Dear Steve . . . By now, emailing Steve Jobs might be its own Internet meme. But Valleywag blogger Ryan Tate took Jobs' recent bout of responsiveness to new heights this weekend when Tate (cocktail in hand), decided to fire off a missive about Apple's aggressive stance on censoring apps it deems pornographic. The email chain, which lasted from 9.30 at night to past 2 o'clock in the morning also (heatedly) covered: Apple's decision to shut Flash out of the iPad, Jobs' beef with Adobe, and whether having kids changes your stance on pornography. Despite the tone of his responses, Tate came away impressed. "Rare is the CEO who will spar one-on-one with customers and bloggers like this . . . Jobs not only built and then rebuilt his company around some very strong opinions about digital life, but he's willing to defend them in public. Vigorously. Blunty. At two in the morning on a weekend. Read the entire exchange on Valleywag.
How to expand your business overseas, overnight. Groupon, the little company with the big valuation just acquired a clone of itself, a company called CityDeal, which has been operating in Europe (via Fast Company). Incidentally, the founders of CityDeal previously started an eBay clone which was snapped up by eBay. Not the most inspiring business model, but you have to admire their exit strategies.
How to Write SEO-friendly headlines. In The New York Times today, media columnist David Carr has a witty column on media companies and what they have to consider to make their content SEO-friendly for online search engines. Titled "Taylor Momsen Did Not Write This Headline" (for the SEO-friendly Gossip Girl actress and singer), Carr explores the new art of SEO headline writing that publishers such as The Huffington Post have perfected. "[B]oth Twitter and Facebook have become republishers," Carr writes, "with readers on the hunt for links with nice, tidy headlines crammed full of hot names to share with their respective audiences." Sure enough, as of this morning, Carr's column ranks right at the top of Google search results Taylor Momsen on Google. Point Carr. For more info on companies that have a great SEO formula, check out our How I Did It on Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington.
Why are women-owned businesses lagging behind? Between the years of 1992 and 2006, the total number of women-owned businesses jumped almost 50 percent, from 5.4 million to 10.4 million. Despite that impressive growth, revenues from women-owned businesses are still only 27 percent of the average men-owned business. Today's Wall Street Journal looks into some of the reasons why these women-owned firms still lag behind men-owned businesses. In addition to traditional stumbling blocks such as less access to capital and fewer networking opportunities, the Journal also attributes the lack of growth seen in women-owned firms to a different mind-set most women have when starting a business. The article offers a few suggestions for fixing the discrepancy, including encouraging women to join networking groups and to change their focus to more high-growth opportunities. Check out this guide for more info on becoming a certified woman-owned business.
What's the fuss about older entrepreneurs? People aged 65 to 69 years old start businesses at a rate 25 times higher than among people aged 20 to 24, which has some observers worried that the trend is indicative of a lack of job opportunities for older Americans. Compounding that concern is the fact that they also risk losing their retirement savings in a failed venture. Over at Small Business Trends, Scott Shane argues against that case--highlighting a report that shows older people have started more businesses than people aged 20 to 34 in every single year from 1996 to 2007. Shane also points out several studies showing that businesses funded by older entrepreneurs tend to fare better than those funded by their younger counterparts. "There must be a sweet spot when starting a business best balances the benefits of experience and the risk of being unable to recoup lost retirement savings," he concludes.
Selling streamlined ideas. A new start-up website yoomoot is trying to streamline conversation on the web with the aim of helping "good ideas get found," reports TechCrunch. Instead of messy discussion forums and comment threads, yoomoot will stick to a defined Q&A format, with questions and answers neatly arranged in columns. Even a discussion with a thousand posts and a hundred tangents, will have the feel of an easy-to-browse Wikipedia page. In addition to the freestanding website, businesses will be able to access a private version of the site called yoomootpro to manage discussions, while blogs and sites with high traffic volumes will be able to plug in to yoomoot for a fee. The layout may look different, but the question remains: can yoomoot's UK-based founders prove that their site is any different than its competitor?