Reader Mail: March 2011
Spreading the Love
Inc.com readers were inspired by our salute to remarkable entrepreneurs ["Entrepreneurs We Love," December/January]. "Entrepreneurs rule!" wrote Shaleen Shah, founder of Ajeva, a freelance job placement service in Jacksonville, Florida. "They have the power to change the old-world bureaucracy, and they're doing it one step at a time." Maria Thompson, client services director for Thompson Integrated Communications in Larnaca, Cyprus, shared a similar sentiment: "I love Inc. for giving us the courage and confidence to pursue our dreams and believe that this is possible for any of us."
A former employee of honoree Larry O'Toole, founder of moving service Gentle Giant, praised his onetime boss. "As a former Giant, two-time Olympic medalist, and world champion rower, I can attest to the fact that Larry O'Toole is more than an ordinary boss and Gentle Giant is more than an ordinary moving company," wrote Jeff McLaughlin, vice president of online secure sites at TD Bank Financial Group in Wexford, Pennsylvania. "Great article about a great man."
Our story about motivational speaker Josh Shipp ["Thank You for the Kind Introduction," December/January] drew both praise and criticism from other motivational speakers. "As a 22-year veteran speaker, it's great to see this positive press about the motivational speaking industry," wrote Jonathan Harrison, vice president of marketing at REM Enterprises in La Jolla, California. "Many 'gurus' who make it big get a reputation for being about only money. It's great to see what Josh has done for his own career and for other aspiring speakers." Alan Weiss, president of Summit Consulting Group in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, disagreed. "I'm a member of the Speakers Hall of Fame of the National Speakers Association," Weiss wrote. "Let me assure you that the present and future of professional speaking is in offering pragmatic, immediately applicable skills-building that organizations can use to improve the performance of the audience. The techniques highlighted in this article are aimed at making money for the speaker instead of helping the client."
Getting to No
Jason Fried's column about the importance of saying no [Get Real, December/January] elicited dozens of comments on Inc.com and social news site Hacker News, which linked to the article. "Small and simple trumps big and unnecessarily complex, especially since 90 percent of the users will probably ignore 90 percent of the features," wrote Phil Simon, the Caldwell, New Jersey-based author of The New Small. "The word no is not only great for software development but also for general business and even everyday life," said Mark Date, owner of EB5.net in Bristol, England. "I would have had even greater success in business and life if I had mastered this little word earlier." But Paul Biggar, founder of NewsLabs in Dublin, Ireland, questioned Fried's stance. "I used Fried's Highrise software for a while, until the lack of features I needed caused me to cancel my subscription," Biggar wrote on Hacker News. "Advocating an extreme no position is probably as bad as saying yes to everything."
Yea or Nay?
Arvind S. Grover, director of technology at the Hewitt School in New York City, weighed in on Marc Cinque's decision to move ahead with a company overhaul despite his employees' concerns [Case Study, December/January]. "If you are right, but you don't bring your employees to share your view, they'll cut your legs out beneath you by spreading negative energy around the project," he wrote. "You must deal with naysayers."
Doing Well and Good
Meg Hirshberg's column about how running a business that serves a larger purpose can be good for a marriage [Balancing Acts, December/January] resonated with readers. "Perhaps the subjects from your last article on divorce never sought out how they might become a team by building on each other's strengths," wrote Laura M. Hales, founder of the Isis Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But Paul Travis, president of Vivify in Bainbridge Island, Washington, warned that having a social mission does not always help. "After my wife and I got married, we started an organic, vegetarian fast-food chain," Travis wrote. "Being new business partners and spouses was too much of a strain, despite our mission, so she left the company when 'we' got pregnant."