How I Did It

Of a Kind Founders Decide Fast, Iterate Later

Soon after Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo launched Of a Kind, a fashion website, in 2010, they realized their initial web site ideas would always be wrong, and require changes.

How Wine.com Came to Dominate its Market

Since Mike Osborn founded Wine.com in 1998, he has tackled a complex web of state-by-state regulations, and effectively shut out competitors. Wine.com sales were $60 million in 2011.

How Diapers.com Gets Customers Coming Back

Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara lure moms to their websites to buy diapers, soaps, and other essentials. Quick delivery, simple experience, and good customer service gets them to return. When Amazon acquired the sites in 2010 for $540 million, they were earning $300 million in revenue.

How Do You Beat Chinese Copycats?

Jay Lapeyre, president of global manufacturing company Laitram LLC, shares why his company's history of innovation (it was the first ever automate shrimp peeling via machinery) gives it an edge against a growing number of overseas copycats.

Ben Huh's Secret to Building an Audience Online

Cheezburger Network CEO Ben Huh oversees 60 humor websites like the I Can Has Cheezburger cat blog. Forget viral hits. He says user loyalty--his network gets more than 24 million visitors each month--has less to do with funny cats, and more to do with data, consistency, and supply chains.

How I Did It: James Dyson

Thirty-three years ago, James Dyson set out after an unusual dream: to create the ultimate vacuum cleaner. Here's how he turned that vacuum into a billion-dollar business.

How to Identify Your Next Business Opportunity

As the co-founder of a Brooklyn gourmet food and wine shop, Jason Richelson knows first-hand the shortcomings of cash register software. So in August 2008 he invented a new one, ShopKeep Register, that runs on the iPad. He now has nearly 1,000 customers and last month raised $2.2 million in financing.

How 'wichcraft Multiplies Its Sandwich Shops

'wichcraft co-founders Sisha Ortuzar and Jeffrey Zurofsky talk about how they source artisanal ingredients and replicate a high-quality meal experience across 14 locations in New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

How BaubleBar Undercuts the Competition

Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, the co-founders of online retailer BaubleBar, talk about how they convince customers they sell quality designer jewelry, despite their lower prices.

How To Go Up Against Apple and Microsoft

In the race to get Internet TV shows and movies into the living room, Boxee co-founder Idan Cohen notices unanticipated advantages of being the (much) smaller player.

The Man Taking Magnolia Bakery Global

Steve Abrams bought Manhattan's Magnolia Bakery in 2007. Now he's got big expansion plans, with stores in New York, L.A., Dubai & beyond.

Minding Jazz's Main Stage

The biggest names in jazz have flocked to a basement in New York City's Greenwich Village: Lorraine Gordon's The Village Vanguard. Here's how she did it.

How A 27-Year-Old Leads Her Family's Business

Ashley Fina is the third generation at the helm of Michael C. Fina, the Fifth Avenue retailer and employee-recognition company. She talks about how she and her cousins divvy up responsibilities.

This Investment Advisory Upstart Manages $20 Billion

Elliot Weissbluth, CEO of HighTower Advisors, has raised $165 million to pluck high-end investment advisors from established brokerage firms--and away from inherent conflicts.

Deepak Chopra's Daughter on Work-Life Balance

Mallika Chopra describes how her father's well-being techniques served her, especially as she launched her own company, Intent, a social network.

What's Your Exit Strategy?

Four-time entrepreneur Joe Apprendi talks about exiting three companies and how his latest--Collective, a New York online advertising firm--could be his home run, an IPO.

Reinvigorate a Failing Business

Turnaround specialist Howard Tullman talks about how to bring about change--and avoid needing it in the first place. Plus, why you need employees who don't bathe.

Lessons Learned: Making a Market in Foreign Exchange

Kevin Millien, COO of Boston Technologies, talks about how he co-founded a software company that connects two participants to do online foreign exchange trading.

How I Did It: Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic

Rachel Ashwell was a single mother when she opened her first Shabby Chic boutique in Santa Monica, California. Then the financial crisis hit.

Lessons Learned: Become a Serial Entrepreneur

Dan Ushman and Zak Boca co-founded SingleHop, which manages web servers dedicated to particular clients, after selling MidPhase, another web hosting company they co-founded.