Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
IPO predictions for the new year. We told you earlier this year that the IPO market was on the rebound, and now, Forbespredicts that 2011 will also be a good year for public offerings. With help from IPO research firm Renaissance Capital, Forbes picked what it believes will be the IPO class of 2011. Making the list of predictions are many of the usual suspects, LinkedIn, Skype, and Zipcar, which filed for an IPO in June only to be slowed down by "regulatory scrutiny over its acquisition of U.K. rival Streetcar," according to Forbes. And, after successful offerings by General Motors and Tesla in 2010, Renaissance also expects automakers like Fisker Automotive to go public in 2011. But the most "encouraging sign for the IPO market," according to Forbes is Groupon's rejection of Google's $6 billion offer, because "those companies that are not swallowed by bigger fish are likely candidates for public offerings."
"Why we have so few women leaders." Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's second-in-command and one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, gave a rousing talk at a recent TED conference. Her take on why women aren't leading in business, and moreover, the world? Too many women are passive and insecure, while men are more aggressive and confident. (The challenge? Aggressive women are more likely to be scorned than aggressive men.) She had three pieces of advice for young women who want to get to the corner office: "Sit at the table, make your partner a real partner, and don't leave before you leave." Confused? AllThingsD has the video of her full speech here.
Watch what you "Like." It may just come back to haunt you, The Wall Street Journalsays. A new recommendation service allows online retailers to tap comments and preferences collected by Facebook. So far, more than half of the top 25 retail sites, including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, have integrated with the Facebook platform. And with users' permission, these retailers have found slick new ways to generate recommendations (i.e. you like punk rock; try this leather jacket) and other services from Facebook's trove of personal data. Jacqueline Dover, a 31-year-old Philadelphian, recently became one of the more than 100,000 Etsy visitors to use the site's suggestion tool. "I didn't buy anything," Dover said, "but I'm certainly going to try the feature next time I'm shopping for a birthday gift and coming up clueless."
'Tis the season for giving. The holiday season brings out the giving spirit in everyone, but The Washington Post has the story of a handful of small businesses that have made charitable giving a core component of their businesses all-year-round. Perhaps most inspiring is the story of Bob's BMW, a Maryland-based motorcycle sales and parts dealership which raises over $100,000 annually on behalf of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation through a handful of fundraising events. Very impressive considering Bob's only has 30 employees and does less than $10 million in sales. As the owner of Bob's explains, "I do it because it needs to be done, because it makes me feel good and because it brings out the best in so many other people."
Laughing all the way to the bank. Snuggie infomercials are cheesy, but that cheesiness played a huge part in making the Snuggie one of the biggest success stories in infomercial history. "By the end of 2010, the company will have sold 25 million blankets, the equivalent of one for about every 12 residents of the United States," The New York Times reports. Snuggie representatives say that they will spend about $12 million in advertising this holiday season, significantly less than last year, because the product now retails in big-box chains. "The Snuggie has revolutionized the way people think about blankets," says Scott Boilen, the company's president. "People are collecting multiple Snuggies—it's like a shirt."
Have a happy holiday! The "From the Reporters" staff will be on hiatus until January 3rd. See you in 2011!