The story of the sweet-toothed entrepreneur behind Peeps, plus Apple's supply chain secrets, and the rest of today'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 sweet recipe for success. For Sam Born, the Russian-born candy-maker and inventor of Peeps, it was just the right amount of sugar and water. And what a Good day for CNN Money to remind us that it's that time of year again: when those marshmallowy, sticky, colorful treats start showing up in abundance on store shelves and in Easter baskets. Here's how one little company grew to become a global empire.
Behind Apple's dominance. How does Apple consistently block its competition? Simple, CNNMoney reports: it has the best supply chain around, allowing it to give buyers the new gadgets they want faster than can any of its rivals. Not only is Apple's supply chain being barely disrupted by the fallout from the Japanese earthquake, but it's able to beat competitors to market—and sell new products at nearly unbeatable prices (consider the $499 iPad). How? "The products are hot, it's got $60 billion in cash, and it's a big company," said Brian White, supply chain and Apple analyst at Ticonderoga Securities. "Those three factors allow it to get more of its fair share of components, and—ultimately—market share."
More start-ups tap savings instead of banks. As start-ups continue to sprout up, you may be surprised to know that most are using their own cash, instead of taking out business loans to keep their business afloat. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 70 percent of the nation's start-ups used personal savings as a primary source of funding, according to the preliminary results from the 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances. The survey notes that 80 percent of the small businesses surveyed hadn't applied for a loan in five years. Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke says that "Many small business owners were so convinced that their requests would be denied that they did not even apply for credit." Perhaps the complete survey findings, due for release in early 2012, will change considering the Small Business Administration's huge push to make is easier for small-business owner's to get funding.
The insane world of Facebook advertising. Facebook brought in close to $2 billion in advertising last year from big names like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks, as well as hundreds of thousands of local businesses--everything from fitness salons to photographers. But is it worth it? Check out the MIT Technology Review to find out—and if you should be using Facebook to market your business.
MBA moms. A new report suggests that MBA programs, long dominated by men, are finally starting to see more women pursue a graduate degree in business. "More women than ever are earning graduate business degrees, and at younger ages than ever before," Fortunereports. However, more education doesn't necessarily translate to higher pay: "It's unclear whether these women are gaining much from the degree, with persistent wage gaps between men and women who have the same business credentials and work experience." A report released last year shows some troubling figures: women in their first post-MBA job made $4,600 less than a man in the same type of job.
Google launches Offers in Portland. Since Google's attempt to buy Groupon in December for a reported $6 billion was spurned by the Chicago-based daily deals site, Google has decided to compete with Groupon instead by joining the daily deals fray. Wiredreports that Google is now publicly testing Google Offers, its own service offering incredible deals for local businesses, with the beta version launching in Portland. "Offers is part of an ongoing effort at Google to make new services that give consumers great deals while helping connect businesses with customers in new ways," said a Google spokesperson. Google is also allowing users to sign up for the new service in five other locations, including New York City's Midtown, Downtown, and Uptown districts, as well as San Francisco and Oakland, California.