Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Why you should start a business this year. Do your New Year's resolutions include a start-up? The Wall Street Journal thinks they should. Why? You can stop the daily grind of trudging to an office, and instead work from anywhere there's wireless Internet. You can stop worrying about getting laid off or asking for a raise. As an entrepreneur, you—with certain risks involved—control how much to raise, earn, and make. Need more reasons? There's a huge talent pool out there waiting to be tapped, and, as the Journal notes, there's "never been a cheaper time to start a business." What are you waiting for?
Hef agrees to take Playboy private. Few entrepreneurs are as synonymous with their company as Hugh Hefner and Playboy, which he started in 1953. The man has even said his life would be over without his iconic publication. By striking a deal to take Playboy Enterprises private for $6.15 a share, he probably no longer has to worry about someone taking it away from him. 'With the completion of this transaction, Playboy will come full circle, returning to its roots as a private company,' Hefner said in a statement. 'I believe this agreement will give us the resources and flexibility to return Playboy to its unique position and to further expand our business around the world.' Plainfield Asset Management, holder of roughly 19 percent of the company, has agreed to the deal, which is expected to close January 21, The New York Times reports.
An intern saves the day. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition after being gunned down on Saturday, may have been far worse off had it not been for her intern's quick thinking. CNN reports that 20-year-old Daniel Hernandez, who'd been on the job for less than a week, leapt to the aid of Giffords immediately after she was shot, lifting her head and applying direct pressure to her wound. After the incident, Hernandez said of Giffords, "she was my first and only priority." Rest assured, interns. You are an essential part of the team.
Next up: fridge-tweeting. Tablets and smartphones stole most of the headlines from CES last week, so it's easy to gloss over innovations in other products. Like refrigerators, for example. Samsung showed off its new lines of WiFi refrigerators, which let users look up recipes online, play music from a Pandora app, and yes, even tweet. But is it all overkill? Are tweeting fridges really necessary? Mashable has a video of the hi-tech icebox, as well as a user poll on whether or not Samsung has outdone itself. What do you think?
"Mark Zuckerberg. Who?" Few in Japan have heard of the 26-year-old Facebook CEO, according to Hiroko Tabuchi of the The New York Times, who has a good rundown of the company's struggles there. The main culprit? Privacy. Japan's avid social networkers prefer usernames and avatars over Facebook's real names, real pictures and real connections. "So even as Goldman Sachs pours $450 million into the company, Japan, with a large and growing online advertising market, is a big hole in Facebook's global fabric," writes Tabuchi.
Publicizing your product flaws. Each year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission receives thousands of complaints about products. Now, for the first time, it plans to make those gripes public, according to the The Washington Post. The complaint database, set to launch on the CPSC website in March, is being hailed by consumer advocates while taking flack from industry groups. Business leaders fear the compilation could include fictitious slams against their brands, some possibly posted by competitors or others with political motives. The agency, however, says it has built in safeguards to prevent the abuse of inaccurate claims, balancing the interests of consumers and manufactures equally.
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