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(Federico Caputo/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Federico Caputo/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

SMALL BUSINESS BRIEFING

Does going public stunt innovation? Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz. Download our app here.

Research finds that innovation can be stunted after an IPO

Many entrepreneurs dream of a big payoff by taking a company public. But while the upside may be riches, the downside is that it can put a real damper on innovation, finds research from Stanford University, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider.

The research done by Shai Bernstein, an assistant finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, analyzed data on almost 40,000 patents awarded to 1,500 U.S. tech firms before and after an initial public offering, the Journal reports.

It found that patents obtained by the public companies were of lesser quality than those from before, as measured by the number of citations of the patents in other patent applications.

Why does innovation suffer post-IPO? For one thing, there’s often a “brain drain,” with some of the company’s top talent leaving, and those staying behind not as effective. “I find that the quality of innovation produced by inventors who remained at the firm declines following the IPO. And key inventors are more likely to leave,” Business Insider quotes Prof. Bernstein.

The Journal report also notes that the greater scrutiny, accountability and other pressures of being a public company may contribute to stunting innovation. “There are market pressures and an appetite for quarterly growth, but innovation is a long-term process,” The Journal quotes Prof. Bernstein.

However, Business Insider notes, Prof. Berstein also finds that the cash raised from an IPO is often used to buy other companies and hire or inherit new talent, and new patents.

For a closer look at the research itself, click here.

Better creativity among co-working benefits: study

Co-working, or shared workspace, has been a growing trend, appealing, among others, to startups and entrepreneurs who don’t want to work from home or out of a coffee shop, or seek a professional look without being able tot afford a “real” office, as was reported in this story last year.

For those using such collaborative space, it seems to be working for them: A new study finds that 71 per cent of more than 2,000 respondents reported their creativity had increased, while 62 per cent said their standard of work had improved since moving into shared workspace.

The third annual global co-working survey by Deskmag found also that 68 per cent said they were able to focus better and 64 per cent said  they could better complete tasks on time. Half of respondents said they access their workspace around the clock.

Want employees to stay longer at the office? Be glad it’s winter

Workers in Britain on average spend more than half an hour a day – 38 minutes – longer at work during winter than at other times of the year, finds a study by Officebroker.com.

What prompts them to stay chained to their desks for about one and a half extra working days each month? For 58 per cent of the workers, the main reason was to stay out of the cold, while 41 per cent said they left later to avoid rush hour traffic, the study found, according to reports such as this one and this one.

That’s the good news for employers. The bad: 71 per cent said their productivity drops as soon as it gets dark outside.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

International Startup Festival Elevator Tour

The International Startup Festival Elevator Tour is headed for Toronto’s CN Tower on Jan. 31 as the first stop on an elevator world tour. Startups and aspiring entrepreneurs will get to pitch their business to investors while riding one of the worlds tallest elevators. There will be 100 one-minute pitches made over two hours. One winner willl be selected and receive free passes and travel to the International Startup Festival in Montreal. For more information, click here.

Startup Weekend Calgary

Startup Weekend heads to Calgary on Feb. 8. Registration is now open for the 54-hour event aimed at creating the foundations of a new business. For further details, click here.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

How to get your insurance coverage just right

For columnist Chris Griffiths, choosing commercial insurance for his business ranks about as pleasant as root canal, but is just as necessary for risk management and cost control, he writes in his latest column, offering his advice on how to get it right.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Should government invest in private companies?

The practice of subsidizing small businesses is polarizing, with strong sentiments on both sides of the ideological divide, recounted this piece published in November, 2011.

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