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6 Things Entrepreneurs Wish Family, Friends and Employees Understood

6 Things Entrepreneurs Wish Family, Friends and Employees Understood

Entrepreneurs often feel misunderstood and with good reason. If people around them acknowledge the following six points, everyone can benefit. I started my first company when I was 25.  I was a reluctant entrepreneur. My sales abilities outgrew three companies, … Continued

Wearable Tech Fashion: What Would You Try On?

Wearable Tech Fashion: What Would You Try On?

Google Glass’ coming-out party last month solidified the growing popularity of wearable tech fashion. According to an infographic by footwear retailer Brantano, the high-tech specs are just one example of electronic gadgets that double as sartorial statements. In addition to Glass, you can don InteraXon’s … Continued

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, A Former Comedian, Gave A Commencement Speech That Will Make You LOL

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, A Former Comedian, Gave A Commencement Speech That Will Make You LOL

I’m only 3 minutes into this commencement speech Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gave over the weekend at the University of Michigan and I have already literally laughed out loud at least twice.

This makes sense because Costolo is a former improv comedian.

The speech is also full of wisdom, according to blue chip New York VC Fred Wilson. It is “relevant to everyone working in the startup world,” he says.

Watch:

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HIRING AND FIRING WITH THE COMPANY’S VISION IN MIND

HIRING AND FIRING WITH THE COMPANY’S VISION IN MIND

A COMPANY’S CORE PRINCIPLES SHOULD GUIDE KEY STRATEGY DECISIONS AND CULTURE, BUT THEY SHOULD ALSO DETERMINE WHO STAYS AND WHO GOES. Creating, articulating, and sticking to your vision is the single most important job you have as a leader. We … Continued

What Startups Need to Understand About The Booming Corporate Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

What Startups Need to Understand About The Booming Corporate Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

Every year, large corporations spend billions of dollars on supporting, investing in, marketing to, and donating to small businesses, startups, and the organizations that support them. These numbers are rising dramatically as interest in the entrepreneurship ecosystem rises. Startups who understand this new landscape stand to save money via discounted products and services, receive money via loans, investments, licensing, procurement, and acquisition, build brand & customer base via partnerships, and access startup support. As a co-founder of Empact, I’ve gained a unique, all-encompassing perspective. Empact is both a convener of the country’s top young entrepreneurs (Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour / Empact Showcase) and of entrepreneur-focused Fortune 500 Companies (Empact Summit on the Future of Entrepreneurship Education). Why the Boom Is Happening

Recruit the best employees for your startup with these 5 steps

Recruit the best employees for your startup with these 5 steps

Quality, talented employees are critical to the success of a small business. Startups just don’t have the time to invest in employees who may or may not perform up to expectations. As a result, recruiting the right kind of people is crucial to keeping your company growing at the pace you expect.

If finding those perfect people to work for you seems like a challenging prospect, help is at hand. Langley Steinert, president and CEO of auto research site CarGurus.com has some advice he says has helped his company grow.

Here are five of his tips:

1. Get current employees involved. Most likely, your talented employees know your company, want it to succeed and know the kind of people you need most. Steinert’s company employs a referral system that generates cash rewards for recruiting talent. He argues that not only does that kind of system open you up to quality recruits, but it shows your employees you trust their judgement, and allows them to make a little extra money in the process.

2. Don’t place too much weight on prior experience.  The best employees are “smart, resourceful and innovative,” says Steinert, and that might not have much to do with experience. While relevant experience can be a valuable asset, Steinert points out that you don’t want your new hire recycling old strategies used at other companies. Rather, your employees should be able to rise to any challenge with fresh ideas and solutions that work.

3. Don’t hire out of desperation. When faced with a rapidly growing company, it’s tempting to hire the first candidate that comes along. Resist the temptation, Steinert advises. One bad hire made in haste is not worth potentially derailing your company. It’s best to keep your standards high and wait for the right person.

4. Make sure the candidate fits your corporate culture. Talent is great to have, but if your new hire can’t have a comfortable conversation with everyone in the office, that is a problem. Steinert calls it the “would I want to grab a beer with this person?” test. If the answer is no, the new candidate is probably not the best fit for your company. Keep looking.

5. Sell them on why your company is great. Recruiting is a two-way street. Potential employees should be excited to work for your company, so stress the benefits of what makes your company worth working for. That may help win over a talented candidate who has offers from other companies, and proves you respect that person’s abilities.

Read Steinert’s full article available at Inc.com.

