Tag Archive | "home office"

A long discussion of URL shorteners

As social networking — particularly Twitter and similar short-form messaging services — becomes more and more important to disseminating product and service information across a wide audience, we’ve seen an explosive growth of “URL shorteners,” services that are intended to take those long http-colon-slash-slash-tonsofgobbledeygookydogpilesfromyourcontentmanagementsystem and make them short-form friendly. Since we’re adding an entire section [...]

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The carpenter builds a house

I love this story which landed in my email box from Michael Josephson over at CHARACTER COUNTS! this morning. He’ll probably sue me from here to Thursday (he is, after all, a lawyer), but it’s worth sharing in its entirety. I have a much different take on it than Mr. Josephson — I see it [...]

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Financial structure, debt, and why they matter

Two recent articles in The New York Times deserve every entrepreneur’s close attention, the first dealing with small businesses caught up in the fireworks when their lenders go under and the second dealing with the impending bankruptcy of General Growth Properties, the second-largest owner of shopping malls in the country and the first major commercial [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 17

You see, the trick is in telling the difference. In discussing the delicate line that regulators must walk, he said: “The challenge faced by regulators is to strike the right balance: to strive for the highest standards of consumer protection without eliminating the beneficial effects of responsible innovation on consumer choice and access to credit.”. [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 16

What happens when your bank fails? Your overextended small biz loan becomes toxic. Clashes like this are increasingly taking place across the country, as banks struggle through their worst crisis in a generation. And Mr. Williamson is part of a niche industry that buys at bargain-basement prices the hard-to-collect commercial loans that the Federal Deposit [...]

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A decidedly disrespectful history of taxes and the folks what hate ‘em

Today is tax day! April 15! My wife and I received our refunds months ago, but people all over the country are celebrating tax day with Fox News-sponsored Tea Parties. Teabaggers from Beverly Hills to Greenwich Village are protesting tax hikes that have not in fact occurred, making Tea Parties the first protest in history [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 15

This is officially the definition of “deflation,” but, thankfully, without the “spiral” part. Consumer prices fell 0.4 per cent over the year to March, the labour department said yesterday, and dipped 0.1 per cent last month from February owing to weak energy and food prices. The drop in prices has lessened pressure on consumers who [...]

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Microsoft PubCenter

How fast things move! Our book, Shoestring Venture is about to celebrate its fourth month and already our section on Web advertising is a bit out of date. The book helps you out with networks such as AdSense, Yahoo!, and Ask, but our section on Microsoft LiveOffice is now officially a dinosaur as the second [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 14

I hadn’t really thought of lickable newspapers before, but will that save The Boston Globe? Just as retailers stuff American newspapers with coupons and sales promotions, the idea is to get food and drink companies to attach a sealed pouch, containing a flavour sample, to front-page newspaper advertisements for their products. Consumers can then take [...]

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Big opportunities in cocoa — and not the programming language

One great glaring fault of the mainstream business media and the business blogosphere is its knee-jerk focus on tech news. We’re so tuned to the tech world, that all this tech noise drowns out incredibly valuable start-up news and business success in transistor-challenged businesses. And in what is perhaps one of the most processor-free businesses [...]

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Thinking strategically, part four: Porter’s Five Forces

In part three of our startup strategy primer, we discussed the crucial difference between industry analysis and business strategy. Substituting industry analysis for business strategy is the most common — and most fatal — mistake entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and online “strategy experts” make. The one and only purpose of industry analysis is to determine the “attractiveness” [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 11 & 12

We shoulda said “so long” so long ago. Top bankers have been leaving Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and others in rising numbers to join banks that do not face tighter regulation, including foreign banks, or start-up companies eager to build themselves into tomorrow’s financial powerhouses. Others are leaving because of culture clashes at merging [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 10

As the U.S. contemplates bailing out the carmakers, Europe contemplates bailing out the banks, Japan has its eye on Pokemon. Included in a giant stimulus package he unveiled on Friday was a target of raising exports from the “content” sector to about 18 percent of exports from less than 2 percent now. . . . [...]

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Thinking strategically, part three: industry attractiveness and competitive advantage

In this, our third blog about business strategy, we try to unravel the easily confused difference between the attractiveness of an industry and what I believe to be the foundation of strategy, competitive advantage. You see, what typically passes for business strategy in the lion’s share of business proposals that come my way are industry [...]

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Getting paid on Twitter: TipJoy

The second edition of our foundation book, Shoestring Venture, is nearing completion and we have just added a section on getting paid through Twitter. While this market was dominated by TipIt, a decidedly problematic solution, TipJoy has just released an API for asynchronous payments through Twitter. Right now, the application is most suited to people [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 8

Well, if you only need thirty-six billion dollars, I’m sure taxpayers would be glad to lend it to you! Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank, needs to raise $36.6 billion in equity to bring capital ratios in line with its peers, according to Oppenheimer & Co. With investors reluctant to commit new funds [...]

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Everything I learned about business I learned at the movies: selling the bottom-feeder way

I get two or three broker calls per month trying to sell me stock. If you’re successful as an entrepreneur, your phone will be ringing off the hook two or three times a week from broker “chop shops.” So you might want to check out the new blog, They Madoff With Your Money, dedicated to [...]

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If our states were in business, the government would be bailing them out.

Funny, that’s what the government is doing, in fact. Reason has a must-read article on how our states mismanaged their budgets between recessions. The irrational growth of state spending, far outpacing inflation and population growth, did not produce any measurable increases in the quality of state services while putting the states in untenable positions for [...]

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Amazon stops paying for search engine referrals

More than a few of us hale and hearty Web entrepreneurs pay for our daily dose of McDonalds coffee by selling Amazon referrals, the most lucrative being the SEO whizzes who game the paid search engine listings to direct traffic at Amazon. Well, as of today, the paid search engine listings trick is worth absolutely [...]

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The Biz Roundup April 7

Drive this in L.A. and your life expectancy drops to 5 minutes. General Motors and Segway on Tuesday unveiled a tiny two-wheeled, two-seat electric car designed to drive on its own and automatically avoid collisions. . . . Neither GM nor Segway gave any prices or dates when production might start for the vehicle, dubbed [...]

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