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June 9, 2010
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Bold Ventures 
  • If you launch it, will they come?
    Robert Bigelow made his fortune with budget hotels and other real estate, but he says he's willing to bet up to $500 million on an entirely different type of lodging. Bigelow Aerospace is developing two space stations, planning to rent rooms and labs -- at about $25 million per month -- to countries that cannot afford their own space program. As for critics who say he has no experience in space, Bigelow replies: "I have four decades of building all kinds of things. The principles are the same." blog (6/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Finance & Growth 
  • Angels are good for more than just money
    Would you ask someone to marry you on a first date? Then stop asking for money the first time you meet an angel investor, suggests Mark MacLeod. Instead, ask for advice: "Let people feel like they are contributing to your idea, let them see first hand what [it's] like to collaborate with you and (assuming [it's] a good experience) before you know it, they might be interested in investing." (Canada) (6/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Optimism is relative
    Entrepreneurs are showing their greatest optimism levels since September 2008, the National Federation of Independent Business reports. But while most entrepreneurs think conditions will improve over the next six months, sales continue to be a nagging concern. For 18 straight months, a majority of respondents have said sales are weakening rather than improving. The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (6/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Whole Entrepreneur 
  • 5 essentials of a "beautiful" company
    Bill Witherspoon says he is an artist by nature, so when he founded The Sky Factory, a $3.9 million maker of decorative panels, he wanted the company itself to be as "beautiful" as the product. He says he started by making owners of the employees, then layered on five management principles, including sharing, service and equality. (6/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Featured Content 

  • Which factor was more important in persuading you to start your own business?
    Personal fulfillment  76.54%
    Financial security  23.46%
  • Cash may be king, but happiness rules: By about a 3-1 ratio, "personal fulfillment" beats out "financial gain" as the top reason for starting a business. Other polls show that entrepreneurs are driven to be their own boss or do what they love, not just make a quick buck. That may help explain why so many small businesses remain small: When success is measured by fulfillment rather than finances, infinite growth is not the goal. And venture capital? It hardly makes sense for entrepreneurs who value their autonomy above all else. --Robert Jones, SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs contributing editor
  • In Tuesday's primary elections, candidates affiliated with the "tea party" movement scored some big wins against more established politicians. Do you think the tea party insurgency is good or bad for small-business issues?
Not sure

Secrets can't survive in an environment of total openness. It cuts off their air."
--Bill Witherspoon, founder of The Sky Factory, as quoted by
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