Twitter Asks Where; Hot New Sector: Food Trucks
BY Nitasha Tiku
A restaurant start-up for times like this...The Wall Street Journal takes a look today at the recent trend of intrepid gastronomers opening up high-end food trucks in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Unlike your average street meat vendors, these roadside start-ups are serving up elegant fare like escargot, duck dumplings, and porchetta sandwiches. For aspiring restaurateurs, launching a food truck seems to be a good alternative right now to trying to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to open a full-service sit-down restaurant. Back in March, Worksman Cycles in Queens told the New York Times it was seeing strong demand for its food vending cart business, while sales for other products fell flat. No wonder it's one of our Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now.
How much should an office focus on fun? Employee happiness is a major factor in creative output, and these Inc.'s list of 25 ways to bring fun (and ultimately productivity) to the workplace.
Prediction is hard, especially of the future. In a rather amusing post on his blog, Scenarios and Strategy, strategic planner Lawrence Wilkinson has a warning for business owners who are looking for lessons from their past to get them through the current recession. Namely, remember just how wrong we can be. Wilkinson has culled some famously misguided predictions and forecasts from the annals of history. Consider this quote from former chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson, in 1943: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Or this gem from the president of Digital Equipment Corp. in 1977: "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." For a look at some entrepreneurs who are having an equally hard time making forecasts for their businesses, click here.
Twitter's Next Project? Location. Now that Twitter's already tracking what people are saying in real-time, the company is moving on to where, which could be even more valuable, reports the Silicon Alley Business Insider. The company just hired Ryan Sarver, formerly of Skyhook Wireless, the company that powers the location on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, which it determines by reverse triangulates from a database of cell towers and wifi hot spots when the GPS signal isn't clear. Check out our article on how your company can use location-based services online, on cellphones, or on the street and as well as companies that will help you get into get into position, including Skyhook Wireless.
$10,000 a month to tweet. If you thought this online social marketing thing was frivolous or immaterial, think again. The Los Angeles Times reports that Sonoma County-winemaker Murphy Goode is offering a $10,000 a month salary to someone who will Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and generally digg the Bordeaux-focused company. One JetBlue employee told The New York Times, who also covered Murphy Goode's search, that "In this medium, it's all about the conversation. It's not going with the company line."
Bing gets it right. We were a little hard on Microsoft's first stab at promoting Bing yesterday. But it's new commerial hits Google right in its Achilles heel.
Reporter NITASHA TIKU covers technology, finance, green business, and social entrepreneurship for Inc. magazine and contributes to the staff’s daily links blog. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, The Villager, Chelsea Now, and on nymag.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. @nitashatiku