Is "Don't Be Evil" Over?
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Google founders fret over privacy. Is "Don't Be Evil" falling by the wayside? The Wall Street Journal uncovers an internal memo from 2008 that suggests "soul-searching" at Google, as founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin resisted efforts by other executives to be more aggressive about using information about customer behavior. Among the ideas suggested in the memo: Using more data from Gmail accounts, creating an exchange for the buying and selling of data, and letting people pay to opt out of advertisements. The Journal says that Google fell behind competitors, who have aggressively exploited private data, but that the company is now trying to catch up. "[F]or years it resisted using any method to track people online without their knowledge at the fierce insistence of Sergey Brin and [Larry] Page," the Journal writes. "But the two men have gradually decided they can begin exploiting the data their company controls, without exploiting consumers."
The bad boss backlash. If you ever needed a reason not to flirt with your assistant, this would be it. Meet Jenny. She just quit her job in a series of dry erase board messages, which she then photographed and sent around to her entire office, about 20 employees total. Oh and they made it onto the Internet, of course. In addition to telling her boss, that "being your assistant's been a special hell," Jenny also calls attention to his bad breath, says she heard him call her a "hot piece of ass" over the phone and exposes the number of hours a week he spends playing FarmVille (19.7, if you're wondering). Jenny doesn't have a job lined up yet, but, she writes, "Something tells me I'll be just fine." And to think: this is only the second most dramatic resignation of the week.
Are salespeople overpaid? That's the question Jay Goltz ponders in a New York Times's blog post. He tells a story of a boss (and his wife) touring his top salesperson's lavish new home, which was nicer, his wife noted, than the boss's own. Bitterness, and harsh words, ensued. But Goltz says that if a solid commission structure is in place for a sales team, it can work, even when the numbers soar. The moral of the story? When your salespeople make money, you make money. "The fact is, though, that great salespeople are not easy to find, and they deserve to be paid more money than sometimes seems reasonable. They earn that money."
The anti-Facebook. Christopher Poole thinks 4chan, the site he created at age 15, is it. The two sites make for an interesting study in contrasts. 4chan, the sprawling online message-board community, is largely anonymous, highly amorphous, and usually disorganized. But with more than 1 million posts per day, and 730 million page views a month (that's similar what the New York Times attracts), the 4chan community proves that undirected self-organization works, the Washington Post reports. Users of the site have successfully pranked large organizations like Google and the Church of Scientology. Poole, now 22, recently raised $625,000 in funding from the likes of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and former AOL executive Kenneth Lerer, to create a new online community.
Steve Nash, point guard and…venture capitalist? Two years ago, Steve Nash, the two-time MVP point guard, took an unpaid internship at the ad agency Deutsch. Now, Nash is co-founding a venture capital firm with Mike Duda, one of the partners at the agency (via GigaOM). Nash hopes to raise a $20 million fund that will invest in "e-commerce, sports, durables and performance categories" with a focus on early stage companies. If you're thinking of pitching Nash or another VC, you should check out the advice of an entrepreneur who went over to venture capital.
How not to handle a product recall. In the 1980s, Johnson & Johnson was faced with a crisis. Seven people died from Tylenol capsules that were laced with cyanide. But the company's swift response to the recall allowed Tylenol to regain more than 80 percent of its previous market share within just a year. The most recent Tylenol recall is quite a different story, the Chicago Tribune reports. As one expert sums it up, "This has been a much slower response. There's been a lack of commitment, transparency or empathy, and who owns this crisis isn't completely clear." Major retailers are capitalizing on the recall by promoting their store brand drugs as safe alternatives. For tips on how to handle a product recall the right way, check out our guide.
Who's getting VC money these days? CB Insights has just published the second part of its study on the demographics of the entrepreneurs who received venture capital funding in the first half of this year. The first part (via Huffington Post) looked at race, age, and experience. The new study finds that 87 percent of founders are white, but that Asian founding teams tend to raise the largest rounds. And, in case you needed further proof of gender imbalance in Silicon Valley, 92 percent of VC-backed founders are men.
5 emerging Web design trends. Mashable lists some tricks to help you convert browsers into buyers. The post suggests paying for unique, custom photography rather than relying on stock images, getting creative with bold typography, and incorporating some sort of call to action. If you're hungry for more advice on putting together a stellar website, Inc. has more tips from the pros.
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