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The Next Big Thing

A validating moment, saying yes to saying no, getting personal.
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Your April essay by John Case ["Why 20 Million of You Can't Be Wrong"] absolutely blew me away. I was especially taken with the emphasis in the final paragraphs on ways that consumers' lives could be made easier by a new stage of service-oriented entrepreneurship. In recent months, I've been preaching a similar sentiment: The next surge in business will be this kind of applied technology that makes customers' lives easier. To have my idea validated by Inc. was a major motivational boost. I certainly hope that Case and authors Zuboff and Maxmin are correct in their predictions for the future entrepreneurial landscape.

Peter F. Alberti
CEO
Legal Practice Solutions Inc.
Burlington, Mass.

A Speedier Substitute

In "Five Ideas to Watch" [April, Nadine Heintz], you highlight new software set to hit the market in 2006 that gauges "which callers are pissed off by listening to their mutterings and sighs" while on hold. We have a similar product set for full launch this summer. Ours tracks decibel levels and spots trigger words -- like a competitor's name or profanities -- and will be available long before 2006.Ê

Ian Ehrenberg
VP, Sales and Marketing
Nice Systems Inc.
Rutherford, N.J.

Know When to Say No

Suzanne McGee's article "Brains for Hire" [April] is filled with good advice and useful insights, many of which I've learned since launching my company two years ago. If only I had known all of this when I started! I disagree with one piece of advice, however: "Even at your busiest, you can never say no to a client." It is sometimes necessary for a consultant to say no to both existing and potential clients.

Even for a small consulting company, strategic and cultural fit with the client are important considerations and must be addressed before work begins. Small companies are limited in how much work they can accept. It's easy to become known as a jack-of-all-trades, which can be a difficult reputation to shed when you're ready to be an impact player in a particular niche. Consultants have to learn to say no or risk compromising long-term strategic success for quick hits in the short term.

Jeff De Cagna
Chief Strategist and Founder
Principled Innovation LLC
Arlington, Va.

Proof PositiveÊ

Our 12-year-old son was recently diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). I was surprised to read in your feature, "25 Entrepreneurs We Love" [April], that David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, also has ADD. I had my son read your magazine and told him that David Neeleman is proof that ADD shouldn't prevent him from doing whatever he wants. Thank you, Inc., for your story, and thanks to Mr. Neeleman for sharing his personal life.Ê

Jeff Busch
Sacramento

Corrections

Jose Reategui of Rego Realty, No. 18 on the Inner City 100, is not a former employee of Trinity College as was reported in May. Also, we incorrectly described the training program of Compass Environmental (No. 20). Workers are trained in accord with OSHA requirements, not by OSHA or the EPA.

Contact us at mail@inc.com or Inc. Letters Editor, 375 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017. Please include your name, address, and phone number for verification. Letters may be edited for space and style. For help with subscriptions, call 800-234-0999.

Last updated: Jun 1, 2004




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