Entrepreneurs spent 2010 debating the Big Questions. Is the health care bill good or evil? Is Facebook good or evil? If Russell Simmons can persuade the U.S. Senate to modify financial-reform legislation to exempt his prepaid debit card business from a cap on fees, how come I can't persuade my local zoning board to let me put a bike rack in front of my building? Such marquee issues commanded attention, but other business stories kept popping up like ads on an unblocked website. Take this quiz to see how well you have kept up.

1. A 17-year-old Moscow high schooler took the digital world by storm with a website that

  • A. Hypnotizes users and plants posthypnotic suggestions in their brains
  • B. Smells like ginger-bread baking
  • C. Randomly pairs people around the world for one-on-one video chats
  • D. Loves you as only a mother could

2. Which of the following phrases was not used to characterize a new business this year?

  • A. "The Facebook of local foods"
  • B. "The Zappos of banks"
  • C. "The Amazon of pot"
  • D. "The Twitter of industrial waste packaging"

3. A start-up that won outsize attention -- including a Today segment -- with its plan to let people publish anonymous online reviews of colleagues and bosses responded to the controversy by

  • A. Allowing people reviewed on the site to select the option "I'm rubber and you're glue and whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you"
  • B. Changing the company's name from Unvarnished to Honestly
  • C. Requiring users to refer to subjects only by names from the movie Reservoir Dogs, such as Mr. Blonde and Mr. Pink
  • D. Seeding the site with glowing reviews of the VCs who gave the company $1.2 million in the wake of the outcry

4. Starbucks annoyed left-leaning latte lappers by

  • A. Allowing customers to carry firearms inside its stores
  • B. Releasing a CD of acoustic variations on Glenn Beck's theme song
  • C. In a bizarre cap-and-trade scheme, selling to Red Bull the excess caffeine not used in its decaf coffee
  • D. Automatically asking customers whether they would like to supersize drinks like the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino

5. A county government agency in Oregon took a sledgehammer to free enterprise when it

  • A. Shut down a 7-year-old's lemonade stand because she didn't have a temporary restaurant license
  • B. Required game booths at a local fair to prominently display the odds of winning jumbo pink pandas
  • C. Told a small Baptist church it would have to payfor four police officers to provide traffic control at its annual holiday-crafts bazaar
  • D. Rejected Ted Turner's application to create a bison farm on the site of an underused Little League field

6. Which of the following did über-entrepreneur Elon Musk not accomplish this year?

  • A. Raised $226 million in an IPO of his car company, Tesla Motors
  • B. Launched into orbit a test rocket designed to carry astronauts to the space station
  • C. Appeared in the movie Iron Man 2, whose eponymous hero is loosely based on him
  • D. Retroactively invented the Internet

7. Which of the following was not cited by a major publication as a good source of business lessons?

  • A. The Grateful Dead
  • B. Dr. Seuss's Star-Belly Sneetches
  • C. Eugene H. Krabs (owner of the Krusty Krab on SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • D. Gumby (and, needless to say, Pokey)

8. The international organization that manages Web addresses tentatively approved a British entrepreneur's plan to sell domain names that end with

  • A. xxx to pornographers
  • B. zzz to makers of sleep aids
  • C. iou to gambling sites
  • D. aww to sellers of cute kitten posters

9. Responding to outrage over a $45 fee for carry-on luggage, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza

  • A. Flew from New York City to Fort Lauderdale in the hold of a plane to demonstrate the cushy conditions for checked bags
  • B. Made a video of himself stuffed into an overhead bin
  • C. Pledged that "for the foreseeable future" seat belts would remain free
  • D. Stamped his foot and blew a raspberry

10. Which of the following was not proposed by an entrepreneur to BP in response to the Deepwater Horizon debacle?

  • A. Sop up the oil with human hair.
  • B. Release oil-eating microbes.
  • C. Run a long tube from a fireboat that acts like "a giant vacuum cleaner."
  • D. Wire former CEO Tony Hayward to a device that delivers electric shocks whenever he says something appalling.

11. Which of the following stories pairing Google with insects is not true?

  • A. Google hired a beekeeper for its corporate headquarters.
  • B. Google's New York City office was infested with bedbugs.
  • C. Google is deploying swarms of locusts with cameras embedded in their thoraxes to help enhance Google Earth.
  • D. Google hired 300 temporary workers to detect bugs in Google Maps.

12. Which of the following workplace behaviors was not increasingly encouraged by businesses this year?

  • A. Breastfeeding
  • B. Dressing better
  • C. Napping
  • D. Whittling


1. C 2. D 3. B 4. A 5. A 6. D 7. D 8. A 9. B 10. D 11. C 12.D