February 21, 2013
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Bold Ventures
Company helps the wealthy rent vacation villas
Joe Poulin started building his villa-rental company, Luxury Retreats, when he was 17 years old. Fourteen years later, the business has grown to 150 employees and $100 million in revenue, and it lists 2,000 properties around the world. Along the way, he realized the need to slow growth in order to keep his focus on customer service, and he replaced a management team that he thought wasn't right for the company. Entrepreneur online (2/20)
Leading the Pack
How to lead like a chess master
Former chess star Justin Moore is now CEO of cloud-services company Axcient -- and he says his time at the chessboard helped prepare him to be a better boss. Chess is deeply strategic and involves planning several moves ahead, just as CEOs need to plan for their company's future. "Chess is constantly teaching you to think about what comes next, and what comes after that, and what the repercussions could be," Moore says. Fast Company online (2/19)
Finance & Growth
Are your employees being honest with you?
A dishonest employee can have a devastating impact on your business, so it's important to carefully screen job applicants, writes Peter Cohan. You should also create a culture that values integrity and get rid of people who don't tell the truth, he writes. Inc. online (free registration)/The Hungry Start-up blog (2/20)
The Whole Entrepreneur
Women founders are making a splash in technology
Women-led startups tend to generate a higher return on investment than companies that are run by men, according to research. The research, gathered in a report called " "Women in Technology: Evolving, Ready to Save the World," also shows that the average age of women founders has decreased and their average education level has risen. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/20)
How to throw a successful launch party for your startup
When planning the launch party for your company, you should be sure to invite the press and plan activities that match the culture of your company, writes Kelly Gregorio. Also, make sure people stick around by holding a raffle, and end the event while people are still having a good time, she recommends. VentureBeat (2/20)
Ideas for Innovators
How startups and small companies can innovate like a ninja
Ninjas were nimble and determined warriors who successfully fought more powerful enemies, says Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association. That should serve as a model for corporate innovators, who need similar agility and resilience to bring products to market. "While the big companies are mired in bureaucracy, small businesses can be ninja innovators by being more agile," Shapiro says. Inc. online (free registration)/Tech Report blog (2/20)
Fortune from Failure
Understand your company's finances to avoid failure
Many entrepreneurs don't have a good understanding of their company's financial health, which can lead to failure, writes Lili Balfour, founder of Atelier Advisors. Balfour explains the meaning of key financial terms such as gross revenue, net income and operating revenue. The Huffington Post (2/20)
In a start-up, one person you can't trust can send your venture up in flames."
-- Strategy consultant and author Peter Cohan, writing at Inc. online's The Hungry Start-up blog.
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