Writer Teaches Himself To Code In His Free Time And Now Has One Of The Hottest Productivity Apps

Writer Teaches Himself To Code In His Free Time And Now Has One Of The Hottest Productivity Apps

Carrot is a three-month old to do list app with a personality. While most to do list apps get abandoned after a few uses, Carrot keeps people coming back by turning completing tasks into a game. What’s most interesting about Carrot, … Continued

2 Women Have Raised $3.5 Million For A Controversial, Girls-Only App That Objectifies Men

2 Women Have Raised $3.5 Million For A Controversial, Girls-Only App That Objectifies Men

Alexandra Chong LuLu founder

In London, two long-time friends Alison Schwartz and Alexandra Chong have an app that helps women anonymously gossip about men. 

On Lulu, men aren’t allowed in, and women can anonymously rate them without their consent.  The men, who are all guys the women know via Facebook, are rated on a scale of one to ten. Their profiles are automatically pulled in when the women they know access Lulu. When rating a man, women are prompted to share how they know him (friend, ex-girlfriend, etc), then asked to check off all the good and bad qualities about the man that apply.

The tone is playful and funny. Quality hashtags include #Big Feet and #One Woman Man for pros, and #Obsessed With His Mom and #Napoleon Complex for cons. The women can see how many people have favorited a profile (people following that man’s profile for real-time updates and alerts), and how many women have viewed the profile. 

The app purposely has no free form spots, so the women can’t get too nasty. This also helps protect Lulu from some lawsuits.

The app reads like a quiz in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. There’s even a “Dear Dude” portion of the app that lets women ask men anything. Editorial Director Alison Schwartz says thousands of submissions come in all the time, and that engagement rates are really high with the content. Many of the women ask follow up questions too.

The company is led by Schwartz and Chong, who first met during summer vacations in Jamaica where they both had family. They each attended law school and, while in London, Alexandra fell in love with startups. She called Schwartz, who was working in New York with a book publishing company, and the pair started plotting Lulu.

The idea for Lulu came from a post-Valentine’s day brunch. Chong sat at a table of women who were friends and friends of friends, gossiping about everything from the men in their lives to trusted dermatologists. She wanted to find a way to harness that gossip and voice, which women magazines have successfully done, online.

lulu“If you put even one guy in the mix, the candor of that conversation changes,” Schwartz told Business Insider. “We thought there was a real opportunity to tap into informal girl talk and gossip.”

Lulu began as a desktop product in December 2011 with $950,000 in funding, but last summer the founders realized it needed to be mobile-first. They re-launched Lulu for iOS and Android last June and raised another $2.5 million in February. Investors include Yuri Milner, Jawbone co-founders Hosain Rahman and Alexander Assely, Path’s Dave Morin, Passion Capital and PROfounders Capital. 

Since mid-January, 80 million profiles have been viewed on Lulu, 12 million searches have been conducted, 7.5 million reviews have been read, and there have been 6 million user sessions. Lulu says users come back on average eight times per week.

Regardless of its tone, the app inherently draws controversy. A number of men have complained about their profiles but there haven’t been any lawsuits filed yet. Schwartz says her team immediately removes men’s profiles if they write in and complain. She also says men will go through great lengths to get into the app to review their feedback, including changing their sex on Facebook to female. 

Schwartz says her developers are experts at finding the digitally sex-changed men and sends them a notification: “Dude, you’re a dude, but we love you anyway.” They’re also sent a link to a men’s Lulu app, where guys can update the profiles women see. 

Although Lulu was founded in London, the 14-person team has been marketing its app on college campuses throughout the United States. They started with Florida State and have been finding sorority leaders to push the app. Schwartz says their power users browse the app seven hours per week. As a result, Lulu has popped up in places the founders didn’t initially intend, including Colorado and Arkansas. Chong and Schwartz will be moving the company to New York City in the fall to further push the app in the states.

“We definitely feel this is about female empowerment and collective wisdom,” Schwartz says. “We also feel boys are just the beginning. We’ll win the trust of our girls here and then take them into other verticals.”

Here’s what Lulu looks like:

lulu

lulu

Now Watch: The Overly-Attached Girlfriend Explains How To Become A Viral Internet Star By Age 21

 
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The 10 Stupidest Things Ever Said By Tech’s Smartest People

The 10 Stupidest Things Ever Said By Tech’s Smartest People

Technology can be a finicky monster, seemingly going one way before ultimately going another. And attempting to predict its course with certainty can pretty set you up to look like a fool, many years later. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, … Continued

Serial Entrepreneurs Are More Successful

Serial Entrepreneurs Are More Successful

In a previous post, I discussed the definition of entrepreneurship and qualities inherent in entrepreneurs. I also mentioned some of the most successful entrepreneurs and an important characteristic they share: they’re serial entrepreneurs. They identify opportunities across industries and have great … Continued

New immigration plan outlined: Startup visa is a go, H1-B quota to rise, tougher monitoring required

The bipartisan “Gang of Eight” senators (depicted in the picture) is expected to file its immigration bill within a matter of hours, and with it come major implications for the tech industry and startup community, including the creation of a … Continued