Why Greenpeace Isn't Facebook's Friend
Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
Facebook makes a new enemy. Yesterday we told you a bit about the brewing social media war between Google and Facebook, but now the 500-million-strong social network has a new enemy, and its name is Greenpeace (via TechCrunch). The feisty environmental non-profit is criticizing Facebook for running its new Oregon data center on 'dirty coal-fired electricity,' and given the activists' track record, it wouldn't be surprising if they pulled a high-profile prank on Zuckerberg if he doesn't mend his polluting ways. If you're worried about your business' footprint, check out our guide on encouraging employees to bike to work.
Advice for Digg's new CEO. Digg founder Kevin Rose recently told AllThingsD that being the company's head honcho is "a pain in the ass and something I would never wish on my worst enemy." That's too bad for Matt Williams. He's the guy who's been chosen to fill Rose's shoes as CEO following a massive overhaul of the site that has Digg users up in arms. Though Williams has plenty of experience as a former Amazon manager, the LA Times has some advice for him on how to handle the user backlash that most social media outlets know oh-so well. Following Twitter's example, the Times writes, Williams could learn one simple rule: "don't ignore the negativity." And at Facebook, the company with perhaps the most experience in the complaint department, the dominant strategy is to let things "stew for a bit" before addressing the major issues in a blog post penned by the CEO, himself. Rose, it seems, has taken the Zuckerberg approach, but it'll be up to Williams to decide where to go from here.
Technology gets all touchy feely. If you haven't gotten your hands on one already, it's time to get to know "touchable" gadgets. The New York Times reports this week that natural interfaces like the iPad's are part of the "general trajectory" in the computing industry, making machines more open to human gestures and intentions. Evidence comes from computer and tech companies across the board, including Amazon, which is already planning its first Kindle with a nonglare touch screen. Industry leaders believe the natural movements of such devices open up the market to even people who aren't so tech savvy.
The great lending myth. John Paglia of Pepperdine Capital Markets Project spoke to Business Week's Karen E. Klein about research that shows banks' recent hesitation to lend. While revenues have increased and expenses have decreased over the past six months, access to capital remains the number one concern for private companies. Banks have said that they aren't lending because demand for loans are down, but Paglia's research shows loan applications have in fact increased significantly over the past six months. Banks, it seems, are simply more risk-averse than they were two or three years ago, scrutinizing applications "in the manner they should have been doing all along," Paglia says. To evaluate your company's financial positions and ensure your access to loans, click here.
What smart phones can teach you about pricing. Think about it: no matter how buzzed-up or badly reviewed a smart phone is, it costs about the same, $199 (with the obligatory two-year contract). CNN asked some pricing and telecom experts why. There are several reasons. Sure, $199 might be a perfect price point for smart phone sales volume, but it's also not the whole cost of the phone. While you'll pay $199 for an HTC Tilt 2, which runs on an operating system "so out of date that Microsoft is set to completely abandon it" in months, that amount could also buy you an iPhone 4. Basically, wireless carriers charge as much as they think you'll pay for a phone, and themselves pay the rest of the cost of the device (really, that's $599 for a 16 GB iPhone). Adding to a carrier's overhead are phones that eat up more bandwidth, and phones that are difficult to service.
Meet the Trojan horse of office technology. Oh, it's just an iPad. Think Equities' Rajesh Ghai sent a note to clients yesterday mostly avoiding speculation about what Apple is set to announce this afternoon (via Fortune). He instead focused on why he believes the iPad is the magic device that's found a way to make it past companies' IT department gates. "Considering the iPad's early lead and traction in the tablet form factor, we believe it could be the product that finally makes Apple a broader IT hardware supplier into the enterprise," he writes, adding new - much higher - sales estimates for the iPad.
Renowned start-up accelerator comes to New York City. Just a few weeks after SeedStart became the first New York City start-up incubator to graduate a class of young companies, Boulder-based TechStars is entering the New York tech scene, writes Silicon Alley Insider. Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, VC Fred Wilson, and Thrillist.com CEO Ben Lerer are just some of the local names who have signed on as mentors. You can apply for the inaugural 2011 class here.
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