Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Google vs. Facebook: the employee bidding wars are on. Sure seems like a good time to be a developer at Google. According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, Google is combatting an increasing number of employee defections to Facebook by offering some astounding perks: in one recent case, Arrington writes, Google offered a developer threatening to leave for Facebook "a 15% raise on his $150,000 mid level developer salary, quadruple the stock benefits and...a $500,000 cash bonus to stay for a year." The most concerning part for Google? "He took the Facebook offer anyway," Arrington writes.
Ten B-School courses not to miss. The debate over whether an MBA is of value to entrepreneurs starting a business will likely rage on forever, but for those who do choose to go back to school, Business Insider has a list of the 10 MBA courses entrepreneurs must take. Using data gathered from professors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs, the article lists the courses that have proven valuable to entrepreneurs facing real-world business dilemmas. Among the must-take courses are the core finance classes as well as classes on feasibility analysis and new venture management.
Flex your personality muscle. Last month a group of online marketing and social media trendsetters came together to share advice on how companies could increase their influence online. This week the New York Times' MP Mueller reports how the findings of the aptly-titled "Influencer Project" can help small businesses. Overwhelmingly, and somewhat surprisingly, the experts agreed that good social media skills really boil down to good communication skills. The same things people have been doing for centuries offline -- telling great stories, listening intently, being transparent -- seem to work online as well. Use social media platforms to share your stories, passion, and ideas with consumers along with the products they purchase. Consistency is key to forging relationships and resonance with your audience. For more social media tips, visit our Social Media Toolkit.
When will your cell phone be your wallet? Perhaps as soon as next month. Sure, the Japanese already have tap-your-phone-to-pay technology, and call it osaifu keitai. Now it's coming to the United States. Visa is releasing an iPhone case that makes the smart phone compatible with tap-to-pay consoles. And MasterCard is using tags that stick directly to phones. But these are just temporary solutions - Nokia will include near-field communications (NFC) chips in all new smart phones next year, Fast Company reports. At that pace, NFC should be ubiquitous in the United States in three to five years.
31 start-ups named world's tech pioneers. Yesterday, the World Economic Forum announced a group of 31 tech start-ups having a noteworthy impact on the world (via ReadWriteWeb). Past winners include Twitter and Kevin Surace's, an Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year, Serious Materials. Some winners this year include the location-based social network Foursquare, and the augmented reality company Layar. The winning companies and their technologies were chosen for "empowering people in all walks of society by giving them more information, more options, a bigger voice in the world around them and more control over their own health and their impact on the environment."
Entrepreneurs on the campaign trail. Today's Wall Street Journal tells the story of a few companies who attribute the bulk of their growth to political campaigns. Take VictoryStore.com. The Iowa-based company, run by a former Republican party chairman, expects to nearly double its revenue this year thanks to a new product line: cardboard cutouts of political incumbents. Other businesses, like Broadnet, are replacing automated campaign phone calls with interactive broadcasts of live town hall meetings. It seems regardless of who wins the Senate and House elections in November, there are some business owners who stand to win either way.
Dr. Seuss on innovation. In the Harvard Business Review, Scott Anthony writes that bedtime reading helped him visualize why a company was approaching innovation the wrong way. Remember the story of the star-bellied sneeches? Well, they thought themselves superior to the sneeches without "stars upon thars." Sylvester McMonkey McBean unveils a machine to add a star to the belly, and then one to remove stars. Eventually, no one remembers who had a special star in the first place. How can this apply to business? When structuring a company, creating an autonomous group - like a board or a review panel or a marketing group - remember to make sure it is actually autonomous, and isn't just a special label applied, like a star upon the belly of a sneech.