Back in the Saddle

Great to see drive and determination, in all areas of life! [Passions, October] That's what an entrepreneur is all about, right? Thanks for the motivation. Here's to your comeback, Grace Ueng!

-- Leo, submitted via Inc.com

Will It Work?

Ponoko is interesting, but I don't think the business model is sustainable in the long term ["Let's Get Started," October].

There are two types of people who use the service -- designers and your everyday have-a-go techie. The everyday techie gets a kick out of making a few bits of acrylic to mount his robot parts on, but ultimately is not going to set the business alight. The designers love the cheap prototyping service, and it solves the problem of how to get started, but once you have a design you are happy with and a material spec (thanks to Ponoko's hard work), then a quick look under "Laser Cutting Services" in the yellow pages cuts your costs in half, and there is no shipping. There is already a "distributed manufacturing network" right in your city.

Name Withheld

The Right Priorities?

Reading the September issue, I was struck (even more than usual) by the entrepreneurs who are too busy for their families. One even stays in the car working while at her child's practices. Maybe, to be even more efficient, she could call a cab for the kid. At 67, I have seen many of my older, successful friends and mentors pass on. Not one of them said, "I only wish I'd spent more time at the office," as they passed to the other side.

Ben Gay III
Executive consultant
The Closers
Placerville, California

Taking a Step Back

I am getting ready to open a small coffee shop, and the family is already starting to feel the squeeze. My husband has a time-consuming job, and I have been a stay-at-home mom for six years. I can tell our daughter is starting to feel the difference in our time with her.

My husband and I spoke about Meg Cadoux Hirshberg's column [Balancing Acts, September] and have decided we are going to take the vacation we were already talking about not taking and to try to plan more family activities, to create the type of memories Hirshberg writes about.

Julie Saucedo
President
JAMMS
Sycamore, Illinois

I am 24 years old, and I have run (or tried to run) several companies. During these attempts, my girlfriend, fiancée, and now wife has been by my side.

Meg Hirshberg's columns give me, and I'm sure many other husbands, great insight into what the other person is experiencing while I pour myself into my business.

Often, I suspect that I can do better by my wife, but she doesn't call me out on it, because she knows how important my work is to me. Hirshberg's columns confirm my suspicions and articulate my wife's concerns. Every column is another checkpoint that reminds me to look at my business through a long-term lens and not be so caught up on that just-one-more-thing-and-I'll-be-happy mindset.

Zack Gallinger
Owner
All American Cleaning & Landscape
Portland, Oregon

Corrections

In September's Inc. 500 listings, we misstated the three-year growth rate for the company DSG. The correct growth rate was 175.3 percent.

In the same month's How I Did It feature on Dallin A. Larsen, we stated that Larsen's company, MonaVie, had contracted with Virgin Galactic to send MonaVie distributors on a commercial space flight. The two companies do not have a formal contract.

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Published on: Nov 1, 2009