Which Twitter type are you? The American Express OPEN Forum blog has a fun post from Guy Kawasaki which breaks down the key traits of Twitter users and separates them into six major categories. There's the Newbie, who "signed up for Twitter less than three months ago and thinks it's all about lifestreaming: 'Watching my cat roll over." Or there's the Maven, who's an "expert in a field such as recruiting, marketing, or web design. If you're interested in their field, following them is a rich, rewarding, and time-saving experience." Just be careful not to become a Smore, Kawasaki's term for a social media whore.
Jack Stack on opening up your books. He's been at it for almost 30 years, and now open-book management evangelist Jack Stack is bringing the Good Word of business transparency to a new blog on nytimes.com. Stack, who leads a 37-business holding corporation, has been featured in Inc. many times over the past two decades, most recently in a feature in which he explains why every successful CEO must have a Plan B.
About that Friendster deal. So it turns out that the happy ending for Friendster might not have been as happy as we thought last week. The company reportedly sold to a Malaysian payment processor for $100 million, but TechCrunch says the deal was much smaller, more like $40 million, including the assumption of debt. That'd be pretty good for most companies, but Friendster raised more than that from its investors, and its erstwhile competitors have commanded much higher valuations. For more on this unhappy saga, check out Inc.'s story, "How to Kill a Great Idea."
Zynga raises $180 million. Zynga, the wildly popular and controversial gaming start-up--it makes the Facebook games Farmville and Mafia Wars--has raised a whopper of a venture capital round. The New York Times reports that Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment fund, has bought a stake in the company for $180 million. The Russian firm also owns a stake in Facebook and is partially owned by a billionaire who was convicted of fraud and embezzlement, but the Times says that D.S.T. was appealing to Zynga nonetheless. "[D.S.T.] has shown unusual patience in waiting for a return on its investment," according to the Times. "It also does not require a seat on the company's board."
70 thoughts on what matters for the new year. Bill Taylor at the Harvard Business Review provides a great introduction to an interesting project put together by writer and blogger Seth Godin called What Matters Now. Essentially, the project is an online journal in which 70 innovators, writers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers, are asked to suggest one word that we all should be thinking about in 2010, and then take one page to explain why that word matters. Sounds simple, but the result is both thought-provoking and inspiring. One of the highlights, which Taylor points out, is entrepreneur and programmer Derek Sivers' take on passion. Sivers writes, "If you think you haven't found your passion yet, you're probably expecting it to be overwhelming. Instead, just notice what excites you and what scares you on a small moment-to-moment level."
A look inside the infomercial shark tank? We've written before about Telebrands' periodic call for inventors to pitch their products for a spot on the company's late night infomercials but the New York Times provides a behind the scenes look into the company which markets only about five of the thousands of products pitched to it each year. CEO A. J. Khubani calls all the shots and his hot-new product radar has scored him some hits such has the PedEgg which has moved 30 million units, but he's stinging from passing up the Snuggie. For more on what makes an infomercial a hit, take a look at how Ron Popeil did it.