Most Clicked SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs Stories


1. Why VCs ask these "sneaky" questions

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 29, 2015

Investors often ask founders questions that have nothing to do with the current state of the venture but are quite telling nevertheless, writes venture capitalist Rob Go. He explains what these questions really mean and how the entrepreneur should answer. TechCrunch (04/28)


2. Dufl looks to make packing a thing of the past

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | May 01, 2015

Packing for a business trip could be a thing of the past with startup Dufl. Customers send their clothes to Dufl, which organizes and stores them for a monthly fee. When they travel, customers use an application to pick which clothes they want, and Dufl ships them to the destination. Business Insider (04/30) TechCrunch (04/30)


3. Startup looks to create land-based fish farm

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 27, 2015

Acadia Harvest recently received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Maine Technology Institute to turn its vision for an indoor fish farm into reality. If the project comes to fruition, the company will have the U.S.'s only commercial farm for raising yellowtail. One of the grants will go toward developing a waste-management system that would feed sea worms with excess nutrients from the fish farm. Portland Press Herald (Maine) (04/27)


4. A productive way to confront workplace troublemakers

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 29, 2015

Rather than viewing workplace confrontation as a negative experience, try to see it as an opportunity to reach a productive understanding, writes Ross McCammon. Act with empathy when confronting someone else, but don't adopt a facade of false pleasantry. "The only thing worse than a sour expression during a confrontation is a smile, which is an insult to the topic at hand and to the person you're smiling at," McCammon writes. Entrepreneur magazine (05/2015)


5. What caused Quirky's near-death experience?

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 27, 2015

Quirky, which lets users submit ideas for inventions and then manages the manufacturing and distribution, managed to attract $175 million in investment over five years. Despite the rapid pace of its product releases, however, many could not be produced profitably. The company responded by cutting staff and shifting to a business model that involves partnering with large corporations. Verge, The (04/24)


6. How Box manages employee performance

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 30, 2015

Performance-management problems are easy to overlook in a new startup but eventually can hinder scale. Sam Schillace, senior vice president of engineering at Box, advises creating a performance-management system that clarifies the role that managers will play, identifies a process for dealing with low-performing employees and establishes clear standards for everyone. First Round Review (04/28)


7. Don't assume everything's fine because nobody's complaining

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 29, 2015

Don't assume that employees can't do tasks without your explaining them or that they are content just because they aren't complaining, writes S. Chris Edmonds. The key in either situation is to say less and ask them for feedback, using multiple approaches. "Before assuming everything is fine, try the counterintuitive approach," Edmonds advises. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (04/28)


8. Rethink your approach to managing employee turnover

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 28, 2015

Turnover is a natural part of business and not always negative, particularly when mediocre employees are heading for the exits. Encourage high-performing employees to stick around by working to prevent boredom and helping them to see themselves as part of a larger mission, writes Eric Jorgenson, who provides several resources on the topic. Medium (04/27)


9. Build your startup as a baker would

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 30, 2015

Finding investors to fund your business might seem logical, but it's important to remember that "external funds generally come with equivalent increase in external pressures," writes Lightricks CEO Zeev Farbman. Some businesses might be better off embracing "the bakery model," which involves making the best product possible and reinvesting your revenue to further improve it. Entrepreneur online (04/29)


10. Why you should ditch the win-at-all-costs attitude

SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs | Apr 29, 2015

Being competitive doesn't rule out collaboration, writes Mary Ellen Slayter, CEO and founder of Reputation Capital. Working with competitors under the right circumstances can mean getting help when you need it and advancing the broader industry, she writes. Forbes (04/27)




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