In Defense of a College Education
Do entrepreneurs need a college education? Flickr and Hunch co-founder Caterina Fake may have argued that the best way to become an entrepreneur is to drop out of college, but Read Write Web profiles one college entrepreneur who disagrees. Jay Rodrigues is a 21-year-old University of Pennsylvania junior who secured Series A funding for his college-calendaring system start-up, DormNoise. "Don't drop out of school, because for every Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, there are hundreds of entrepreneurs who drop out and go nowhere," he advises. "At least if you stay in school, you'll have an education." But it isn't easy juggling his roles as CEO and college student--Rodrigues says he works about 16 hours a day. "Be 150 million percent sure this is what you want," he says. For more on successful college entrepreneurs, check out our 2010 list of America's Coolest College Start-ups.
How to stop being a control freak? Name a number two. For business owners who built their company from scratch, letting go can be hard. But the Wall Street Journal cautions that there are worse consequences than the fear of losing control, such as burnout or unexpected emergencies if for some reason you can't be around to make sure things run smoothly. "Invariably an owner will hit a wall where they feel overworked and like a prisoner to their business," says Daniel M. Murphy, co-founder of The Growth Coach. Ceding day-to-day operations to a number two can free you up to work on the big picture. Ideally, their skills and work style will be complementary to your own. What better time than now, adds Murphy, "There's such great talent out there that's affordable."
The man who fired Steve Jobs. We told you last week about the dangers of saying no when the founder of Apple offers you a job. Now, the Daily Beast tracks down John Sculley, 25 years after he engineered a coup at Apple computer to oust Steve Jobs. Sculley, unsurprisingly, feels bad about the whole thing, telling the Beast that he should never have been the CEO in the first place. Meanwhile, the website digs up testimony given to an oral history project by Arthur Rock, a VC who was on the board when Jobs got fired, that hints at a culture clash. "I believe [Jobs] had a goatee and a mustache and long hair - and he had just come back from six months in India with a guru, learning about life," Rock said. "I'm not sure, but it may have been a while since he had a bath." For a glimpse at what Apple's board was thinking back when they fired jobs, fire up the Inc.com time machine, and check out to this 1987 Q&A with Sculley.
How to build foot traffic. For one small business owner, the answer was bananas. Yep. Bananas. (Via the Los Angeles Times.)
Oh, AT&T. The sole U.S. provider of wireless service for Apple acknowledged yesterday that the e-mail addresses of more than 114,000 iPad owners had been uncovered by a group of computer experts through a security hole in AT&T's website. Gawker Media first reported the security breach, calling it an "embarrassment" that exposed "dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians." Could the slip up further complicate AT&T's rocky relationship with Apple? Well, Apple is staying mum on the issue, leaving it to AT&T to apologize and clean up the PR mess.
Which type of entrepreneur are you? Tech entrepreneur and UC-Berkeley professor Steve Blank has winnowed the spectrum of entrepreneurship down to four major types: small businesses, scalable start-ups, large companies, and social entrepreneurs. Although seemingly very different, Blank demonstrates that the four types of entrepreneurs are all searching for a sustainable business model and all have common characteristics such as resiliency, agility, tenacity, and passion. The differences are most notably seen in each group's risk tolerance, size and scale of vision, and personal financial goals.
Hiring and firing deli-style. A CNNMoney contributor and small business owner herself, Vickie Elmer attended a crash course on SMB hiring and firing given by Zimngerman's the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based deli with a cult-like following. There she picked up a few tricks she might apply to her own Italian ices business, Mity Nice. One of the hiring tests the deli employs is having most potential hires work a trial shift on a busy Saturday or what they call "Tilt-A-Whirl" in which they simultaneously interview multiple candidates. Other ideas came from the attendees such as asking job seekers to sell you a pen to gauge their sales ability. For more information, read our guide on improving your hiring practices.
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