Mark Zuckerberg Takes Control and Fending off Hackers
BY Max Chafkin
Is Facebook secretly preparing for an IPO? The company says no, but a step taken yesterday suggests otherwise. The Wall Street Journal reports that existing Facebook shareholders, including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will have their equity converted to Class B stock, which would allow them to effectively control the company in the event of a public offering. The article notes that Zuckerberg already is the company's largest shareholder, and says that the move "would enhance [his] control and make it easier to fend off unwanted suitors." Facebook says the move has nothing to do with an IPO.
Help, I've been hacked! There's plenty of info floating around on how to guard your website from hackers. But what should you do in the event that you actually are hacked? VentureBeat has an article on what to do, and says that since online shopping is crucial to many companies during the holiday season, the fate of your start-up could hinge on your reaction and how quickly you recover. The first step, the according to the post, is to yank your website offline and notify customers of the breach. Then you should conduct an investigation of your employees, reporting what you learn to the authorities, and change your passwords. Check out Inc.'s advice on some creative ways to create the best passwords.
Stimulus provisions run dry for SBA loans. Two provisions from the Recovery Act focused on small-business financing ran out of funding Monday, reports the Wall Street Journal. The much ballyhooed stipulations raised the maximum guarantee on SBA loans from 75 percent to 90 percent and temporarily eliminated fees tied to the loans. Both provisions were scheduled to expire in 2010. An SBA spokesman told the Journal that lenders were informed last week that the guarantee would go back down to 75 percent and fees would be reinstated as of Monday. That announcement spurred $1 billion in SBA loans over the week. As of Monday, the 282 applications still pending for stimulus funding worth $128.7 million, were put on a waiting list in case borrowers or lenders cancel previously approved loans.
Is an iTunes model for magazines just around the corner? According to the New York Times, several magazine publishers, including Time Inc., Conde Nast, and Hearst, have reportedly joined forces to form a new company that will run the online newsstand, dubbed "iTunes for magazines." With flagging sales in print, the publishing houses hope to gain some control over digital readership, and the new Web presence is rumored to offer publications in multiple digital formats.
30 Women Tweeters to follow. From the folks over at Forbes, here's a list of 30 women entrepreneurs and business insiders whose Twitter feeds are worth following. Forbes' picks are a diverse lot; ranging from Alexandra Levit, the Wall Street Journal business columnist, to Mirie Fraser, a life coach whose tweets are meant to inspire entrepreneurs. While you're busy building your online portfolio, you may want to check out Inc.'s picks of the 19 blogs you should bookmark right now.
How to murder a business in ten easy steps. Riffing off Donald Keough's book The Ten Commandments for Business Failure, Risk Capital Partners investor Luke Johnson pens his own steps for killing your company for the Financial Times. If you want to survive, he advises avoiding the following: taking on too much debt, becoming overly dependent on one customer, making a mess of a major IT project, signing a costly/long-term property lease, or forgetting your customers. "In case you're wondering: yes, over the years I've backed companies guilty of all these mistakes," says Johnson. (Hat tip, peHUB)
How to enjoy the holidays. We know, we know. You've got stuff to do. Even so, Web Worker Daily's advice on how to enjoy the holidays is worth a read. The blog recommends getting ahead of schedule with both work and shopping, exercising more, and forcing yourself to take some time off. This advice is sound, but will probably come as small comfort to family businesses, where the Thanksgiving table can feel more like a shareholders meeting.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here at Inc., we're thankful for so many great readers, especially the ones who write us and tell us what they think. Have a great long weekend. We'll see you Monday.