Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
The social network flexes its legal muscle. Now they're just being greedy. After suing Teachbook.com for using the word "book" in their company name, Facebook is trying to trademark the word "face," as well. According to TechCrunch, any business starting with the word "face" could be at risk. It gets better. Not long ago, Aaron Greenspan, one of Mark Zuckerberg's former Harvard classmates, claimed he had helped Zuckerberg create Facebook. Though the case was settled last year, Greenspan's back for round two. It turns out, his company, Think Computer, runs a mobile payment app called FaceCash. Rather than admitting defeat to Zuck once more, Greenspan asked the Trademark Office for a time extension to oppose it.
Don't sleep on this new employee perk. Long week? Wish you could crawl under your desk and take a nap? If only you worked for Jawa, the Arizona-based tech company that BusinessWeek reports is leading the small business nap time revolution. We're used to companies like Nike and Google having exemplary employee perks, so it should come as no surprise that both of them offer staffers "quiet rooms" or napping pods for catching a mid-day snooze. But BusinessWeek says the trend may be gaining more wide-spread momentum, as employers realize that sleep is a vital part of employee health. Need other ideas for office luxuries? Check out our favorite employee perks.
The value of your "About Us" page. Many small businesses and start-ups use the Web to try and hide their size, but they shouldn't. In a post on ReadWriteWeb, Audrey Watters contends that while many businesses fill their site's "About Us" page with the what and the why of their work, they often, intentionally or not, neglect the who. It's good to have a brief bio with your team's educational and business background but this is also your chance to tell an interesting story about yourself. For example, "I am intrigued that Infochimps' COO once operated a tugboat. And I like knowing that Learnboost's developer can be tracked down via his Foursquare check-ins," Watters writes. Read Jason Fried's take on why so much business writing is so terrible.
Dental chains to get a cash filling. Erase from your mind the idea of the mom-and-pop dental shop. Instead, private-equity firms could be the new owners of your local dentist office, according to the New York Post. The paper is reporting that PE firms could win the auctions for the Aspen Dental and Kool Smiles chains, and that bids could exceed $500 million. "[P]rivate equity firms like dental offices because they sell for low valuations and one can borrow a fair amount of money against them because of reliable cash flow," the paper writes.
Entrepreneurship competitions: friend or foe? Following the precedent set by companies like Netflix, a number of global corporations have also now opened doors to business ideas from outside companies. Business Week reports that GE, PepsiCo, and Cisco systems have all launched entrepreneurship competitions that offer big cash prizes or partnership opportunities. While such competitions could open promising avenues for businesses, some remain wary of giving too much information away to large corporations. "A lot of people's hair stands on end inside of these big companies because they immediately think of intellectual property leakage," says Marthin De Beer, overseer of Cisco's competition. "It's a different way of thinking about innovation: closed, locked down behind corporate walls, vs. 'Let's open it up to anyone with a great idea." Still, getting GE to invest millions of dollars in your idea can be awfully hard to pass up.
Blockbuster's planned bankruptcy. The age of digital downloads and door-delivered DVDs hasn't been kind to the one-time video-rental king. Although it's not official, Blockbuster has been meeting with major movie studios to discuss their intention to enter a "pre-planned" bankruptcy next month, the Los Angeles Times reports. Part of the plan: use Chapter 11 to restructure $1 billion in debt and get out of 500 store leases around the country.
Building a summer transit monopoly. Back in 1974, Jim Davidson launched a little van service between Long Island's vacation hamlets. With bike carts hitched on back, they were dubbed "jitneys," from the old-fashioned British word for small vehicle, The Wall Street Journal reports. Since, the Hamptons Jitney bus company has been juggled through the Davidson-Lynch familyand has become a summer staple for New York weekenders, who have come to expect not just a smooth ride to their Hampton share, but also snacks, newspapers, beverages, and WiFi. Speaking of WiFi on the road, Ford is jumping on board, using WiFi transmitters to add customized entertainment and communications features to its Lincolns and Edge.
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