Take my salary, please. A growing number of entrepreneurs are cutting their own salaries to offset lagging sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. To many beleaguered entrepreneurs, this is certainly no surprise. But the Journal passes along the results from a recent survey by American Express: 30 percent of the 727 business owners they surveyed said they had stopped taking a salary. Salary cutbacks are even effecting entrepreneurs who are fighting to restructure their debt: "'The situation overall is more dire,' says Jerry Silberman, chief executive of Corporate Turnaround, a debt-restructuring company in Paramus, N.J. Historically, he says, nearly half of his clients weren't taking a salary when they come through his door. Now, it's close to two-thirds. And if they do take a salary, it's often not enough to cover expenses." Have you taken a salary cut?
Another bust in search? Despite--or, more likely, because of--Google's runaway success in the business of web search, there have been a number of ambitious search startups to launch over the past few years. But search has been a tough nut to crack, and the latest disappointment appears to be Cuil, which launched with a big splash last year. Now, MarketWatch checks back with the startup and finds that it lost most of its audience. The article chalks up the failure to a bungled launch with too much publicity. "So what happened?" Marketwatch asks. "At the time of the launch, the company's servers were unable to handle the crush. Its servers crashed and returned a message saying Cuil could not return results because of excessive loads."
Welcome to the Way Back Machine. Yesterday Yahoo announced that it was closing down GeoCities, for which the now troubled web giant paid a whopping $5 billion in stock back in 1999. Technologizer takes a look back at the 14 top web properties from the time. AltaVista (no. 10) is now a sad front for Yahoo, to roll any hits into its ComScore rating. Real Networks (no. 14) dropped to no. 49. Blue Mountain Arts, the greeting card site got rolled into American Greetings—not even a top 50 site. After being sold multiple times, Lycos (no. 4) also dropped below the top 50. The unmemorable Xoom.com (no. 12) and Snap.com (no. 13) are now domains run by unrelated companies. Surprisingly enough, AOL (no. 1) is still ranked fourth, its success promulgated by grandparents everywhere. (via peHUB)
Not getting along with your business partners? Some of the best companies in history were founded by hotshot entrepreneurial teams: take Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield or Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins. And that's just the ice cream industry. But, as CNN.com reports, not all business partnerships are so successful. Clashing personalities and goals combined with office politics can make for some dysfunctional relationships. Psychoanalyst Alexander Stein offers his best advice, from accepting your partner's specific personality traits to prioritizing communication over competition. For more on making the most of your business partnership, read on at Inc.com here.
The New York Twimes?A new plan to save newspapers comes from Umair Haque at the Harvard Business Review: The New York Times should buy Twitter. (We know it sounds crazy, but these are crazy times. The maker of the Punto is the last best hope to save a great American company.) Haque argues that the acquisition would put the paper in control of its viral distribution, which, as the RIAA has demonstrated, you can't fight or ignore. It would also allow the paper to build real relationships with customers, rather than just bombarding them with ads; and it would allow the NYT to experiment with hundreds of new business models. Sadly, the Grey Lady just doesn't have the cash for the acquisition.
In other news: Twitter getting really big. When I wrote about Twitter last year it had about a million visitors a month. Today it's up to 19 million, according to Tech Crunch, which says that its "march towards world domination continues apace." The blog predicts that the service, which was endorsed by Oprah last week, should cross 50 million visitors a month by this summer.
Friday homework. If you haven't read it yet, make yourself a cup of coffee tomorrow morning and open up Bo Burlingham's interview with Jim Collins, which appeared in our 30th Anniversary issue.
Friday fun. Great advice for how to weather the recession, from Steve Martin. Don't buy stuff.