Startup helps companies get acquired | Business tips from an octopus' tentacle | What founders can learn about success from the world's wealthiest
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March 7, 2013
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Bold Ventures
Startup helps companies get acquired
A startup called Exitround is giving company founders another option if they are unable to find the outside funding they need to keep growing. The company serves as a marketplace where brands such as Google and Groupon can look for businesses they would like to acquire. Businesses that are being sold on the platform must first be vetted by Exitround's team. Some of their sensitive information is hidden until they agree to an invitation from a purchasing company. (3/6)
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Leading the Pack
Business tips from an octopus' tentacle
Some octopuses change color to blend in with their surroundings, but they do so by delegating decisions about coloration to individual skin cells, writes Rafe Sagarin. Business leaders, too, can often achieve better results by leaving key decisions to individual workers. "[D]ecentralized organization yields faster, cheaper, and more effective solutions to complex problems," Sagarin writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/5)
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Finance & Growth
What founders can learn about success from the world's wealthiest
The people on Forbes' billionaires list are a testament to the need to pursue continuous innovation and delegate some authority, according to Steve Blank, a professor of entrepreneurship at Stanford University. However, the list also shows that sometimes product innovation isn't everything. Bill Gates, who occupies the second spot on the list, is "brilliant because he created a Windows ecosystem based on coercion and incentives -- that was his real innovation," according to Blank. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/6)
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Save major announcements until after SXSW, journalist says
Startups should refrain from making major announcements at SXSW because their news is likely to be drowned out by everything else that goes on at the event, writes Martin Bryant, managing editor of The Next Web. "[W]hen there's so much happening, something's got to give and it may be your pitch," he writes. (3/6)
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The Whole Entrepreneur
Why you need to set parameters with your co-founders
Though it might seem like a drag in the exciting early phases of your company, creating a partnership agreement can head off major disputes down the road, writes Nellie Akalp, CEO of Potential fights could erupt around how much to spend on compensation or what happens when one founder wants out, for example. The agreement should outline how everyone will contribute, how they will be compensated and what decision-making process the company will use. Mashable (3/6)
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Tips for managing the stress of business ownership
Cut down on the anxiety of running a business by working out regularly, avoiding micromanaging, refusing to work on the weekends and resolving important issues as soon as they arise, writes Michael Olguin, president of Formula PR. "In many cases a small issue, when addressed early, will not become a bigger problem down the road," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (3/1)
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Ideas for Innovators
How Apple and Nike turn "secret" innovation into theater
Companies such as Apple, Nike and Google run "secret" and highly secure innovation facilities that are, paradoxically, rather well-known and discussed. That's a sign that their obsession with secrecy is a kind of theater aimed at whetting consumers' appetites for the next big thing, writes Austin Carr. "It's easy to buy into it all -- to be so taken by the magic of seeing 'Access Granted' on a keypad that you are blind to the fact that there's nothing terribly magical about what's inside," Carr writes. Fast Company online (3/5)
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Fortune from Failure
How to avoid failure
Startups fail for many reasons, but the underlying issue is always that founders have limited experience and don't know what they're doing, writes Steve Tobak, managing partner of Invisor Consulting. Tobak recommends that founders work with advisers, seek an angel investor who can guide you and ask investors for honest feedback. "The sooner you ... find yourself some solid advisors you can trust, the better chance you'll have of avoiding all those failure modes," he writes. Inc. online (free registration)/Last Word blog (3/6)
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Editor's Note
Help SmartBrief cover SXSW Interactive!
SmartBrief will cover the South by Southwest Interactive Festival through Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and we need your help! SXSW has too many must-see events for our staff to cover, so we're turning to readers to help document the best panels as blog contributors. If you're headed to Austin and want to contribute to SmartBrief's blogs on social media, leadership, finance, food and beverage or education, check out our guest-post guidelines and send a note to Jesse Stanchak.
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[Y]ou are not helping yourself or the company when you are micro-managing the work."
-- Michael Olguin, president of Formula PR, writing at Inc. online.
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