Monthly Archives: August 2014

5 Ways for Bootstrapped Startups to Get Through the First Year |


In the eyes of an investor, a bootstrapped startup that has proven stable and successful within the first year is powerful. It not only raises confidence in the product and the leadership behind it, but also indicates that any invested money will likely not be thrown away.

Ultimately, when it comes to working with investors, it’s important to prove that a startup and the people behind it not only know how to spend money, but know how to bring in additional money.To successfully bootstrap a company in its first year, it’s important to consider a few things:

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The Four Stages of Financial Independence | The Simple Dollar

Financial independence is a tricky phrase because it can mean different things to different people.

Right now, I view financial independence as being a state where I no longer have to work for money. Yet, seven or eight years ago, I might have viewed it as simply being free from worrying about my next paycheck. At different points in there, I might have seen financial independence completely differently.

Along the way, I’ve come to realize that financial independence is made up of a series of stages. Some people might see more stages, while others might see fewer; I see four clear ones. In my own financial journey – and in the journey of others that I’ve had conversations with – “financial independence” generally means the next stage that hasn’t been achieved yet.

For example, once upon a time, I viewed financial independence as not needing to rely on my parents or on my very next paycheck to survive. As I achieved that, my definition changed.Let’s walk through these four stages and look at what needs to be done to achieve each one.

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Newsflash: Hello Kitty Has Never Been a Cat | The Washington Post

Despite 40 years of feline imagery, despite the protestation of thousands of anguished fans, despite her very name — Hello Kitty, it turns out, is not a cat.

She is “a friend.”

A “little girl.”

A “perpetual third-grader” living outside of London with her twin sister and parents, eating apple pie and celebrating a Nov. 1 birthday.

But never — never — an actual cat.

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Plastic Beats Cash Among Young Adults | Businessweek

American adults under age 30 hate cash so much that 51 percent of them will use plastic, even for purchases amounting to less than $5. That’s according to a survey released on Wednesday by

The older you are, the likelier you are to whip out cash, rather than a debit card or credit card, the study found. Seventy-seven percent of Americans 50 or older prefer cash for purchases of under $5.

Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to use cash for small purchases, and both parties’ followers are more favorably inclined toward cash than political independents. That may have less to do with political inclinations than the fact that independents tend to be younger.

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How to Attract and Keep Great Employees |

I can’t imagine anyone saying they want to work for an “OK” company. As entrepreneurs, we all want to create a great company that people want to work for. But how?

A Great Place to Work, a global human resources consulting, research, and training firm, has identified and studied effective workplaces for 30 years in more than 40 countries. According to the firm’s website, its research “has shown us time and again that investing in a high-trust workplace culture yields distinct, tangible business benefits. Our studies of the 100 Best Companies show that great workplaces enjoy significantly lower turnover and better financial performance than industry peers.”

So if a great culture is something everyone wants and it improves overall performance, why are so many companies… not great? I recently asked China Gorman, the CEO of A Great Place to Work which is the creator of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for and the 50 Best Small and Medium companies lists about how she addresses these issues–and how her organization advises companies on creating winning environments for their employees.

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Swedish McDonald’s Promotion Lets Customers Pay for Burgers with Recycled Cans | Adweek

downloadHow do you get young people to care about recycling?
Free burgers couldn’t hurt.DDB Stockholm and McDonald’s collaborated on a campaign in Sweden which allows customers to pay for hamburgers, cheeseburgers and even Big Macs with recycled cans. Billboards placed around Stockholm announce the campaign with a roll of plastic bags that can be used to collect cans for recycling. Each bag also explains the custom pricing for the promotion: 10 cans nets you a hamburger or cheeseburger, while 40 will get you a Big Mac. The billboards are mostly centered around parks or summer festival areas, where, as DDB Stockholm puts it, “you’ll find a lot of young people with empty drink cans and empty wallets.”

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Dropbox Slashes Its Price as the Cost of a Gigabyte Nears Zero | WIRED

When I talk to folks at Dropbox, they’re eager to tell me about how different people are using its file-sharing service: the musician, the photographer, the professor, the startup founder. They like to talk about new features, like password-protected links and the remote wipe tool that lets you remove files from a lost computer.

But what they save for the end of our meeting, almost like an afterthought, are the two numbers that traditionally meant the most for a data storage service: how many gigabytes you can store, and at what price.

As it turns out, these numbers look at lot better than they used to. On Wednesday, the company slashed the price of a gigabyte by 90 percent on Dropbox Pro, the paid version of its signature consumer product. Up until now, users paid $9.99 per month to store up to 100 gigabytes of data. Now, for that same price, they can store one terabyte.

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Warren Buffett Is A Tax Avoider. Good For Him. |

Burger King is going to have it Tim Hortons’ way, and Warren Buffett will be their server today – or at least their financier.

The Burger King deal seems to be one part tax inversion and one part market diversification, but critics have focused mostly on the former. With the combined company moving its headquarters to Ontario, Burger King is set to join the ranks of corporate expatriates.

Democrats are none too pleased. “Burger King’s decision to abandon the United States means consumers should turn to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers or White Castle sliders,” declared Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way’; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers.”

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BYOD? CA Court Says Employers Must Reimburse Employees for PDAs/Phones Required for Work |

Dealing a blow to employers, the California Court of Appeal issued a new ruling on August 12, 2014  requiring companies to reimburse employees for work-related uses of personal cell phones. The decision applies to employees cell phone plans with both unlimited minutes and limited minutes, and requires companies to pay a “reasonable percentage” of the employees’ cell phone bills if the phones or mobile devices were required to make work-related calls.

The case in this instance, was brought by a class-action of approximately 1,500 service managers against Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. , a grocery-delivery service.  In the case, the California Court of Appeal determined that when an employee makes work-related calls on a personal cell phone, they incur expenses that the California Labor Code requires the employer to reimburse. The court determined that employers may not pass on those expenses to employees, even if the employee uses an unlimited plan, or expensive/high cost plans.

According to earlier Court decisions involving employee reimbursements, Courts have permitted both actual and lump sum reimbursements, as long as the employer provides “some method or formula” to identify what payment is being issued to compensate the employee for the expense reimbursement.

The Court’s new ruling has meaningful ramifications for all kinds of wireless data, text, and other plans that employees use, including wireless services that have data caps or throttled services.  The new ruling could potentially eventually spill over into homes wireless services, when work is performed off-site at the direction or convenience of the employer.

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3 Tips for a Workplace Bullying Policy |

It’s rare to find a school that doesn’t have an anti-bullying policy nowadays. The modern workplace, on the other hand, hasn’t seemed to follow suit. While most companies have some sort of system to deal with sexual harassment, very few actually have a clearly defined policy for reporting and dealing with bullying.

“Bullying in the workplace is something that’s often overlooked,” said Jennette Pokorny, COO of human resources service provider EverNext HR. “People should come to work and feel safe. You don’t want to allow something minor to escalate.”

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