1. The Coolest Small Company in America (2003)
Why are high-powered M.B.A.'s getting off the fast track to work for a $13-million food company in Ann Arbor called Zingerman's? Because Ari Weinzweig has found a growth strategy that focuses on developing his people as much as bolstering the bottom line
2. This Man Has Changed Business Forever (1989)
An interview with Apple's Steve Jobs, Inc.'s Entrepreneur of the Decade, on where new product ideas come from
3. This Woman Has Changed Business Forever (1990)
How the Body Shop's Anita Roddick mixed business with a devotion to social causes.
Laura and Pete Wakeman of Great Harvest Bread Co., are building a company that fosters innovation -- and almost runs itself.
5. The Offer: A Series (2006-2007)
Over the course of more than a year, Inc. columnist Norm Brodsky described in real time -- and in painful detail -- the process of selling his business for $110 million.
6. The Turnaround (1986)
How a dying division of International Harvester became one of America's most competitive small companies. This article, the first of many about the open-book pioneer Jack Stack, is especially relevant today given the dire economic situation.
7. Confessions of an Entrepreneur's Wife (2006)
She was proud to support her husband's dream of building a great business. But five years is a long time to watch someone focus on his company at the expense of everything--everything--else.
The branding experts said Dave Hirschkop's company desperately needed help with its image and message. (It did?) They'd do the job for free. (They would?) So here's the big question: Is it crazier to change everything or nothing?
9. Unsentimental Journey (1996)
Mike Mahmoodi came to the U.S. from Iran speaking no English and was, for a time, homeless. Then he somehow found a way to start a business that quickly grew to $40 million. His is a quintessential Horatio Alger success story -- but one its hero has little interest in telling.
10. Why Start-ups Fail (1995)
To help some friends save their flailing business, Norm Brodsky put pen to paper and taught them the art and science of proper business planning.
11. The Customer is the Company (2008)
Threadless churns out dozens of new items a month -- with no advertising, no professional designers, no sales force and no retail distribution. And it's never produced a flop.
12. Hot Product, Cold World (1990)
Many company founders talk about their first failures with a touch of nostalgia. At the time, though, they probably sounded like Rick Duhé does today. "With Cajun Cola, I thought I had the world beat," he says. "What I had was a product from hell."
13. Create Jobs, Eliminate Waste, Preserve Value (2006)
Those six words explain a lot: Why Ken Hendricks is worth $2.6 billion, how he came to be a walking textbook on identifying and exploiting business opportunities, how he manages to make (relatively) few enemies while treating Beloit, Wisconsin, like one vast fixer-upper.
14. The Start-up Factory (1997)
Bill Gross just needed to stop his brain from buzzing with business ideas. His solution, Idealab, may be his best idea yet
15. The Un-Manager (1982)
Before W.L. Gore & Associates became an icon in the area of innovative management practices, Inc. described how the company eschewed job descriptions and chains of authority and nevertheless became a profit machine.
Doug Mellinger's saga, in two parts: The founder of PRT Group built a wildly successful software design company that people compared with Microsoft. Unlike many entrepreneurial ventures, the company was not centered on Mellinger's vision or persona. It still hurt, however, when it all fell apart.
17. The Open-Book Revolution (1995)
Open-book management gets every employee to think and act like a businessperson -- to compete -- and can produce astonishing results.
18. What One Man Can Do (2005)
Bill Strickland is in the business of saving lives. After almost 40 years of teaching kids, training adults, and telling his story, he's looking to "franchise" his brand of hope.
19. Cowboy Capitalist (1989)
Shortly before H. Ross Perot decided to run for president, Inc. took a look at this mercurial CEO, to see how he became America's most popular entrepreneur -- and why he seemed hell-bent on tearing down EDS, the company he spent a lifetime building up.
20. The Heart of a Company (2003)
The birth of a seriously ill child set Kenny Kramm on a course from ordinary guy to extraordinary entrepreneur.
21. "I'm John Burgess. I'm Here to Help You" (2000)
International Profit Associates became a $100 million company by selling $20,000 consulting jobs to thousands of small businesses. Amid many customer complaints about IPA, Inc. asks the question: When it comes to business consulting, what exactly are you paying for?
22. Corps Values (1998)
The U.S. Marines are trained to make split-second decisions based on incomplete information, in life-or-death situations. Can they provide clues to running a faster-reacting business?
23. Why I Hate Being the Boss (1989)
SRC's Jack Stack doesn't get a charge out of being the boss. That's because he knows his employees are watching to closely to see if his deeds match his words. And one day, he is sure, he'll slip up.
24. No. 5,524,641 (2002)
That's Arthur Battaglia's patent number. Like many independent inventors, Battaglia refuses to quit after nearly a decade of hard development work. As he has learned, stick-to-it-iveness comes at a price.
25. The Real Art of the Deal (1988)
Forget Trump. Here's how Trammel Crow built one of the world's largest real-estate empires, one handshake at a time.
26. The Bad Boys of Capitalism (1997)
The founder of Block Trading created a company that was designed to move fast, make money, and have fun. Who knew they would threaten a whole industry in the process?
27. Splitting Heirs (2007)
In which two brothers take over the third-generation family wine-selling business. They quarrel, as brothers do. And now it isn't a family business anymore.
28. At Nike, Winning Is A State Of Mind (1981)
How three running enthusiasts borrowed some ideas from the world of college sports and turned them into a powerful corporate philosophy.
29. How I Did It: Sidney Frank (2005)
"I wanted to be a billionaire," says the man responsible for your Jägermeister headache. At age 85 he stunned the liquor industry by getting his wish.
30. A Letter from Bernie Goldhirsh (1989)
"From the start, I've seen business as a human endeavor that can bring great satisfaction if structured right. And company building is full of life's emotions, whether fear, excitement, or joy," wrote Inc.'s founder in 1989.
Homer Simpson to Tony Soprano, the best of fiction, film, and stage.
The wit, wisdom and the unusual unchecked frankness of Frank Perdue, Anita Roddick, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mary Kay Ash, and more.
30 business models that capture the, um, creative minds of America's entrepreneurs.