Digg, Credit Cards and Cutbacks

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How big is Digg? Amidst the wreckage of the recession, even Silicon Valley start-ups as hot as Digg are struggling, reports BusinessWeek. Kevin Rose's uber popular web company raised another $28.7 million from investors, at just a $167 million valuation. This is certainly a far cry from Digg's rumored $300 million valuation. For more on Digg and Kevin Rose, check out Max Chafkin's story from earlier this year. (Via TechCrunch)

Relief for entrepreneurs who rely on credit cards. The government has moved to ban a practice common in the credit-card industry of raising interest rates on existing account balances. Going forward, the AP reports (via the NYT), the credit-card companies will only be able to raise rates on future balances or future purchases. This is good news for entrepreneurs who use their personal credit to fund start-up expenses. How has the world of credit cards changed during the recession? Inc.'s Kasey Wherum answers that here.

Death by a thousand cuts. Want to give your employee a pay cut on the sly? Are layoffs too embarrassing? More and more companies are cutting benefits, reducing hours or forcing workers to stay home. (In the euphemism of the day, The New York Times calls these involuntary leave of absences "furloughs.") Disturbingly, even in the normally recession-proof gambling industry, Nevada casinos are shifting workers to four-day work weeks. Meanwhile, there's got to be a lot of great talent looking for a job. Per the WSJ's take on the job market, there were 3.3 unemployed people for every open job in October.

Have no fear. If there was a common refrain in the business press in 2008, it can probably be succinctly summed up by the word fear. Fear makes credit dry up, it makes customers skittish, it encourages cutbacks and generally kills growth. TechCrunch has a nice discussion of the tactics you can use to keep your start-up humming along during the downturn.

Reacting to a slam on twitter. Writing for Ad Age, Sapient's Freddie Laker talks about how he decided to respond to following tweet: "I thought Sapient was a mgmt consulting co? They're the booth next to us at Adobe Max and they're complete clowns" --Message posted on Twitter by [name withheld], November 19, 2008.

Last updated: Dec 22, 2008




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