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Ten Things You Won't Learn in B-School
 

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Tips for finding new clients. Looking for ways to keep your company's phone ringing with clients? In this economy, you can't wait for positive word-of-mouth to drum up business. Rather than wait for clients to find you, today's Los Angeles Times has a list of strategies that you can do to increase your chances of actively landing new business.

10 Things B-School Won't Teach You About Startups Three years out from getting his MBA, HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah puts together a list of the things he learned from starting a business that he didn't learn from b-school. For one, studying academic theories on efficient pricing will never fully predict what decisions people will actually make. So don't worry so much about sub-optimal price--it's better than no price at all. The list also includes the following: Company culture and vision are just as integral to recruiting the best people as fair pair and equity. Be likable. Be wary of basic game theory--"it assumes you're dealing with a bunch of rational 'players.' It's like trying to design a real car that's going to be driven on a theoretically frictionless surface." As for marketing, the goal should be to experiment widely, but figure out what works on the cheap. "No amount of MBA marketing classes will prepare you for the day you have to produce leads in order to close sales. As it turns out, marketing is about more than product feature matrices and the right shade of blue for your logo."

Silicon Valley hoping for an IPO explosion in 2010. Facebook, Yelp, and even Penthouse publisher FriendFinder are all angling to go public, reports Valleywag. Facebook restructured it's stock to prepare for a possible IPO. Yelp is rumored to have turned down a $500 million takeover from Google, despite four years of unprofitability, so it could IPO. And now FriendFinder, despite $433 million in debt and losses of $27 million in the past 9 months, is looking for a $220 million IPO. Even a viable company like Facebook, which is bringing in hundreds of million in revenue, if not yet actual profits, could benefit from a bidding war. "Which is why Facebook's investors want an obscene tech bubble as much as the pornographers at FriendFinder," says Valleywag.

Has the Internet free for all gone too far? That's the contention in a new book by the technologist Jaron Lanier, which argues that the culture of free stuff, sharing, and collaborative work that has been prevalent on the Internet is not sustainable. John Tierney of the New York Times unpacks the argument and suggests that there's a lesson in creating sustainable business models. "Trying to charge for songs and other digital content is sometimes dismissed as a losing cause because hackers can crack any copy-protection technology," he writes. But as Mr. Lanier notes in his book, any lock on a car or a home can be broken, yet few people do so--or condone break-ins. Namely, Tierney thinks that micropayments--for a song or an article--are the future of selling stuff on the web.

Incorporating social media into your business's operations. It seems as though you can't read about the Internet these days without the phrase 'social media' popping up. With that being the case, there are several ways that small businesses can benefit from this Web trend, and Mashable is giving notice on the 10 most common stages of social media business integration. Since 2010 is forecasted to be the year that social media goes mainstream for business, the first stage of integration is observing current social media conversations and stats, and using that information to report on the potential impact social media will have for your business. From there, a business can build brand awareness, and find a sense of community through social media engagement, which helps to build connections that can benefit your business.

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Last updated: Jan 12, 2010




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