How Bill Got His Groove Back

Stories about people like Bill Bartmann ["How I Lost It All. And How I'm Getting It Back," September 2010] are just what budding entrepreneurs need to hear. The entrepreneurial journey can be lonely, and you may not accomplish everything you had hoped to. But, as Bartmann proves, what matters most is who you become along the way.

Janus Gyan
CEO, Real St. Lucia Tours
Soufrière, St. Lucia

Keyword Crisis

The title of the story about ["How Google Cost Me $4 Million," September 2010] is misleading. Google did not cost Ryan Abood $4 million. The SEO company that Abood hired broke Google's rules. Thus, the headline of the story should read, "How My SEO Firm Cost Me $4 Million."

Martin J. Cowling
CEO, People First-Total Solutions
Melbourne, Australia

As Ryan Abood's story illustrates, jockeying for top Google positions can become an addiction. Over time, having top positions for five keywords just doesn't give your company enough buzz, and you want 10 keywords in top positions. As with most addictions, an obsession with keywords often ends badly. I like Abood's attitude. He realized he had screwed up, admitted it, and found new ways to increase visitors.

Michael Cooney
President, EngNet
Charlotte, North Carolina

The Trouble With Byproducts

There is a flip side to Jason Fried's story about hosting seminars in his office space [Get Real, September 2010]. Trying to make money from business byproducts distracts you from your main business. If teaching is Fried's passion, he should shift his career and mission to focus on that. Just don't call it a byproduct.

Laurent Desegur
CTO, Mobile Platforms, Zynga
San Francisco

A Cure for Start-Up Fever

Having just finished reading Meg Hirshberg's column about her husband's inherent desire to start new companies [Balancing Acts, September 2010] and pulled myself off the floor after laughing so hard as to fall out of my chair, I hasten to offer my advice. Might Gary Hirshberg offset his entrepreneurial desire with a less ambitious hobby? For example, he might consider adopting a puppy, starting a fish aquarium, taking flying lessons, building a miniature railway, or, perhaps, studying herpetology? I look forward to a piece in Inc. announcing Meg's success in pulling this off.

Jerrold Asher
Retired electronics salesman
Agoura, California

Living the Dream

In April, I was fired from my job as a financial adviser. Devastated, I pondered my options and eventually began applying at other financial institutions, until I picked up the May issue of Inc. I was immediately inspired by the magazine's how-to articles and success stories. To make my own long story short, I used the magazine as a source of inspiration and direction and created my own business. Thank you, Inc., for helping me make my dream a reality.

Justin Golden
President, Palladium Motorsports & Detail
Kansas City, Missouri


In the September Inc. 500 issue, we inadvertently omitted MFS Supply, a security company based in Solon, Ohio, from the Inc. 500. The company's three-year growth rate was 7,310.6 percent.

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