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Offline Celebrities Launch Online Start-ups
 

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Hey internet entrepreneurs, celebrities are encroaching on your market. Thanks to flexible technology and an abundance of developers, web start-ups are practically the new must-have accessory for Hollywood types, reports Business Insider. Check out their list of the 10 companies to watch. There are the A-listers like Ashton Kutcher's Katalyst Media and Will Ferrell's FunnyOrDie. But did you know that Ludacris and Will.i.am have social networks? Or that Peter Gabriel came up with a Pandora-killer and Kim Kardashian launched the Netflix of footwear?

Big numbers from Tumblr. We've periodically sung the praises of blogging start-up Tumblr, which boasts slick technology and an entrepreneurial prodigy of a founder. Today, via Mashable, Tumblr announced some serious traffic growth: 1 billion pageviews and 15,000 new users joining everyday. Meanwhile, Mashable reports that Tumblr, which has operated thus far without a business model, "plans to launch a two revenue generating features next month."

Advice for first time CEOs. Bijan Salehizadeh deals with a lot of neophytes but he doesn't mind (via peHUB). "In consumer Internet companies, first time CEOs are the norm - perhaps even encouraged and preferred," says the general partner at Highland Capital Partners. He has two nuggets of advice for greenhorn CEOs: 1) Share bad news with your board and investors early and 2) always be planning for contingencies. "The 'what if' exercise is incredibly valuable and tells me that a CEO is thinking extremely strategically and not afraid to admit that things sometimes do take longer."

Another acquisition for giant vacation rental company. When HomeAway raised an astounding $250 million in a single venture funding round back in 2008, CEO Brian Sharples told Inc.: "There are going to be some great opportunities [for acquisitions] the next couple of years." Now, TechCrunch reports that HomeAway has bought the publisher of AlugueTemporada.com.br, Brazil's best known vacation rental site. This is at least the third acquisition the company has made since its last funding round and the first outside of North America and Europe.

How not to kill your start-up. ReadWriteWeb has put together a list of core principles entrepreneurs should internalize in order to keep their start-ups from biting the big one. One thing the post says to dodge is the tendency to become caught up in the allure of modern technology. "Consider other sources of competitive power than just technological sophistication, such as superior customer experience or service, exclusive distribution partnerships, or other market-based advantages." The most provocative, and perhaps, pertinent piece of advice? "Remember that sometimes start-ups need to be killed, for their own good -- or yours, at least."

Apps for TV have yet to catch on It is estimated that by the end of 2010, Americans will own more than two million Web-connected TVs. And in 2009, Yahoo! announced that Samsung, Sony, LG, and Vizio televisions would come with its Connected TV software, which is open to all developers. However, unlike the Apple App store, which had more than 3,000 programs just two months after its debut and more than 140,000 by 2010, apps for TV haven't taken off. Only 35 full-featured apps are available on the Yahoo! service. BusinessWeek reports one reason apps for TV have yet to take off is that the approval process for television apps is more difficult than for their online counterparts. After Yahoo! approves the App, each individual TV maker must also approve the app. Some TVs cannot run certain types of code, and TV makers are reluctant to take on the risk of being blamed for an app that disappoints.

Selling your business? A lawyer can help. Over at the New York Times' You're the Boss blog, lawyer Harry Styron offers pointers on selling a business and when to get a lawyer involved (hint: not until the decision has been made to sell, ideally not out of necessity). Especially for family run businesses, Styron says, "if the decision to sell is a result of a key family member having died or become ill or if the prospect of selling the business means some family member is going to lose a good job or a good income, the decision to sell was made too late." Now all you need to know is whether your lawyer should specialize in entrepreneurship.

How to cope with changes at the workplace. From budget cuts, to massive layoffs, to new management techniques, there are plenty of reasons why changes at the office can stress out employees. A recent survey conducted by Right Management, a career management consulting firm, shows that 31 percent of employees have trouble adapting to changes in the workplace, Boston.com reports. The Boston.com team has also come up with five tips on how to deal with change in the workplace, which include taking time to get to know a new boss in order to develop a good working relationship, staying on top of the latest skills that employers expect when seeking out job candidates in your field, and having an open flow of communication with your manager if you feel too bogged down by your workload.

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Last updated: Mar 9, 2010




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