Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Are price hikes good for business? Lowering prices during a recession may seem intuitive, but it's not always the best decision for your business. Today's Wall Street Journal reports on the success of a few small businesses that took the road less traveled and hiked their prices in the last year. "Some research indicates that racing to lower prices--even if it lures more customers--doesn't usually put a company ahead. Even in down economies, raising prices just slightly can have a greater bottom-line impact than lowering them," the article notes. However, raising prices merely to increase revenue can be a dangerous proposition and alienate customers. It's essential to add value to your product before you make the raise, the article points out. "It's important to make sure the customers feel the price increase is warranted."
Are you sure you're ready to be an entrepreneur? There are plenty of good reasons to become an entrepreneur, but those people who think that starting their own business means never having to answer to other people or work late hours again are in for a rude awakening. With that in mind, today's BNET has a list of reasons why you shouldn't become an entrepreneur. The post lists a number of myths most people assume about the life of an entrepreneur, and then answers those myths with the highly unglamorous truths of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. To be sure, for people willing to work extremely hard and face tremendous challenges, then entrepreneurship makes sense. But as the article states, "You'll be better off if you keep your expectations grounded somewhere in the realm of reality."
A fall from grace, indeed. LimeWire, the music service once estimated to live on one-third of all PCs worldwide, has been forced to disable its file-sharing software. After a four-year legal battle with the music industry, LimeWire was ordered to shut down by a federal judge in New York, according to the New York Times. Even though it has already incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in liability damages, the company plans to forge ahead with a legal subscription service this fall. "We look forward to embracing necessary changes and collaborating with the entire music industry in the future," the company said in a statement. But given their shaky status with still-ailing music labels, those plans may not materialize any time soon--and some already claim the service to be officially dead.
PayPal gets the chills. WePay, an upstart rival of the online payment system dropped into PayPal's developer conference yesterday, and dropped off a surprise: a 600 lb. block of ice. Frozen inside, surrounded by floating dollars, was a sign reading, "PayPal freezes your accounts. Unfreeze your money." A slow-speed security chase with a pallet mover ensued, and WePay was resigned to tow the block around the conference. As TechCrunch reports, PayPal has experience with trolling conferences. In its early days, before being acquired by eBay, the PayPal team offered attendees of an eBay event a chance to win a large jackpot if they'd wear a PayPal shirt to eBay events. Ah, how history repeats itself.
What's better than a Michelin star? A visit from former President Bill Clinton, says The New York Times. From an Icelandic hot dog stand to Bukhara, a hotel restaurant in India, wherever Clinton dines, crowds soon flock. The fact that Clinton almost never picks the restaurant himself or that this is the same man who long preferred a Big Mac to foie gras, seems not to matter. "People come in all the time and ask for that table," Avinash Deshmukh, a manager at the hotel where Bukhara is located, told The Times. "The strange thing is we've never advertised the fact that Mr. Clinton has eaten here. Everybody just seems to know that when they walk in the door."
A new look for MySpace. In an attempt to compete with the sea of more successful social networks out there, MySpace has, at long last, launched its complete redesign of the site, which seeks to establish MySpace as a hub for media and entertainment. The new site, according to PC World, has a new user interface, complete with "content hubs" that help users categorize and discover new videos, music, photos and news from MySpace's content partners. All of the content generated will be based on users' individual habits and preferences, and active users with the most friends will be promoted to the level of "curator," meaning MySpace will give them more tools to share media with their networks. The site is still in beta, and PC World reports that the mobile version will be available soon.
Apple's white whale. The elusive white iPhone has been bumped again--to Spring 2011. The news, first reported by Reuters last night, is hardly a surprise to analysts and tech bloggers. This is the third delay for the hotly anticipated take on the black phone, which has sold more than 14 million units in 89 countries. Apple first announced the device in June as a variant of the iPhone 4, saying both versions would land in stores at the same time. But the company postponed the white phone's release to July, then again to "later this year." So what's up with the delays? Apple is keeping mum this time, but they are presumably the same "manufacturing challenges" the firm has cited in the past. Speculation behind the delays has been rampant, with bloggers wondering if the phone will be launched at all. Some are even dubbing it "the white whale."
Staff editor KASEY WEHRUM has written for Inc. magazine on subjects ranging from the businesses behind professional bull riding to gadget inventor and father of the infomercial, Ron Popeil. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Worth, Budget Travel, and on MSNBC.com. He lives in Brooklyn.