Inc.9 min readPolitics
The Trip That Changed Everything
Gourmet coffee. High-end cosmetics. Ridesharing services. These founders hit the road—and came back inspired to start something big
Inc.9 min read
Power Player
He once built gas-fired generators. Today, he’s building the country’s largest wind farm—because he thinks it will make him richer In 2001, Michael Polsky found himself snared in the entrepreneur’s trap. He’d sold the power company he co-founded to
Inc.2 min read
Will Dean
The co-founder of Tough Mudder, the obstacle-course business with more than $100 million in sales, has had to tune out a lot of harsh critics—including himself
Inc.4 min read
The Startups Taking on Opioids
FROM 2001 TO 2015, the number of Americans who died from overdosing on opioids—the addictive painkilling narcotics made from opium or its chemical analogs—more than quadrupled, to 22,589, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deaths from the illicit and powerful opioid heroin increased more than sevenfold over that span. “Right now, it’s too easy to access highly addictive opioids that are killing people, and too difficult to access the treatments for opioid addiction,” says Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for
Inc.4 min read
Building a Better Website
Your site is your front door for many of your customers. If old-school web design is holding yours back, follow these tips to make it inviting again
Inc.3 min readEntrepreneurship
Payroll Challenges Are a Fact of Small-Business Life
Entrepreneurs don’t want to spend time on administrative chores, but payroll compliance is important. Software solutions can help solve the problem.
Inc.2 min readTech
Hire Early or Not at All
RECENT RESEARCH SHOWS that if you don’t hire an employee early in your startup’s lifespan, you probably never will. Among startups that launch with no employees, “the bulk of hiring occurs in the first few years of existence,” says researcher Robert W. Fairlie of the University of California, Santa Cruz. “After a few years, the hiring rate of these companies drops off very fast.” Fairlie and Javier Miranda of the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed 2,460 startups in the Kauffman Firm Survey that launched without employees. (The survey, which followed the same batch of companies over seven years, didn’
Inc.1 min read
Mind the Gap
SALESFORCE.COM In 2015, the San Francisco-based CRM company analyzed its payroll and then spent $3 million to close the pay gap it found. This year, it spent another $3 million topping up salaries when another audit showed that the gap had returned.
Inc.2 min read
Seeing Visions
AS AN EXPLANATION for entrepreneurial success, the vision thing has been taking its lumps lately. Great ideas are a dime a dozen, goes the argument; what’s scarce is people who can execute on them. While the importance of execution is indisputable, a string of conversations we’ve had recently at Inc. has reminded us all that greatness always, always starts with the idea—or, to be precise, an idea backed by ferocious belief. On the stage of Inc.’s Women’s Summit, we hosted the great Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and the youngest self-made female billionaire in history. Spanx’s origin story is
Inc.1 min read
Where Can You Afford to Live and Work?
THE EIGHT-YEAR economic recovery has been unevenly spread. Rising housing costs can be a drag on growth, because they deter worker mobility. And housing supply lags demand. To make sense of it all, Mark Fleming, chief economist for title insurer First American, contrasted cities’ housing costs with their employment in the five fastest-growing “advanced industry” (A.I.) sectors identified by Brookings, such as automotive or engineering services. “Think of the combination of these two things as your entrepreneurial opportunity index,” says Fleming. There are surprises. Take Nashville versus New
Inc.3 min read
How to Keep Them Coming Back for More
ONE CURRENT DEBATE in technology circles concerns whether mobile apps are still a must-have or on their way out. The correct answer, of course, is that’s the wrong question to ask. To understand why, let’s talk about Texas hold ’em. What makes playi
Inc.3 min read
The Temptation to Lie
Sooner or later, most of us get into difficult situations. And that’s when character is tested
Inc.4 min read
The Nomadic Talent Show
How two techie matchmakers built a high-end freelancer network—without ever opening a single office
Inc.3 min read
Diving Into the Deep End
MATT LANE, CO-FOUNDER of SafeSplash Swim School, knows that some dip toes into the water while others plunge in. But when it comes to international expansion, only one approach works. “If you are going to go for it,” says Lane, “you have to go for it
Inc.3 min read
The Upside of a Tradeoff
FOR THREE YEARS, my company wrote, produced, recorded, and published a podcast called The Distance. Over nearly 60 episodes, we told stories about small private companies that had been in business for 25 years or more. The premise was that there’s a
Inc.3 min readTech
Learning to Love What I Don’t Know
LIKE MANY WHO HAVE made the leap into Startupland, I guessed from the outset that I had a lot to learn. I was right. Indeed, I jumped into the wormhole of blind spots and unknown unknowns. This has been especially true on matters technological. At Io
Inc.4 min readEntrepreneurship
Making It Your Mission
THREE YEARS AGO, Emily Lonigro Boylan feared her business was circling the drain. She’d started her user-experience design firm, LimeRed Studio, with the intention of working with socially minded startups and nonprofits. “I wasn’t selling aircraft to
Inc.4 min read
Office Politics
The U.S. is deeply polarized and emotions are running high. But it’s possible to encourage discussion while deterring discord
Inc.15 min readWellness
Can She Make It Gel?
