8 tips to getting started in the cloud. What's not to love about cloud computing? As Guy Kawasaki points out in his latest OPEN Forum blog post, cloud computing has changed the way small businesses operate. He explains that cloud computing "provides small businesses with the ability to deploy websites and applications quickly, to pay only for what you use, and leave all the management issues to someone else. It makes for a leaner business that can react faster to challenges and opportunities." Like any new technology, however, it does require some understanding before you decide to ditch your company's servers. To make your life easier, Kawasaki has put together a list of 8 tips to getting started in cloud computing that should help you decide if going virtual is right for your business.
Using local markets to launch a business. The UK-based founders of the trendy vintage menswear company Superdry talk to The New York Times about how they got their start in the fashion biz. The story reveals that co-founder Julian Dunkerton was on track to become a doctor when he decided, instead, to set up a market stall hawking t-shirts and other clothes he'd bought in London. Years later, after forming a shop of his own, he teamed up with clothing designer James Holder on a collection of vintage-inspired t-shirts that launched the multi-million dollar brand Superdry. They attribute their success to always paying off their debts and carving out a much-desired niche in the fashion world: vintage clothes that fit well. 'We all love vintage, but you put it on and the fit is wrong,' Dunkerton tells the Times. 'But there's something that draws you to it. James finds that something and replicates it.' Now, they're planning on opening 20 new stores every year and expanding the clothing line to socks, fragrances, swimwear and suits.
What if Millennials were calling the shots? Advertising firm Mr. Youth, which our friends at Fast Company recently named one of the most innovative ad agencies in the country, just released the results of a six-month long study on millennials and business conducted around the globe along with research firm Intrepid. Among the findings: 66 percent would not use celebrities in commercials for their company. 54 percent prefer to make decisions by consensus. The average 26-year- old has held 7 jobs. They look to technology to make products more human. And their number one reason for changing jobs is "just need a change." Download the whitepaper at Millennial.com.
How Boulder became a start-up hub. Lots of cities attempt to turn themselves into miniature versions of Silicon Valley. (We cover one unlikely attempt, in Youngstown, Ohio, in our current issue.) The New York Times reports today on one of the more successful cases, a start-up Renaissance in Boulder, Colorado. In particular, the Times credits Techstars, an start-up training program that resembles Silicon Valley's Y Combinator, for attracting entrepreneurs and encouraging them to stay local once their companies are off the ground. Nearly half of the Techstars companies have chosen to stay in Boulder after finishing the three month program, an impressive statistic that suggests that other cities should consider similar programs.
Four college kids take on Facebook. Yesterday, we told you about the uproar against Facebook over privacy concerns, but four NYU students are turning the public anger into a real Facebook alternative, Mashable reports. It's an open source social network called Diaspora, and it gives users complete control of their personal information. The college kids originally set out to raise $10,000 by the end of the month, but with two weeks to go they've already net more than $100,000 from more than 2,300 people, through the online fundraising site Kickstarter. For more coverage, check out our story on Diaspora.
What it takes to start a craft beer company. For the founders of Fire Island Beer, it meant finding a bustling vacation destination lacking a namesake brew and a willingness to become a jack-of-all-trades. "I'm the president, but...I might as well be the intergalactic spaceman," Jeff Glassman, of Fire Island Beer, tells AOL Small Business. "I do a little bit of everything...[a]nything from filling out spreadsheets, to talking to people about raising money, to hosting tastings at Whole Foods, to sponsoring a comedy night." Maybe he learned a thing or two from Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, and the way he works.
Staff editor KASEY WEHRUM has written for Inc. magazine on subjects ranging from the businesses behind professional bull riding to gadget inventor and father of the infomercial, Ron Popeil. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Worth, Budget Travel, and on MSNBC.com. He lives in Brooklyn.