You’re never too young
Everyone loves to reference lemonade stands and (in the old days) paper routes as early paths to entrepreneurship. But as these four individuals in an item on Business 2 Community have discovered, much greater success can be had at a young age.
- David Buckingham, founder of Custom Alaskan Outhouses: As a 16-year-old, he created the custom-made products for their “aesthetic appeal and to add that rustic feel to a home.”
- Aaron Swartz, co-founder of Reddit: He co-founded RSS 1.0 when he was 14, before moving on to popular social media site Reddit.
- Jake Lunn, founder of Nautical Napkins: More customization. At the age of 11, he came up with the idea to design napkins specifically for use on ships and yachts.
- Ben Casnocha, founder of Comcate: He’s now 19, but the company started when he was 12, providing local governments with tools for dealing with customers.
Build it and toss it
Apps are not easy tools to create. They require specialized knowledge, and as a result, they can be an expensive undertaking for a small business. Especially when they’re built for multiple plaforms. Joshua Merrill, founder of TapCanvas, wants to change that. “With TapCanvas, we’re creating a category of apps that hasn’t existed before,” he said in an interview with AllThingsD. The company’s HTML5-based apps will work on almost any mobile device, they can be created without coding knowledge, they’re cheaper to make, and they are perfect for short-term needs, such as conferences and other events.
Dr. Dre comes out on top
For the big names on the U.S. hip-hop scene, the future’s not music, it’s corporate partnerships and entrepreneurship. According to a recent Forbes’ list, Dr. Dre was hip-hop’s biggest earner in 2011, hauling in $110-million (U.S.) before taxes, even though he hasn’t released an album since 1999. He can thank a $300-million investment in his Beats by Dre headphones business by phone company HTC, which netted the good Dr. a cool $100-million. Diddy ranked second with $45-million, mostly from an investment in Ciroc vodka. Jay-Z took third, thanks to his partnerships with Duracell and the Brooklyn Nets.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Engage your audience
Is your company ready to use email and social-media marketing? Learn to build relationships and engage your audience with easy, inexpensive, and highly effective strategies. The seminar at Small Business BC in Vancouver and via live video conference will discuss the importance of email and social-media marketing as part of your overall marketing and communications strategy. It takes place Sept. 17, from 10 am to noon, at no cost.
Open Data and research implications
Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, joins other leading experts to discuss the global Open Data movement at the Toronto Board of Trade on Sept. 20. Part of the event will deal with enabling evidence-based research and supporting innovation by academics, researchers, the public sector and industries. Individual tickets range from $69 to $89.
EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
Entrepreneur pulls his socks up
Distribution can be a hazardous business and success can be a curse, particularly when manufacturers sell to consolidators who handle their own distribution, leaving the middleman out in the cold. “Distributors shouldn’t tie themselves to one particular product line, because it could end up killing their business,” said consultant Karen Fischer. When Dana Nelson lost a big account, Bogs, he decided to sell his own line of fashionable, three-season neoprene boots. They looked like Bogs, but they improved on the features customers didn’t like.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
The business of farming
Traditionally, farms have been passed on either to the next generation or to another small farmer. But as the business of farming becomes increasingly expensive, demanding million-dollar investments in equipment, land and even production quotas, that is happening less. As FarmStart director Christie Young points out in this story from July, 2011, however, many city folk - some with farm backgrounds in other countries - are increasingly interested in tilling the soil.
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