building a resume website titled Dear Instagram - With Love, Alice. The tech community was impressed by her creativity and hustle. Instagram angel investor Chris Sacca tweeted that, while he had never met Alice Lee, he was sure he would some day.  Lee's Instagram resume was published on Business Insider, The Atlantic, The Next Web, and other publications.

    Since then, Lee has spoken with Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom on the phone, but she's currently interning at Dave Morin's mobile social network, Path.

    Brian Yee has won a Yahoo hackathon two years in a row, and he's developing software to assist the blind.

    Twitter Handle: @BadKemer

    Currently attends:  Carnegie Mellon University, class of 2012 (August)

    Majors: Information Systems and Human-Computer Interaction

    Past experience: Interned at IBM and Google, starting full-time at YouTube.

    What he has accomplished: Brian Yee got a great gig as one of the 400 student ambassadors for Google, which helps recruit the brightest students from the best tech universities. Besides spreading the word about Google, Yee also got paid to hand out pajamas and gather students for pizza parties.

    In addition, Yee taught an HTML5 class to more than 70 students at Carnegie Mellon -- the class had a 100-person waiting list.

    Yee was also a Yahoo Hackathon winner two years in a row and is currently working on a college project to develop tracking software for assisting the blind and physically disabled.

    Meanwhile, Yee has been working on another startup that's currently in stealth mode.

    Peter Thiel's team aggressively tried to recruit Maxwell Hawkins for a startup and he was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

    Twitter Handle: @maxhawkins

    Currently attends:  Carnegie Mellon University, class of 2013

    Majors: Computer Science and Art 

    Past experience: Interned at YouTube and Apple

    What he has accomplished: Hawkins decided to stay in school even though he was aggressively recruited by Peterson Conway for PayPal cofounder and investor, Peter Thiel.

    Hawkins has also been involved in building the Kinect-based “Hackstic Surgery,” a dating tool to help computer programmers snag a date.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    When Mark Zuckerberg left Harvard in the summer of 2004, he didn’t move his fledgling company to the mountains, or the Gulf of Mexico, or San Francisco, he moved to Silicon Valley. Well, Palo Alto to be precise. In an interview with Y Combinator partner Jessica Livingston last year, he said of his impression of Silicon Valley, “You get this feeling that you need to be out here.” Many founders are familiar with this magnetic force. It’s the reason that Silicon Valley has been a mecca for technology companies and startups over the last several decades.

    Of course, Facebook left the East Coast eight years ago, and a lot has changed in the meantime. In the same interview, Zuckerberg admits that he probably wouldn’t choose Silicon Valley as the base of operations for Facebook if he had it to do all over again. Sure, the money is still in the Valley, but as Startup Genome has shown, entrepreneurs aren’t feeling the same pressure to move to Silicon Valley as they once did. Tech hubs are shifting to urban centers across the country, and as the Valley loses some of its momentum, it seems that its neighbor is moving swiftly to pick up the slack.

    Click here to

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Hamdi Ulukaya chobani greek yogurt

    The Chobani brand is widely credited with starting the Greek yogurt craze in the U.S.

    Consumers have gone nuts for it since the product hit shelves in 2007, and Chobani has grown into a massive force.

    Turkish native Hamdi Ulukaya is the man behind Chobani. The 40-year-old ran a modest cheese company in New York state before getting into the yogurt business.

    Now, the company is the No. 3 maker of non-frozen yogurt in the U.S., raking in about $750 million in sales, according to Symphony IRI. The only ones ahead of it are industry titans Yoplait (owned by General Mills) and Dannon (owned by Danone).

    And it all started with one snap decision.

    Ulukaya didn't come to the U.S. from Turkey in 1995 to make yogurt — he had a very different plan.

    "I came from a family of farmers who made cheese and yogurt, but that was the furthest thing from my mind at that time," he told Forbes. "I came here for education, to learn English, to learn business."

    That changed once he saw the opportunity. Ulukaya had always thought that American yogurt brands were "horrible," and thought if he made something better, people would flock to it.

    In 2005, Ulukaya received a direct mail ad that said, "Fully equipped yogurt factory for sale."

    Ulukaya initially threw away the ad, but decided the next day that he wanted to buy the former Kraft Foods plant in Columbus, N.Y. It took him five months to come up with the funds to do it.

    He bought it using less than $1 million in loans, including one from the U.S. government's Small Business Administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    "Everybody around me thought I was nuts," he told the WSJ. "Here was this huge company, Kraft, getting out of this plant. If there was value in it, why would they close it? But you just have a gut feeling you can do something."

    It took 18 months to come up with the Chobani recipe.

    "I wanted to make sure the product was perfect because I only had one shot and it had to work," Ulukaya told the Wall Street Journal

    He worked with his sixth employee — a "master yogurt maker" and family friend from Turkey — to create it.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Alex Yoder

    Today’s advice comes from Alex Yoder, CEO of Webtrends, via Fast Company:

    “At Webtrends we undertook a bold new vision that would tie directly to the core tenets of what empowered us from the past. It allowed us to focus on our strengths historically and build on those in innovative new ways.”

