Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Tough questions for new entrepreneurs. Taking the leap to start your own business means asking yourself some tough questions, and not all of them have to do with business plans and funding options. In a guest post on VentureBeat, Patrick Driessen, CEO of the Asian-Pacific tech incubator Seed Accelerator, lists some of the up-close and personal questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves before attempting to start their own businesses. For example, do you have enough supportive friends and family? As Driessen explains, starting a business "can be depressing, which is why it's important to have a support system--to console you or kick your ass when necessary."
4.5 million and counting. Sales of Apple's iPad have officially reached epic proportions, according to Bernstein Research. CNBC reports the device's sales rate of 4.5 million units per quarter is blowing by the one million units the iPhone sold in its first quarter and the 350,000 units sold in the first year by the DVD player, previously the fastest selling non-phone electronic product. To be fair, the DVD player started out as a bulky, pricey replacement for VCRs that had become ensconced in many American homes. Still, it took the product five years to reach the unit sales pace that the iPad reached in just its first quarter. "By any account, the iPad is a runaway success of unprecedented proportion," said Colin McGranahan, a retail analyst at Bernstein Research. At this rate, the iPad alone will soon become the 4th biggest consumer electronic category, with estimated sales of more than $9 billion next year.
How equity dilution works. If you are a founder or early employee of a start-up, you likely have an equity stake in the company. But as blogger and NYC venture capitalist Fred Wilson explains at avc.com, as you take on funding, your stake gets diluted more and more. Wilson also has uploaded a spreadsheet that charts a typical dilution history.
Being the brand. In a guest column for the Wall Street Journal, Rosalind Resnick of Access Business Consulting rounds up the top five entrepreneurs who have "managed to take their unique personalities and turn them into money-making brands." On the list are Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Mario Batali, real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran and the self-described dog whisperer Cesar Millan. According to Resnick, these people embody the very essence of the businesses they've built, and though she doesn't encourage entrepreneurs to be something they're not, she says a business owner's personality and purpose should be in line. To determine what that personality should be, she urges entrepreneurs to ask themselves, "If your company was a T-shirt, what would it say?"
Facial recognition on your smartphone. Bad with names? Not a problem - just take their pic. That's what Viewdle's chief product officer Jason Mitura hopes to accomplish soon, according to Read Write Web. His company's software will "offer a real change in facial recognition technology by taking the process out of the cloud and into the device itself," the article reports. According to Mitura, users take many pictures, but tag and upload them much later, or never. This software, which has seen investments from both Best Buy and Blackberry, will seek to streamline uploads and reorganize web content in real time. Though no formal dates were given for Viewdle's release, the article reports that we can expect to see something by early 2011.