Saundra Pelletier’s company, Evofem, is developing a contraceptive gel that could be the biggest breakthrough in birth control since the pill. All she has to do is survive its getting approved by the FDA
Inc.3 min read
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
New rules limit what you can ask about a job candidate’s prior salary. These tips will help you hire legally and stay competitive
Inc.14 min read
Meat Without Animals
UMA VALETI REMEMBERS the first time he really thought about where meat comes from. A cardiologist turned founder, Valeti grew up in Vijayawada, India, where his father was a veterinarian and his mother taught physics. When he was 12, he attended a ne
Inc.5 min read
Get Smart About Social Security
GETTING THE MOST out of Social Security is all about waiting as long as possible to start filing for benefits, right? Not quite—especially if, as a business owner, you get to decide how you are paid. You can actually live on a lot more money in ret
Inc.4 min readEntrepreneurship
Set Your Own Salary
WHEN ELIZABETH SOPHER and Caroline Portis decided to commit full time to their Denver-based bedding business, QuickZip, they knew pay cuts were in order. As established professionals in their 50s—Sopher was an environmental scientist and Portis was a
Inc.3 min readTech
What Do VCs Want?
BUZZY AND GLAMOROUS, VENTURE FUNDING is also nearly impossible to get—but maybe you’re ready to take on that challenge. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs,” warns Steve Kaplan, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and one of four co-authors of a comprehensive April 2017 working paper, “How Do Venture Capitalists Make Decisions?” The paper surveyed almost 900 VCs, including some who invest solely in early-stage startups (which are cash-flow negative and are just starting to build their business) and some who invest solely in mid- to
Inc.9 min read
Green Machine
Tossed-salad star Sweetgreen gives Inc. an exclusive, in-depth look at its secret weapon: the small farms and food suppliers that fill its hip, healthy bowls
Inc.3 min readEntrepreneurship
Women Rock Florida’s Business Scene
It was smooth sailing for Kay Stephenson, co-founder and CEO of Datamaxx Group, for her first 10 years in business. Her company provides secure communications services to law enforcement and security companies—and competition from bigger companies wa
Inc.3 min read
One Cure for Your Health Care Headache
HEALTH INSURANCE MAY BE ONE of the hot-button issues of 2017, but it’s long been a source of frustration for small-business owners. Figuring out what you want to provide to employees, what you’re legally required to offer, and how much it will cost c
Inc.2 min readEntrepreneurship
Women Founders, Women Leaders
YOU CANNOT READ THIS month’s special report on women entrepreneurs and fail to be reminded—as if anyone in 2017 needed reminding—that there is no gender to creativity, determination, and guts. The report, which starts on page 71, singles out more than 30 women founders of businesses of all sizes, at all stages of growth, and in every imaginable industry. Those industries most definitely include tech (apparently, some people in tech still do need reminding). If there are any doubts, I suggest reading senior editor Maria Aspan’s profile of Therese Tucker (page 94), whose $123 million software c
Inc.7 min readTech
They Had Game-Changing Ideas. They Took on Entrenched Industries. They Persisted
POLINA RAYGORODSKAYA WANDERU Designing a high-tech solution for a thorny problem: making bus and train travel as effortless as flying HAVING THREE DISTINCT CAREERS by the time you’re 25 sounds ridiculous, unless you’ve been reinventing yourself since age 4. In 1990, Polina Raygorodskaya and her family fled Communist Russia, arriving in the Boston area on a refugee visa. “I felt like an outsider,” says Raygorodskaya, who, despite being half Jewish and barely able to speak English, joined a choir at the local Catholic church, hoping to blend in. Ever since, Raygorodskaya has discovered the v
Inc.3 min readTech
Market Like a Local
Many local businesses don’t quite dial in their online marketing. To boost store visits and sales, try these strategies
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