A craft beer pioneer. On the eve of the Boston Beer Co.'s 25th anniversary, the Boston Globe has an interesting profile of Jim Koch, the company's founder and the man who brought the world Samuel Adams beer. A true entrepreneurial success story, Koch began brewing his famous beer in his kitchen and without the money to distribute his creation in kegs or even six-packs, he initially sold his beer in cases of loose bottles. Launched on Boston's Patriot Day in 1985, Sam Adams brought a craft-brew sensibility to a world dominated by Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. As Koch explains, "More than anything else, what we have done over the past 25 years is change the perception of American beer and have shown that beer is a beverage that is as complex and as deserving of respect as fine wine." Koch's influence can be seen in the tremendous rise of craft breweries around the country, including one of our favorites, Dogfish Head.
Life inside the Googleplex? A little creepy. So says Gawker, after reading software developer Tim Bray's account of "waking in his Google apartment and taking a Google car to Google dinner and then Googling home via Google." Bray, a veteran of Sun Microsystems, took a friendly tone, but commenters and Gakwer noted a whiff of totalitarianism in his descriptions, including: riding the Google bus while enjoying Google Wi-Fi, his "tactiturn Czech" roommate's refusal to discuss his "data security" work, and an "out of the way" sushi joint just a couple of Google parking lots away.
How to sell something everyone else is giving away for free. If you're trying to sell a weather application on the iPad--where a bunch of free weather apps already exist--the secret is emphasis on design and ease-of-use, advises Business Insider. Knowing that its standard weather app was subpar to contenders like Weather Channel or Weather Bug, Apple opted not to pre-load its own weather application. But even with excellent free options, Weather HD, which sells for 99 cents, is still making its way up the list. Developer Amr Ramadan knew he would need to make something gorgeous, that buyers would want to show off. And it worked. Where other weather apps feel like web pages, "Weather HD feels like a ride," says BI. Compare the results for yourself.
10 ways to be your own boss. Noted technology investor Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures is slated to speak at the 99% conference in New York City this week, and WebWorkerDaily has snagged a preview of his presentation. The slideshow gives a look at ten popular companies and firms, and discusses what specific categories of entrepreneurship they fill. Foursquare, for example, made the list as "The Breakout," while Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report made the list as "The Sole Proprietor."
Twitter grows up. Having just announced its intention to finally make money, Twitter revealed more plans for improving its service yesterday. The New York Times has the news and reports that the service has seen a big jump in web traffic: 180 million visits per month, 106 million registered users, and 55 million posts per day. Meanwhile the company is adding features that will allow tweets to be tagged to a specific restaurant or event, and it's planning to release a link shortener and an Android app. (Via Techmeme.) For more on how your business can use Twitter, see this article or keep reading.
Pitch your startup idea on Twitter. Business plan competitions are now organizing contests on Twitter to turn the elevator pitch into a "biztweet" or "twitpitch," giving entrepreneurs fewer than 140 characters to pitch their businesses, The NY Times' You're the Boss blog writes. At least four competitions are awarding cash prizes, as much as $1,400, for the best pitches. See the blog for a list of the organizations and their competitions.
The changing demographics of Internet users. The population of people in the U.S. using the Internet is not only growing--it's expected to hit 77 percent of the population by 2014--but it's also starting to mirror the racial and ethnic breakdown of the country offline. This news comes from eMarketer, a digital marketing research and analysis firm. The company also reports that the average age of Internet users is rising (via AdWeek). Learn more about how the ongoing census and the country's shifting demographics will impact your business.
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