10 ways to boost productivity. What do Japanese author Haruki Murakami and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey have in common? They can teach you a thing or two about productivity. Over at The 99 Percent, they've distilled ten laws on productivity such as "create simple objectives for projects and revisit them regularly," "prototype, prototype, prototype," and "practice saying 'no.'" For that last rule the post uses author Jim Collins as an example, noting how despite the high speaking fees he commands, he limits the number of engagements he takes on to focus on researching and writing his business books. For more productivity tips see our feature on America's most productive CEOs.
Are some people born entrepreneurs? A new study out of Case Western Reserve University finds that some entrepreneurial tendencies may be inherited (via Wall Street Journal). There's no single gene that makes people more inclined to become entrepreneurs, but researchers say entrepreneurs do share some personality traits that are believed to be hereditary. The author of the study, Scott Shane, says this new information could lead to educational systems that are tailored to people's genetic makeup. "Instead of assuming everyone is equal and will respond to education the same way," Shane tells the Journal, "we will be able to look at genetic predispositions and figure out what fits."
Those damn horns!. The ubiquitous vuvuzela horns at the World Cup are doing more than just pissing off fans. They're also driving demand for ear plugs. According to TMZ, two major South African ear plug suppliers--Ear Plugs Online and Sheppard Medical--have seen sky-rocketing sales since last week. EPO is up 121 percent with 10,000 sets sold and counting. Sheppard has moved 400,000 pairs since kickoff for a 20 percent increase. A non-profit, Uthango Social Investments, has also gotten into the game, manufacturing and selling earplugs to benefit poor African Villages. (via peHUB)
AOL loses $800 million on Bebo sale. It was just two years ago that AOL stunned the tech world by paying a whopping $850 million for the second-tier social network Bebo. As founder Michael Birch told Inc. that summer, he and his co-founder wife Xochi walked away with more than $500 million. Now, multiple news outlets are reporting that AOL has sold Bebo, with TechCrunch saying the purchase price was less than $10 million. Not $10 billion; $10 million. While Facebook gained momentum in Bebo's home of England over the last two years, Bebo failed to make any sort of imprint in the U.S.
Groupon For Men? Do all those deals on Brazilian waxes and spa days make you want to unsubscribe? You're not alone. Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer complains about the company's lady-centric offerings to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, whose startup offers one deal a day by newsletter. Mason says there's no Groupon version of Gilt Groupe's "Gilt Man" in the works. The company, which is growing like gangbusters, is sticking to its day-a-deal model, at the behest of its vendors who don't want their deals to be lumped in with other discount sites. The company is also sidestepping the aggregator or "Kayak for Groupons" route that some competitors are offering to help consumers sift through the number of copycat now on the market. In the video interview, Mason reveals Groupon's next steps: expanding into Latin America and drilling down to the hyper-local, so at least geographically-speaking, offers will be more relevant. His advice to Frommer? Try a facial, you might like it. Check out Inc.'s take on using Groupon to boost sales.
Overcoming Obstacles. With all the hurdles involved in starting and finishing a big project, it's easy to avoid them, procrastinate, or quit halfway through. But Web Worker Daily has tips on getting past those four major hurdles: fear, avoidance, lack of motivation, and not having a map.