The Facebook Chasers
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today.
"Supreme" challenge for Facebook... Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, the relentless accusers of Mark Zuckerberg, are planning to appeal the Ninth Court of Appeals decision all the way to the Supreme Court. The "Winklevii," as Mashable puts its, contend that they were "defrauded by Facebook and Zuckerberg and that Facebook committed securities fraud during the mediation that resulted in the 2008 settlement." So is there any chance the Supreme Court will grant the two former Harvard crew brothers a spot on the docket? Not likely. "The Supreme Court takes less than five percent of cases and generally only takes cases where constitutional issues are at stake," Mashable notes.
...comes as the company initiates IPO talks.... CNBC reports that since April Facebook has been discussing the possibility of an initial public offering with banks. On the table: timing and size. Facebook did not comment.
...and introduces a Bing partnership. Starting late Monday, Bing launched its new search initiative that uses its alliance with Facebook to personalize a users search results. "It's a first step in the evolution of how search can become more human," says Stefan Weitz, a director of Bing at Microsoft. Here's how it works: when Bing users search for any topic, their results will be influenced by what their Facebook friends like and share. Here's the catch: you have to be logged onto Facebook and Bing in order for this feature to work. The New York Times reports that even though Google has consistently dominated the U.S. search market (65.4 percent to Bings 14.1 percent ), Bing hopes that its new conversational and humanized approached will get more people to choose them over Google.
Hold on just a minute. Wait, have you ever wondered exactly how Google became the online search engine? According to Business Insider, it was the company's aversion to "stickiness" that made it a success—the idea that people shouldn't stay on the site for long. Because most websites gain more revenue through advertisements, stickiness is usually a good thing. But Google, ever the contrarian, believed a better business plan for a search engine would involve people getting off their site as quickly as possible. Seems they got it right.
White House: "We need small businesses." In recognition of National Small Business Week, the White House released a new report on the current small business climate, heralding President Obama's investments to support small business and job creation. The report, officially titled "The Small Business Agenda: Growing America's Small Businesses to Win the Future," details seven key areas where the Obama administration has made significant strides to help small businesses create jobs, such as lending $53 billion to the SBA, and offering 17 tax breaks for small businesses through the Recovery Act and the Small Business Jobs Act. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our communities," Obama said in a statement. "We will continue to create new incentives to help small business owners hire new workers, promote growth and do what America does best—invest in the creativity and imagination of our people."
How to pitch an icky product. You know those products that will just never be sexy...think anything bathroom-, illness-, or cleaning-related. Or all three. That's what Hana R. Solomon came up against when trying to market her signature product, an angled bottle that, when filled with warm saline, is used to clean the nasal cavity. How'd she get around the ick-factor? She didn't. She just confronted it head-on in ads, with a healthy dose of humor. "I am wearing a white jacket, and then a cord of [animated] mucus bounces off my hand," she told the Wall Street Journal. "I start out saying, 'Gross, right? Well, so is that in your nose.'"
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CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer
Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.