The man who live-tweeted the bin Laden raid, Facebook's $100 billion IPO valuation, and the rest of the day's entrepreneur news.
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
Stocks set to rise after Bin Laden's fall. As the news of Osama bin Laden's death spreads like wildfire, the good mood is making its way to Wall Street. CNNMoney says in its pre-market report today that as investors celebrate the bin Laden news, stocks are set for a high opening. U.S. stocks have already been gradually increasing since the beginning of the year, and global news has a tendency to impact markets everywhere. "The news that there was a successful effort to find, capture and kill the number one terrorist in the world is a positive sign," says Derek Hoffman, chief executive of Wall St. Cheat Sheet in the story. In early trading, futures were up ahead of the bell. Overseas, stocks had a muted response with Britain's FTSE 100, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite closed for holiday.
The man who live-tweeted bin Laden's death. What if you live-tweeted one of the the most influential events of the decade and didn't even know it? That's what happened to one man in Pakistan yesterday, when U.S. forces stormed a compound in a small town in northern Pakistan. "With his tweets, 33-year-old Sohaib Athar, who moved to the sleepy town of Abbottabad to escape the big city, became in his own words 'the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it'," Salon reports. As with any major news event these days, Twitter and Facebook are the go-to sources of near-instant information (and, perhaps, rumor and speculation). So when Twitter scoops the president of the United States, it's perhaps a bit easier to understand Twitter's $7.7 billion dollar valuation.
Facebook growth may justify $100 billion (or more) IPO valuation. Facebook's business is flourishing faster than the company projected several months ago, according to people familiar with Facebook's finances who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. These people estimate Facebook's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) are on course to surpass $2 billion in 2011 and say, as a result, the company could be valued at $100 billion, or even more, when (or if) the company goes public as early as spring 2011. Of course, these sources express caution about the IPO estimate, as many factors influence a public offering and Facebook has yet to set a price. For more details, read here.
Location-based apps to influence 2012 election. No one "checked in" when Obama won the presidential election and gave his acceptance speech in Chicago's Grant Park. That's because in 2008, Foursquare didn't exist. The frontrunner of location-based apps wasn't introduced until 2009 and didn't gain major recognition for another year. Now, despite the newness of the technology, Mashable's Todd Wasserman predicts that location-based apps will change the face of the 2012 election, primarily by inspiring (and peer pressuring) more voters to hit the polls. Whether checking in will actually boost voting numbers is unclear. But new location-based apps and services will almost certainly start rolling out before election day as part of this new form of grassroots campaigning. Read more about this burgeoning industry for location-aware apps in Inc.com's Best Industries for Starting a Business.
YouTube funds and educates budding videographers (not just pros). In a push to increase the original quality content on its site, YouTube is negotiating with Hollywood to distribute and rent out newly released films—and it's also investing in promising amateur videographers. YouTube identified 45 users (from thousands) to participate in two different programs that support online media, The Los Angeles Timesreports.
What's special about your first time starting up? Fred Wilson says he's been thinking a lot about what sets apart first-time founders from serial entrepreneurs. The venture capitalist invests in both, but says first-timers tend to stew on an idea for a while, are deeply passionate about it, and often nail product-market fit. At the same time, they can often have trouble with building corporate culture, recruiting, and managing teams. On the other hand, serial entrepreneurs sometimes struggle with the founding idea and market fit, but excel at growing a company. How do your experiences compare with Wilson's? Let us know below.
How to make your VC pitch perfect. Even if you have an hour scheduled with an angel investor, most pitches to venture capitalists should be succinct and relevant. It's imperative to hit only the most important aspects of your pitch in a short period of time—between 10 and 15 minutes. In a column for The Huffington Post, start-up mentor Marty Zwilling offers his 10 ways on how to optimize your investor pitch time and effectiveness. Zwilling's most important advice? Practice, practice, practice.
ALLISON FASS is deputy editor of Inc.com. A longtime business journalist at Forbes and The New York Times, she has also held roles in venture capital and innovation at Hearst Interactive Media and digital strategy at a start-up consultancy. @alliefass