How Airbnb became a surprise hit | Tech startups, giants defend net neutrality | Proposed Calif. food-safety bill takes aim at meal-kit companies
April 27, 2017
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The Lead
How Airbnb became a surprise hit
How Airbnb became a surprise hit
Gallagher (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
The idea for Airbnb initially received a chilly reception from investors, says Leigh Gallagher, author of "The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions … and Created Plenty of Controversy." Two key points in the company's history were when the founders rented out their own apartment to make extra money and when they were accepted into Y Combinator, she says.
Knowledge@Wharton (4/26) 
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Today In Startups
Tech startups, giants defend net neutrality
Entrepreneurs and internet startups are joining with some of the biggest web companies in the world to fight the effort by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to roll back the agency's net neutrality rules. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., expects "a tsunami of resistance from a grass-roots movement of Americans."
Bloomberg (4/26),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/26),  TechCrunch (4/26),  The Hill (4/26) 
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Proposed Calif. food-safety bill takes aim at meal-kit companies
Blue Apron has expressed concerns with a bill in California that would require employees in the meal-kit industry to receive safety certification similar to those required of restaurant workers. Blue Apron hired a lobbyist who called the bill "redundant, superfluous, and unnecessary to the business," but the company said it is not formally opposing the legislation.
BuzzFeed (4/26) 
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Priceline co-founder takes on business travel with Upside
Jay Walker, co-founder of Priceline, is looking to disrupt business travel with his latest venture, called Upside. The company buys from airlines and hotels at discounted rates, passes on some of the savings by selling travel packages and wins over business travelers by offering gift cards, Walker explained.
Fortune (4/26) 
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Make Your Startup Better
What to do when star employees hit a rough patch
When employees who have delivered stellar results suddenly start to struggle, it's important to meet with them or their managers and offer your assistance, entrepreneurs say. Review their workload to make sure they aren't overburdened, and check on when they last took a vacation.
SmartBrief/Leadership (4/26) 
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Improve your results by tracking sales velocity
Sales velocity, a measure of how quickly buyers are progressing through the pipeline, can help you evaluate the performance of your sales operation as a whole, writes Justin McGill, founder of LeadFuze.
CloserIQ blog (4/20) 
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Funding, IPOs and Acquisitions
When Entrepreneurs Fail
The benefits of filing for bankruptcy
In the past, entrepreneurs have avoided bankruptcy proceedings, which draw unwanted attention to the failure of a business, writes Erin Griffith. But filing has become an increasingly attractive option as struggling startups look to appease lenders and manage potentially valuable assets such as patents.
Fortune (4/21) 
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My best workers are people who strive in stress, and that can mean they're not always the best about taking vacations as often as they need them.
Adam Steele of The Magistrate, as quoted by SmartBrief/Leadership
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