The education of Mark Zuckerberg. The Wall Street Journal has a must-read profile of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has kept a firm hold on his company, even as he's raised hundreds of millions of dollars and plotted an eventual initial public offering. The Journal reveals that Zuckerberg has grown up a lot over the last few years, for instance giving up the practice of ending meetings by leading his employees in a chant of "domination." Meanwhile, the article reports that he still owns 25% of the company's stock, controlling most of the voting shares, and three of the five board seats. He's also fond of quoting from--of all things--the movie "Troy."
The business lesson of a bad haircut. Think back to the last time you got a really bad haircut. Did you complain to the hairstylist directly? Probably not. If you're like most people, you simply paid your money, sulked away, and then proceeded to complain to anyone who would listen. On her blog, Kicking Niche, marketing guru Mary Dean points out the business lesson to be learned from a bad haircut experience. Namely, that "lack of complaints does not indicate a job well done." As Dean explains, just because your customers aren't actively voicing their displeasure to you, that doesn't mean they aren't doing so to their family and friends. Austin-area residents can catch Dean speak today at the RISE Austin conference about the business opportunities of marketing towards the female demographic.
Why you should give yourself a "Do Over." Do you keep yourself awake at night torturing yourself about an unsuccessful email? Do you ever replay a bad interaction with someone while you're still in the middle of a meeting with them? Former venture capitalist and professional coach Jerry Colonna figured out a way to help entrepreneurs break through the "obsessive rumination, self-recrimination, re-writing of the script." And he figured it out by coming to terms with his relationship with Oreos. In short: give yourself a Do Over and try again. (Hat tip, peHUB)
More venture capitalists expected to back start-ups in 2010. According to a recent survey conducted by tax and advisory firm KPMG, venture capitalists are optimistic that a rebound will occur this year, after flagging opportunities in 2009, the Boston Globe reports. The survey polled 200 venture capitalists, including investors, bankers and entrepreneurs, and found that 67 percent of respondents expected investments in start-up and growth companies to increase in 2010--compared to a mere 23 percent predicting growth in investments in 2009. Companies that supply green technologies were singled out to receive more attention from venture capitalists, with 38 percent of respondents expecting the energy storage and efficiency sector to see the most investment.
Get ready for the electronic medical-records boom. According to CNNMoney, the next goldmine tech start-up industry will be medical records,. There are currently about 300 to 400 companies in the United States fighting for the relatively new market, but small start-ups are poised to hold their own against branches of large corporations. One reason is that of the doctors' offices that have yet to adopt electronic records, the majority are small businesses themselves. Until recently, the bigger players ignored them, focusing on larger hospitals and clinics. Small start-ups were able to fill the niche by offering lower cost products and creative solutions to smaller clinics.
Expect long lines at Apple stores on April 3. It's coming. Apple announced this morning that the first iPads will be available in the U.S. on April 3, TechCrunch reports. Those will be Wi-Fi models. The versions that have both Wi-Fi and 3G will be coming later in the month. Pre-ordering for U.S. customers starts on March 12, both online and at Apple retail locations. For more on the much-hyped tablet, take a look at Inc.com's iPad coverage.
Winery prices hit the bottom of the barrel. If you're interested in buying a business to flip it, wine is probably not the place to look right now. But as a long term investment, current prices may be too good to pass up, writes WalletPop (via Huffington Post). John Bergman, of Bergman Euro-National, a firm that sells estates in the Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino regions, says that while prices for wineries have bottomed out, better times are on the way. Foreign investors are already looking to take advantage of the situation. For comparison, see this Arizona winery we profiled a few months back as our business for sale, and check out this gadget guide for wine lovers.
A jeans start-up designed with your iPhone in mind. Ever wish you had a pair of jeans with a pocket that was meant for your iPhone or iPod touch? Thanks to WTFJeans, a denim startup based in France, your wardrobe wishes are about to come true, Mashable reports. With a pocket designed specifically for your iPhone with micro-fiber interior protection, not to mention a secret USB stick pocket, these jeans aim to fit both your style and gadget-protecting needs. Look for them in early May, and expect them to set you about 59 euro (about $80).
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.