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Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook (2008 Dean Hawkey Photography)
Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook (2008 Dean Hawkey Photography)

Small Business Briefing

Siblings score on $100-million sale of MyYearbook 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

Brothers, sister act pays off big

They were just 15 and 16 years old, respectively, when they started MyYearbook.com in 2005 as a way to connect with other young people. Now young entrepreneur siblings Catherine and David Cook, along with older brother, Geoff, who bankrolled their start and is the company's chief executive officer, have hit major paydirt: They sold their social networking company this week for $100-million (U.S.) in cash and stock to Quepasa Corp., a social networking site targeted to Latinos.

MyYearbook was among many social networking sites that exploded onto the scene in the last decade, but many of the others --from MySpace to Friendster -- have lost the level of popularity they once enjoyed. Have a look at WSJ.com's coverage of the sale to recall what's happened to some of these other sites.

MyYearbook, meanwhile, grew to 20 million users, more than one billion page views on mobile platforms and 1.2 billion page views on the Web each month, according to the press release of the sale, and is especially popular among teens and young adults.

When combined with Quepasa, it will have more than 70 million registered users, 2.4 billion page views a month and $33.6-milion in revenue in the the past 12 months.

These siblings aren't the only entrepreneurial kids making pots of dough, as Business Insider reports in its coverage of the sale. It offers up snapshots of 10 pre-teen entrepreneurs "who make millions more than their parents."

Don't we wish we had spawned just one of them?

Stay motivated: tips for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are often bundles of energy, but even their tanks can run low. To help stay motivated, Sparxoo offers several tips.

Among them:

  • Be mentally positive: One of the first steps of keeping motivated is to have a positive outlook, it says.
  • Identify bright spots: Think of particular times you were in a positive mood.
  • What is your prize: Entrepreneurs often get hit with incremental failures that can be discouraging. Mark Zuckerberg did, but look what happened to him.
  • Get inspired: Think of the tales of other success stories.
  • Remind yourself of your success: It's easy to lose sight of prior accomplishments, so bring them to mind.

Raising money online

Reuters tells the tale of Perry Chen, who was working in New Orleans' music business when he wanted to bring in a performer to the city's JazzFest, but didn't have the cash to pay for it. His brainstorm solution: the creation of crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

The site, as Reuters tells it, "harnesses the power of the Internet" by having artists pitch for money for projects they showcase online. So far, it's raised more than $75-million from 750,000 backers of about 26,000 projects, according to Reuters.


Philippe Telio created Montreal's International Startup Festival. Listen to a podcast here of him explain about the event focused on the business of startups.


Back in April, we reported on the growing popularity of crowdfunding -- using social media to reach and raise money from the masses. Users include Canadian Ryan Oakley, who turned to site Indiegogo.com to raise more than $7,000 to get going a business selling an audio walking tour of his hometown of Nelson, B.C. He's now set up a website from where you can download the tour.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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Follow us on Twitter: @GlobeSmallBiz


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