The benefits of being young and clueless. Experience may be the best teacher, but on his blog Quick Sprout, tech entrepreneur Neil Patel argues that "the less you know, the more money you'll make." Granted, first-time entrepreneurs are bound to make their share of mistakes, but Patel explains that there are a number of advantages to not being a know-it-all. Among the benefits of being a new entrepreneur is that you're more willing to listen, more likely to try new ideas, and less likely to waste time trying to create an absolutely perfect company. Perhaps most importantly, first-time entrepreneurs are hungry for success. "You have that fire in your eye and it isn't because you want it there, it's because you are broke and have no choice but to figure out a way to make some money so you can put some food on the table," says Patel.
Swiss entrepreneur protests minaret ban. Today's Wall Street Journal carries a front page story of Guillaume Morand, a Swiss entrepreneur who owns a chain of shoe stores in the country. Morand was appalled by his country's decision to ban the construction of minarets, which are tall towers that typically sit atop mosques. Morand is not a Muslim, but he felt the ban was intolerant and responded by constructing a 20 foot minaret on the roof of his company's warehouse. To make sure neighbors got the message, the Journal recounts, he installed a 500 watt spotlight and pointed it at the verboten structure. So far, the authorities haven't filed charges, but Morand has promised to drum up more publicity should they try. The article doesn't note what has happened to sales of shoes at Morand's stores, but it doesn't sound like the press has hurt his business.
Scalable start-up or lifelong small business? Long-time tech entrepreneur Steve Blank provides the six conditions that differentiate the two. "There's nothing wrong with starting a small business," he writes. "In fact, it is scalable startups that are the abnormal condition....It's simply a choice. Just make it a conscious choice."
Best Movies of 2009: Venture Capital Edition. peHUB's Clint Chao makes his Oscar predictions, with a VC twist. Chao's picks: "Best Movie, e-Tailing category": Confessions of a Shopaholic; "Best Movie, Infrastructure Category: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; "Best Producer, M&A Exits Category": It's Complicated; "Comeback Award, Company Recap category: Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen. And our personal favorite: "Worst Special Effects, category: The Invention of Lying. Read more about Canopy Financial, which last year found itself the subject of both an Inc. 500 article, and an FBI Probe here.
How to network effectively using social media. When it comes to business relationships, networking is key. And with the surge in social media sites, networking online has never been easier, allowing you to connect with more people remotely and establish relationships that may not have been physically possible before now. Mashable offers advice for building your online network through several social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, suggesting that you privately contact potential business associates, and following up regularly to keep communication flowing.
Google unveils its latest cell phone. Just in time for the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google has unveiled its first cell phone. The Nexus One looks and works pretty much like an iPhone and runs Google's Android operating system. Unlike the company's previous co-branded phones, Google will sell the phone directly, according to Engadget, which just posted a detailed review. Fred Wilson got his hands on the device, and is similarly impressed, particularly with the fact that it runs an open sourced operating system and places fewer restrictions on app entrepreneurs.
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.