Quantifying Twitter's networking power. Plus, a fast-food breakup, five myths to watch, and the rest of the day's news.
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
The power of a tweet. Don't negate the power of hooking-up on Twitter. For business purposes, that is. Techcrunch reports that finance tracking start-up 60mo sent a tweet to Lightbank in order to forge a little middle-American camaraderie in the finance start-up realm. Three months later, 60mo has just completed a Series-A round of funding, courtesy of—who else?—its corn-fed brethren shouted out in the original tweet ("Hey @lightbank, we should chat sometime."). The investment firm Lightbank was founded by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, who are also co-founders of Groupon. The funding is in the "range of a million dollars." How's that for the notion sending a tweet is like shouting into the abyss?
Suing into the abyss? In other Twitter news, the company is being sued for letting famous people interact with fans, and with each other, online. Yes, really. A company called VS Technologies alleges Twitter is infringing on its 2002 patent, called, "Method and system for creating an interactive virtual community of famous people." Original, no? Well, TechCrunch has found that "absolutely nothing productive" done with the "invention," and declares the suit YAPT, yet another patent troll.
A fast-food breakup. Arby's, one of America's most recognizable fast food chains, will soon be heading to the auction block. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc., Arby's parent company, is "having trouble competing in an industry where the only viable ways to grow are to steal market share from rivals or expand overseas‚ two things Wendy's is better positioned than Arby's to accomplish." The two restaurant chains merged in 2008 and after sluggish sales reports in the third quarter, it appears that Arby's is making Wendy's look bad financially. The company believes that by revamping Wendy's menu and in-store experience, the parent company will become profitable. Such improvements include "new cheeseburgers with larger beef patties" and and plans to improve its "chicken offerings." Perhaps Wendy's may even launch a bid to compete with McDonald's recent makeover, which includes chic "hang out zones" with WiFi and "trendy" art hanging on the wall.
LivingSocial steals the spotlight. Our Facebook and Twitter feeds were ablaze yesterday with a sweet deal from LivingSocial: a $20 Amazon.com gift card for $10. The social coupon site sold more than one million cards, blowing away last summer's Gap deal from arch-rival Groupon, which attracted a paltry 400,000. But the brisk business may have come at a price, according to the New York Times. If Amazon isn't subsidizing the deal, LivingSocial is eating a major revenue loss.
Solar firms cry foul. Bureaucratic red tape could be slowing the solar revolution. Green energy firms across the country complained of an endless "permit dance." Couple that with expensive fees and solar building codes that vary from municipality to municipality, and you've got "a hidden tax on solar," one entrepreneur told told theNew York Times.
Wait, which advice is the good advice? Keeping up with the countless stream of tips for running a fast-growing start-up can be daunting. And disillusioning. Sure, successful entrepreneurs work tirelessly to keep themselves abreast of the best wisdom to keep their business ahead of the game. But the continuous process of trial and error can sometimes prove to disprove ideals you thought were truth. Fortunebreaks down five myths to watch out for, including that margins grow as your company gets bigger, competitors are always unfriendly, and that you know your market best.