    Yoder believes that when times are tough for the company, you should reevaluate what you did in the past that enabled the business to prosper.

    Even if the past method is out of date, you can take the winning concept and spin it to fit your company today. Innovation is key to making past strengths work for current and future times and changing the direction of your business.

    “We had to build a new culture and a new vision—so the new vision came from the top down and was repeated over and over again within the organization.”

    Want your business advice featured in Instant MBA? Submit your tips to Be sure to include your name, your job title, and a photo of yourself in your email.

    Please follow Careers on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    It is safe to say that Chipotle founder Steve Ells has rewritten the rules of fast food. It turns out that you really can serve sustainably sourced ingredients en masse.

    Since 2006, Chipotle's revenues have tripled to $2.2 billion. Today, there are more than 1,200 restaurants in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, with plans to open 165 additional outposts this year.

    But long before there were billions in sales, or even organic beans, there was a guy from Boulder banking on the success of a small burrito shop.

    Ells was an unlikely candidate to start a fast food empire. He was trained in classical French cooking at the Culinary Institute of America, and he had aspirations of opening his own fine dining establishment.

    Post-culinary school, Ells moved to San Francisco to work under the tutelage of celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower. While living in the city, Ells was inspired by watching an assembly line of workers at a local taqueria, efficiently feeding hungry masses of patrons.

    Ells thought that this model could prove to be very profitable, and opening a fast food Mexican restaurant could be the "cash cow" he needed to fund his fancy establishment. He was confident that adding fresh ingredients would heighten its appeal, according to Knowledge@Wharton.

    Ells took the entrepreneurial leap in 1992. He quit his job, went back to his home state of Colorado and searched for the funds to start his company.

    He pitched his idea to everyone he knew, yet no one thought it was a viable plan. After unsuccessfully soliciting dozens of people, one real estate broker got behind him, according to Rocky Mountain News.

    With an $85,000 loan from his father and the realtor's help, Ells found and renovated an old ice cream parlor near the University of Denver.

    The first-ever Chipotle was a huge success.

    Only July 13, 1993, the first Chipotle was born, and was instantly a hit. Within six months, sales reached $3,000 a day and the restaurant's second Denver outpost opened in 1995, according to Rocky Mountain News.

    Once the word on Chipotle got out (thanks to some rave restaurant reviews), people would flock from all over Colorado for the fresh burrito and taco experience. Lines snaked out the door and down the block, according to CNNMoney.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    0 0

    Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

    Jared Morgenstern is one of Facebook's top product designers, working on the e-commerce team after previously building the friend finder.

    Before Facebook, he was running a startup that was bought up by, but was interested in getting into the social space, and spoke frequently with Mark Zuckerberg to bounce off ideas, he said on Quora today.

    Eventually, he reached out to Zuckerberg, asking if there was a role at Facebook for someone like himself.

    A month later, Zuckerberg responded. Here's the full email:

    zuckerberg email


    After that, Morgenstern went in for an interview with co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, top designer Soleio and Aaron Sittig. Here was his experience:

    Mark said, you should come here, and here's our recruiter. My interviews included Dustin MoskovitzAaron Sittig, and Soleio. Dustin and I talked about mobile, his desk side by side with Zuck's in the corner of 156. Aaron wore a very intimidating asymmetric sweater and was very hard to read. Soleio had standing desk and made me draw wireframes on photocopied outlines of the main components of the site. I received 2 homework assignments that night, and I stayed up late - powering through the start of a cold - to make sure they had it by 2:00am... I later learned they never looked at it.

    Morgenstern joined Facebook shortly after that in 2006, and has been with the company since then — a six year, five month career.

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    A.J. Steigman

    The sneakerhead streetwear startup Soletron is currently in its seed round and co-founder A.J. Steigman says they're not "twiddling their thumbs waiting on investors." 

    We caught up with the former banker who shared with us some tips that he's using right now for his own round:

    1. Make a list of all potential investors.

    Steigman says that for your seed round, you should look to friends, family and Angels. For your Series A round, you need to brainstorm any VCs and super Angels.

    "First, you need to get on the radar of anyone who's an Angel investor in your industry."

    And Steigman says you need to "court" them because "very rarely does an Angel or a VC reach out to you."

    It's up to you to engage their interest immediately, or you'll lose them. 

    2. Figure out what investors are going to attack you on.

    "Every entity has weaknesses and you have to be able to say ‘Hey, we’re weak in these three areas' because investors are always looking for a way not to invest."

    "Some companies have a lot of traffic and not a lot of revenue. Some companies have a lot of revenue and not a lot of traffic and you have to be honest with these investors."

    3.  It's all about momentum and snowballing.

    "The first dollar is always tougher than the last dollar. It's important to have a prominent lead because that’ll snowball everything else."

    But Steigman says entrepreneurs need to be apprehensive when raising money, because it may also "take the focus away from your business."

    "You always need to have a bird's eye view. The more capital you raise, the more diluted your investment becomes. You need to know where the capital's going."

    Now see 9 more VCs and founders give their best advice for raising money >

    Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

(Page 1) | 2 | 3 | .... | 34 | newer