Each day, Inc.'s reporters scour the Web for the most important and interesting news to entrepreneurs. Here's what we found today:
On second thought... Building a business from scratch can be a grueling process, that's why tech entrepreneur Neil Patel says, "If I could do it all over again...I wouldn't." That's not to say that he would go back to a normal 9-to-5 job. Instead, Patel says he enjoys the challenge of growing an existing business. So if he had it to do all over again, he would look to purchase an underperforming business and help it achieve its potential. To that end, Patel gives step-by-step advice on finding businesses that would make good purchases, how to negotiate with owners, and even how to raise money to finance an acquisition.
A new way to alienate airline customers. Sure you can raise prices, charge for pillows, or strand customers on the runway for hours on end. Or you can simply insert yourself into the highly controversial debate over global warming. In an interview with the Irish Independent, Michael O'Leary, the combative CEO of low-cost airliner Ryanair, blasted the idea of climate change and those who espouse it. "Do I believe there is global warming? No I believe it's all a load of bullshit," O'Leary said. He went on to drop a couple of F-bombs and attack the scientific profession as a whole: "The scientific community has nearly always been wrong in history anyway...it is absolutely bizarre that the people who can't tell us what the [F-bomb] weather is next Tuesday can predict with absolute precision what the [F-bomb] global temperatures will be in 100 years' time." Of course, one has to wonder if O'Leary's beliefs have a little something to do with the fact that airplanes are a significant producer of man-made carbon emissions?
The Gray Lady gets hip. Mashable reports that The New York Times is coming around to the social news trend. In conjunction with Betaworks, the investment fund behind bit.ly and TweetDeck, the Times is expected to launch a personalized news service called News.me by the end of the year. Similar to what The LA Times did with its Newsmatch feature, News.me will reportedly track reader interest and tailor the content accordingly. According to Betaworks' VP of research and development, News.me will be "a vision of how social sharing and the real-time web are going to influence the news consumption experience."
The dangers of a lost smartphone. "How are you protecting your mobile data?" asks Kevin Tofel in BusinessWeek today. With more people storing personal information on their phones, more people will inevitably need to protect themselves against theft and fraud. It makes sense, then, that companies like Lookout, a smartphone security company, report recent increases in users. Lookout lets you track your phone if it's lost and can even clear the phone's data remotely. Apple's security app, Find My iPhone, offers a similar service, too. Mobile security isn't a new concern, but, as Tofel puts it, "with high smartphone adoption rates and a reliance on the devices for our personal data, it's high time that safe mobile computing take center stage."
Is college worth it? For years we've been told that college grads earn an average of $1 million more over their lifetime than those with a high school diploma. It turns out this might not be the case. According to CNN's Anne Fischer, that $1 million magic number is outdated and likely the exception rather than the rule. PayScale.com, a Seattle-based research firm, recently analyzed the exact return on investment a graduate is likely to see get for his or her tuition. The results state that "at many schools, investing in college costs, even at a full price [without financial aid], had been competitive versus getting a job out of high school and putting the money in the stock market or Treasury bonds." Fewer than 10% of four-year schools have delivered a net return on investment of $1 million or more over the course of grads' careers. There are plenty of jobs where you earn six figures without a degree. Or if you're feeling brave, you could even try starting your own business. Check out this youngster who's already making some big moves.
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.