Twitter and Google in acquisition dance. That's the rumor, according to Techcrunch. Michael Arrington says that talks are at a "fairly early stage," and that the asking price is "well north of the $250 million valuation that [Twitter] saw in [its] recent funding." If the company goes to Google, it would be founder and CEO Evan Williams's second sale to the search giant, having sold Blogger in 2002. (Williams is a fascinating--and incredibly smart--entrepreneur, who Inc. profiled a year ago, before Twitter hit critical mass.) Google is likely interested in Twitter because of its useful search function, which lets you keep track of brands, ideas, and news events in real time. Twitter, Arrington says, "holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn't even have a horse in the game."
The labor pool is swimming with talent. Today's Wall Street Journal says that now is a great time to be hiring. In the current job market, a single opening can invite a slew of qualified, and in many cases overqualified, applicants. While this can be a good time to beef up your staff with rock-star candidates, hiring in a downturn can be difficult because employers have to weed through hundreds of resumes. Read Inc.'s piece on the upside of hiring now here.
What if we make if worth your while? Not convinced that it's a good idea to start staffing up? The state of Georgia is willing to make you an offer you can't refuse: Businesses in the state that hire someone currently unemployed and keep them on for 2 years will get a $2,600 tax credit. Georgia's unemployment rate has hit 9.3 percent, and the state government is under pressure to do something. But opponents say loss in tax revenue isn't worth it, and as Independent Street points out, it'll probably just go to companies that were hiring anyway. What do you think? Would $2,600 be enough to get you to start hiring.
Start-Up Sales Are Few and Far Between. New data from the National Venture Capital Association, courtesy of the Bits blog, paints a bleak picture for venture-backed start-ups looking to go public or be acquired. There were 106 acquisitions of venture-backed start-ups in the first quarter of 2008, but this year there were just 56. Although the number of sales has been on a steady decline, the industry has been hopeful because prices were actually holding up, says the post. But, alas, that changed last quarter too. The average dollar value of acquisitions fell sharply from $113.6 million in the first quarter of last year to just $49.6 million this past quarter.
9 Tips on How to Avoid an Audit. As April 15 quickly approaches, entrepreur and columnist Rhonda Abrams gives her top nine small business tax audit triggers, at USAToday.com. Some of the triggers, like clearing a million dollars profit, are paradoxically things you won't want to avoid. Others, like taking a home office deduction, may not be worth it. Read more about tax strategies for your business at Inc.com here.
Some of the greatest inventors were women. Did you know that Patsy Sherman invented Scotchgard in the early '50s while trying to create a new material to use in the fuel lines of jet engines? Or that the '40s screen siren Hedy Lamarr invented the frequency hopping torpedo guidance system while under contract at MGM? To celebrate the end of Women's History Month and Ada Lovelace Day (celebrating women in technology) last week, Fast Company dug through Susan Casey's book Women Invent! to find 14 female inventors you may never have heard of. EconomyHeroes named the story its popular tweet of the week.
A glimmer of hope for the credit markets According to a report from CNN.com this morning, the number of small business loans backed by the Small Business Administration dropped by 57% last quarter. But it's not all bad news for the nation's entrepreneurs; Data collected since the implementation of two stimulus provisions in mid-March indicates an increase in the volume of the administration's loan program. For tips on how to secure a loan, read more here at Inc.com.
More (kind of) good news. Believe it or not, someone is benefiting from the housing collapse: first-time buyers who steady salaries, the New York Times reports. A few years ago, they'd been priced out of the market, so rather than opt for a subprime mortgage, they rented. Unlike current homeowners, they aren't stuck with the hassle of selling anything. So they're buying places that have been foreclosed on for comparatively reasonable prices, making sizeable down payments and taking out traditional mortgages.
This year's Milken Conference is offering 15 free tix to the recently unemployed. Prince would call it a sign 'o' the times. The prestigious Milken Institute Global conference—Steve Forbes, Vinod Kholsa, Deepak Chopra, Max Azria, and Jim Goodnight from SAS are among the nearly 500 speakers scheduled this year—is offering tickets to people who have been laid off within the past 18 months. The only downside to the application, says peHUB, is that you have to fill out the contact information for the person who fired you.
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