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Starting Up While an Employee

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The "real" story on Facebook's founding. On Friday, Silicon Alley Insider published the results of its two-year investigation into the controversial founding of Facebook. Among the new details to emerge is this purported IM from Mark Zuckerberg to a friend right before Facebook's launch, in which Zuckerberg suggests that he is intentionally delaying the launch of a similar site, HarvardConnections, which he had previously agreed to work on. "I feel like the right thing to do is finish the facebook and wait until the last day before I'm supposed to have their thing ready and then be like 'look yours isn't as good as this so if you want to join mine you can'¶otherwise I can help you with yours later."

How to start a company when you still have a job. Over at a Smart Bear, Jason Cohen tackles the subject of bootstrapping a start-up using your salary. He recommends picking a slow growth business--you can afford this because you already have a salary--that doesn't require you to answer emails or phone calls during normal business hours. "Remember, your immediate goal isn't to make millions of dollars, it's to build a business just solid enough to quit your day job," he writes. You also have to make sure you don't get sued by your employer. To avoid this, Cohen suggests being upfront about what you're doing and getting a signed letter from a company representative that gives you the go-ahead to work on your business on your own time. "When it comes to company property, be paranoid," he writes. "Assume everything you do on the Internet is recorded, cataloged, tagged, and monitored continuously by a methamphetamine-powered slave-army." (Via Hacker News.)

How to get a better night's sleep. Having trouble keeping your eyes open? Couldn't wind down after all that Oscar excitement last night? You're not alone. Seventy-five percent of Americans report having problems sleeping a few nights a week, which can lead to missed workdays, errors on the job, and even diminished job satisfaction. Web Worker Daily has some tips for better sleep in honor of National Sleep Awareness Week and we . 1. Go to sleep at the same time every night. 2. Keep your room in total darkness. 3. Don't drink tea, coffee, or soda late in the day. 4. Avoid sugary foods later in the evening, and opt for snacks with tryptophan in them instead, like bananas, sunflower seeds, or low-fat yogurt. Lastly, experiment with a little white noise.

A plea to abandon ad blocking. As more businesses grow increasingly dependent on a solid Web presence for survival, tech-related news site Ars Technica writes that there's one menace threatening to snatch away the crutch: ad blocking. After observing over a period of time that a substantial amount of users were using software to block the site's advertisements, founder Ken Fisher decided to explain to readers exactly how and why ad blocking can hurt your favorite websites. "If you have an ad blocker running, and you load 10 pages on the site, you consume resources from us -- bandwidth being only one of them -- but provide us with no revenue," the post says. Fisher, who goes on to compare ad blocking to "running a restaurant where 40 percent of the people who came and ate didn't pay," also detailed a 12-hour experiment to make content disappear for visitors using a specific ad blocking program, which was met with mixed results. While it was a technical success, Fisher says he found out that most ad blockers were not doing so with ill intent, which raises an important question for business owners and developers alike: Is it ethical to block content for users who block your ads?

Apple nixes "cookie cutter" apps. In its latest crackdown on the appsphere, Apple is reaching out to companies that build apps from a single template, writes TechCrunch. Apple isn't opposed to these app generators categorically, but just wants to weed out apps that are little more than RSS feeds. Still reaching out to companies individually and suggesting that they add more features seems like unproductive micromanagement to us. See these 15 CEOs on their ways to be more productive and check out the best iPhone apps for business.

Pandora's potential IPO. In the past we've written about Pandora's near-death experience, and how it was saved by it's loyal user base. Now the Internet radio start-up that got 347 no's before it landed it's second round of funding is being wooed by a slew of investors, writes The New York Times. The company's success in the mobile sphere has piqued VC interest and though it says it is focusing on growth rather than going public, it hired a new CFO Steve Cakebread who held the same position at Salesforce.com when it went public.

Wi-Fi phones for China. China Unicom, one of three Chinese state-owned telecommunications carriers, is working with Apple to introduce iPhones with Wi-Fi capability to China, the Wall Street Journal reports. Up to now, government regulations have forced the companies to disable Wi-Fi capability in the iPhone, which makes the phone less attractive than fully functional iPhones that are resold in China from other markets.

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Last updated: Mar 8, 2010




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