Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
The Facebook-funded school system. Mark Zuckerberg will appear on Oprah tomorrow to discuss his plans to donate $100 million to the Newark, New Jersey school system. Zuck was born and raised in Westchester County, and by all accounts has no roots in Newark, but The New York Times reports that the 26-year-old CEO was moved by a meeting with Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker in July. Booker has, according to the story, been campaigning lately to raise money for the Newark school district, which was deemed a failure in 1995 and has since been controlled by the state. So far, Booker's received millions of dollars from Oprah, herself, and sources say Zuckerberg is hoping his $100 million will lay the groundwork for a future education foundation. The Times writes, "This would be by far the largest publicly known gift by Mr. Zuckerberg, whose fortune Forbes magazine estimated last year at $2 billion." Talk about good timing.
Blockbuster's bust. Okay, it's not really a bust. The country's largest video company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Bloomberg broke the news this morning, and since, it seems like everyone has an opinion. Ars Technica calls the filing "giving in." The Wall Street Journal breaks down highlights and lowlights. MarketWatch writes that the company, by restructuring, "outlives its usefulness." We almost hate to ask, but what's your take?
A toolkit of SEO resources. The web is flooded with hundreds of sites and blogs claiming to have the secrets to good SEO. However, according to tech entrepreneur and SEO expert Neil Patel, "I know there are a lot of resources on SEO, but most of them are junk." In his latest blog post, Patel has weeded through through the junk to find 53 worthwhile SEO resources. Compiled neatly all in one place, Patel's suggestions offer news, information, and tips about SEO. Everything you've ever wanted to know about SEO.
When early sales can kill your tech business. Yes, some sales are better than no sales. But, as Steve Blank writes on his blog today, early sales success can often make sales teams content and cause infighting when engineers want to introduce a new product or service that's better for the business' long-term health. "I see this same pattern in early stage startups," Blank writes. "Early sales look fine, but often plateau. Engineering comes into a staff meeting with several innovative ideas and the head of sales and/or marketing shoot them down with the cry of 'It will kill our current sales.'" How to deal with these situations when the start-up may need to switch its business model (or "pivot" in Blankspeak)? "Pivots are not subject to a vote in the exec staff meeting. CEO's and their boards make the Pivot decisions."
Is this the Etsy of manufacturing? Shapeways, the Dutch upstart "custom manufacturing juggernaut" aims to be "the Kinko's of 3-D printing." So reports Fast Company, in an in-depth interview with the company's CEO, Peter Weijmarshausen. He discusses how he scored $5 million from Union Square Ventures, the firm that backed Twitter and Etsy.