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Cutbacks Headed to SBA?

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Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:

Congress pushes to trim SBA funding. Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, must have been surprised by a letter from Sens. Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, and Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine. In an effort to trim spending, the lawmakers--who previously championed SBA programs and sought more funding for the agency--asked Mills to take a red pen to "duplicative, ineffective, or redundant" programs. The request comes on the heels of President Obama's overture to the small-business community, with promises of lower taxes and more capital for innovation. Robb Mandelbaum breaks it down for us in The New York Times.

Finding your dream business partner. Start-ups benefit from the diversity of their leadership -- but only if the founders agree on a shared vision. This is, perhaps, why finding the right co-founder for a start-up is so difficult, and so important. In fact, "this decision may be the most important of your company's entire history," writes Michael Fertik for the Harvard Business Review. According to Fertik, most early-stage start-ups fail due to founder disputes, "not the substance of the business." As founders spend so much time together, the relationship often ends up feeling like a marriage, so it's best to find a co-founder with whom you have long-term compatibility. Fertik offers 10 tips for finding the right partner for you and your business, including choosing someone with "a complementary temperament" and "a personality you like." After all, he says, "this is a high-octane, high-consequence, long-term date."

Why common sense inhibits innovation. In a guest post for VentureBeat today, angel investor Jason Cohen writes about why common sense has no place at a start-up. He admits his advice is based on "survivor bias," and it's not so easy to throw caution and common sense to the wind when you've been burned before. Still, he makes a valid point. "Zappos decided to sell shoes over the Internet, even though it meant eating shipping costs as customers tried shoe after shoe," he writes, making a similar claim for NetFlix. Abandoning common sense in favor of innovation, Cohen says, gives a company instant word-of-mouth advertising and helps them attract passionate employees, among other things. "And if you fail," Cohen concludes, "why not at least have failed at something worthwhile?"

Facebook finds a new home. With Facebook continuing to expand faster than the universe, the company has decided to relocate its headquarters once again. The New York Times reports Facebook is moving its offices to a new, more expansive campus--the former home of Sun Microsystems--in Menlo Park, Calif. With heavy renovations planned, Facebook will gradually move to their new offices "in waves" over the summer. This will be Facebook's third move over the last decade: After moving into its Palo Alto offices in 2004, the company consolidated its offices by moving into its Stanford Research Park offices in 2009.

More tablets to come. The fact that Apple is currently working on the iPad 2 is no surprise. The question is: how different is it? The tight-lipped company isn't saying much about its upgraded version, but the Wall Street Journal reports that it will be a thinner, lighter, tablet with a faster processor and a built-in camera. Apple's new 3G tablet is said to be available on AT&T and Verizon, leaving T-Moblie and Sprint out of the deal again. This time around, though, the iPad 2 will face significantly more competition. Both Dell and Hewlett-Packard are introducing their new tablets this year.

Work hard, play hard. Planning on going to South by Southwest this year just to party? Think again. Dogpatch Labs, a Manhattan co-working space, is opening temporary branch in Austin, so that you can get your party on only after you've completed your work for the day. Fingers crossed that temporary office space will also come equipped with a temporary open bar.

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Last updated: Feb 9, 2011




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