How to hire a great team. Look for the sort of people who welcome the pressure, says Business Insider co-founder Henry Blodget. "[Y]ou need people who do their jobs as if the life of the company were on the line," he writes. "Many talented folks from big companies are seduced by the idea of startup life...right up until the time they actually start working for one. Then they realize that the company depends on them in a way that a larger company never will, and they find the responsibility (and workload) overwhelming." But some people, Blodget says, actually like being depended upon. As to how to find them, he's says the best way is "trial and error." "Interviewing and reference-checking helps, but you won't know for sure that you've hired a winner until they hit the ground and start sprinting," he says.
What to do if you get blackmailed. It's not just talk show hosts and celebrities. The Wall Street Journal says that even regular rich guys are getting blackmailed these days. Blame the poor economy, which causes people to try to raise money using less than upright means. The article recommends conducting background checks on advisers and assistants "because they and their associates are often the perpetrators of such crimes." And be aware that once you call the police--and you should call the police--the matter will probably become public. Also: Be careful with Facebook.
Is entrepreneurship genetic? Several studies have been conducted on whether entrepreneurs can learn to be savvy in business, or are simply born with the inherent qualities that will make them successful. In October, Inc. reported on a study conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, which indicated that a strong genetic component for entrepreneurship does exist, especially in regards to running and starting a business, the number of businesses a person had started, and the length of time they were self-employed. However, CNN Money reports that not everyone is convinced. Some academics, such as an entrepreneurial professor at Babson College and the director at Indiana University's entrepreneurship center, believe that entrepreneurship is more based on "nurture" than "nature."
Who Is Getting Rich Off the iPhone? GigaOm has some compelling data which breaks down exactly who is making money off manufacturing and selling iPhones. The total cost to Apple to make an iPhone is $178.96, with payments going to memory chip, Bluetooth, touch screen, and camera manufacturers. AT&T's revenue from a 2-year data plan contract is $720, with an estimated subsidy of $351 back to Apple. The 5.2 million iPhones Apple sold in the third quarter of 2009 will bring in revenues of $930 million to parts manufacturers and $2 billion to AT&T over the next two years in monthly data charges alone.
Using video to grow your business. Online video has been a popular marketing component for several years now, but the folks over at Mashable say that a growing number of businesses are seeing an increase in sales and exposure due to video views -- and that trend will likely continue in 2010. To help companies capitalize on the technology, Patrick Moran, chief strategy officer of real-time media collaboration platform Fuze Box, offers up five tips on different ways to use video to boost business, such as including video introductions on registration pages, video tutorials to help explain how to use your product, and ensuring your videos are compatible with mobile devices. "Already, there are more than 4.1 billion mobile phone users worldwide -- at least 10 percent of which are video-enabled smartphones," says Moran. "Make sure these mobile warriors can view your videos."
Small biz lender emerges from bankruptcy. Just 38 days after it entered bankruptcy, the prominent small and mid-size business lender CIT Group has emerged in one piece, The New York Times reports. The company began trading again on the New York Stock Exchange this morning. Still, there are "some big questions about its future," not the least of which is who will become its new leader when CEO Jeffrey Peek steps down at year's end.
5 ways to generate word-of-mouth buzz. Long before there was Twitter and Facebook, word-of-mouth marketing was the best way to create some buzz around your business's brand. It still remains an important marketing technique today, and to that end, business networking site My Venture Pad has a list of five questions you should ask that will help you develop true word-of-mouth marketing. The questions help businesses evaluate their goals, target their audience, and figure out how to leverage existing buzz around your business. They may also help you figure out whether you are crossing the ethical line between marketing and scamming. The post suggests asking yourself this question, "Would this trick my mother?" If it passes the mother test, you should be okay.
Staff editor KASEY WEHRUM has written for Inc. magazine on subjects ranging from the businesses behind professional bull riding to gadget inventor and father of the infomercial, Ron Popeil. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Worth, Budget Travel, and on MSNBC.com. He lives in Brooklyn.