Business Lessons From Avatar

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What you can learn from James Cameron and Avatar. With Avatar recently becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time, Hollywood is looking to learn what it can from the mystical blue people of the Na'vi. Entrepreneurs, however, might want to look at the film's director, James Cameron, for some business advice. Finance blog, BloggingStocks, has an interesting post about the business lessons entrepreneurs can learn from James Cameron. In their words, "Cameron is a New Age entrepreneur--that is, combining creativity, unconventional wisdom, over-the-top optimism and good business sense." They advise entrepreneurs to find a way to charge a premium. By making a 3D film, Cameron was able to charge 30 percent more than a regular movie ticket. It also took Cameron 10 years to make the film, which BloggingStocks says proves that "while some entrepreneurs can make a quick fortune, this is rare. Instead, building real value takes time."

Will an IPO make Tesla a household name? Electric carmaker Tesla filed documents with the SEC yesterday in the hope of securing a $100 million IPO. PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, who runs the company, is hardly alone in terms of clean-tech ventures hoping for an infusion of capital by going public. Solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, which like Tesla picked up a sizable stimulus grant from the Department of Energy, went public in January and biofuels company Codexis filed last December. But analysts are calling Tesla a bellweather for the health of the IPO market. Check out Max Chafkin's cover story on Musk, who we named our Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007.

Augmenting the human boday. With biotechnology expected to be one of the best performing industries of the coming decade, it's no surprise that entrepreneurs are eagerly improving upon technologies like prostheses. Fast Company has the story on how improving technology is taking prostheses from a source of stigma to one of super human possibilities. Companies such as Touch Bionics with their iLimb allowing for human augmentation more akin to Steve Jobs remixing Darth Vader than to Dr. Frankenstein with an erector set. But prostheses goes far beyond new and improved limbs. Here are ten innovations that will impact the future of the human body.

How to plan an awesome elevator pitch. Have that first investor meeting coming up? Today, Business Insider breaks down the do's and don'ts of a killer pitch. Here's a boxing gym's pitch from our February issue.

Employing new social media features to boost sales. Several social media sites are expanding efforts to help small businesses manage customer relationships, reports TheStreet. Twitter, for example, allows entrepreneurs to create a series of lists that will allow you to follow specific Twitter handles, such as your competition or potential new clients. Likewise, Facebook has enabled new privacy policies that make it possible to create private Facebook pages that can target sales staff. LinkedIn is also offering new features, but its services - like lead generation - start at $25 per month. LinkedIn's premium offers could set you back $300 each year, and the investment may not justify this spending.

How to hire your first employees. Before you make an offer, make sure you've done your research. The Wall Street Journal suggests checking with your trade association about competitive salaries, asking competitors what they pay, or checking the local paper to see what other companies are offering for your job category. Find 19 strategies for hiring the best, a hiring checklist, a sample offer letter and other hiring tools at Inc.com.

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Last updated: Feb 1, 2010




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