Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Could this start-up be the next Snuggie? Two Wisconsin entrepreneurs are hoping to infringe on the lucrative wearable blanket's territory, the Associated Press reports. Tyler Galganski and Dave Hibler, the 25-year old founders of Forever Lazy, peddle their fleece, footless, hooded "adult onesies" online from Hibler's parents' basement. And while the operation may seem casual, the Wisconsin pair have actually gained quite a bit of recognition for their ad hoc basement start-up. BusinessWeek named them 2010 finalists for America's Best Young Entrepreneurs, with Forever Lazy projected to earn more than $500,000 by the end of this year. Galganski and Hibler have also gained publicity from the Today Show and In Touch Weekly magazine as "Fergie's favorite way to cover up."
Could today's unemployed be tomorrow's unemployable? The New York Times explores this question, stating simply: "The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work." This is troubling news considering most recent Labor Department data shows that unemployment rose from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent in November. One New Yorker, who has been unemployed since 2008, tells the Times, "I am so worried somebody will look at me and say, 'Oh, he's probably lost his edge.' I mean, I know it's not true, but I'm afraid I might say the same thing if I were interviewing someone I didn't know very well who's been out of work this long.'" The Labor Department also reports that people out of a job for less than five weeks are three times more likely to find a job than people unemployed for more than a year. Still, Jay Goltz, a serial entrepreneur and former Inc. contributor, says there's hope for people with a time lapse on their resumes. 'Generally speaking, when the economy's good and someone's been out of work for a year, you might look at them funny," he tells the Times.
Stemming the leak. What can you do when your service provider intentionally takes down your site? Not much, it seems. The Wall Street Journal reports that the WikiLeaks domain service provider, EveryDNS.net, made the site inaccessible to U.S. users after what they claimed to be a series of attacks on the site by hackers who threatened "the stability of the EveryDNS.net infrastructure." The Journal explains that "people coordinating such malicious attacks use a network of often virus-infected computers to make multiple requests to call up a website, which can overwhelm the site." WikiLeaks, which is despised, lauded, and lampooned—depending on who you ask—was also recently removed from Amazon servers, revealing the large-scale pressure organizations face in either supporting, or not supporting, a controversial site.
The top start-ups of 2010. The year is not quite over yet, but the folks at ReadWriteWeb are getting an early jump on their year-end lists with their recap of the top 10 start-ups of 2010. Rather than focus on such big name start-ups such as Groupon and Zynga, the list focuses in on some of the year's scrappier start-ups. Among the honorees on this year's list is the voyeuristic ChatRoulette, the photo-sharing app Instagram, and the iPad-friendly reader Flipboard.
Fix it within 24 hours. That's Ford's policy for dealing with engineering flaws, hitches, and customer complaints. Bernie Fowler explains in the Harvard Business Review how his company integrated the "24-hour rule," which he calls an "iconic yet practical measure of performance," into its customer service and engineering. What's more: it is beginning to show results.
Will ending the Bush tax cuts hurt small businesses? No matter how the tussle over this one plays out in Congress, you probably won't see a change in your tax rates. "Not if you're one of the 98 percent of all small business owners who have less than $250,000 a year in adjusted gross income," writes Rhonda Abrams, president of a publisher of books for entrepreneurs, in USA Today. Abrams dissected the political rhetoric behind the fight to extend, or repeal, the Bush-era tax cuts across various income brackets. If small businesses in the highest brackets face a tax hike, will they put a freeze on hiring, as many politicians insist? Nope, she says, since most "small businesses" in this category are actually hedge funds and wealthy individuals who have little to no impact on jobs. And will extending a tax cut for the wealthy have a trickle-down effect on entrepreneurs? Not so, since the Congressional Budget Office found the Bush tax cuts to have a very low stimulative effect.
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