Summary of “Why More One-Person Businesses Are Breaking $1 Million Dollars In Revenue”

When Katherine Krug raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to manufacture BetterBack, a posture-support device she created after developing sciatica during long hours at her computer, it was just the beginning of her success.
Krug soon appeared on the TV show Shark Tank, and the publicity helped her business grow.
All told, in her first 365 days of business, Krug brought in $3 million in revenue.
As Krug has grown the business to the point where it is thriving, she is in the fortunate position where she must answer an important question: “What is my vision for BetterBack – and my life – and how do I achieve it?”.
Krug is part of one of the most exciting trends in our economy: the growth of ultra-lean one-person businesses that are reaching and exceeding $1 million in revenue.
Krug could have trained her employee more or looked for someone else, but the traditional boss-employee relationship didn’t feel right to her.
Ultimately, Krug opted to continue relying on contractors to help her grow, as she has done successfully from the beginning.
Even with her business growing rapidly, Krug has not had to change a lifestyle she loves because of her conscious decision to run the firm the way that works for her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistle-Blower”

In September, Guo recorded a video during which he received what he said was a phone call from his fifth brother: Two of Guo’s former employees had been detained, and their family members were threatening suicide.
“My Twitter followers are so important they are like heaven to me,” Guo said.
His claims have also divided a group of exiled dissidents and democracy activists – people who might seem like Guo’s natural allies.
Perhaps as a consequence, few exiled activists command as large an audience as Guo.
According to the 2015 article in Caixin, Li then penned a letter to the authorities accusing Guo of “Wrongdoing.”
An overzealous officer fired off a shot at Guo’s wife – at which point Guo’s younger brother jumped in front of the bullet, suffering a fatal wound.
Despite this show of support, Guo’s claims have divided China’s exiled dissidents to such an extent that on a single day near the end of September, two dueling meetings of pro-democracy activists were held in New York, one supporting Guo, the other casting doubt on his motivations.
The lawsuits filed against Guo for defamation are piling up, and Guo has claimed to be amassing a “War chest” of $150 million to cover his legal expenses.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Finally Starting Your Business This Year? Here’s Your Ultimate 12-Point Checklist”

You are finally launching a business.
Where do you start? We asked some of the top business minds what you should do in the first 90 days, a crucial time in your business’s life.
Get these early steps right and you’ll create a sound foundation for a profitable, growing business.
“At the very least, you’ll want an experienced eye to look over your business plan, if you decide to do one. At Sweetgreen, our mentors asked a lot of tough, helpful questions-about our financial model, our brand positioning, our restaurant design, and more.”
“When I began, I didn’t know anything about business. I was excited about starting Student magazine, and then we had the idea to use the publication to sell music, too. I didn’t create a formal business plan. That seemed really boring to me. I just thought about the high cost of records and the sort of people who bought Student; we believed we could sell cheap mail-order records through the magazine. We made enough money from mail-order to open a record shop.”
More important, in the very beginning, are insights about your own proposed business that you achieve by stress-testing your assumptions.
“You and your spouse must determine on day one how much you can afford to invest and how you’ll make up lost income and maybe benefits. Schedule regular business meetings between the two of you. And when the business needs more money than expected, you should resist pushing too far beyond your spouse’s comfort level. Another $25,000? OK. A second mortgage? No.”.
It’s important to build your 12- or 18-month projection and build a spreadsheet that shows a driver of the business, but ultimately the only thing that’s certain is that that spreadsheet probably won’t be right, so the only thing they’re betting on is you as the founder.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Self-help guide: How to change your life in 31 days”

January 1: Ask yourself: What do I want that I already have? What else do I truly want?
“But how do we make that distinction? As human beings, we’re so used to wanting more as a default mode. More food, more money, more friends, more sex, more stuff, more time, more attention. So how do we start wanting less?”.
January 6: Use a simple calculation to figure out how much you need to save before you can retire.
January 11: Change your scenery to stay productive if you work from home.
January 16: If you want to learn a new language, start practicing it every night for 15 minutes before bed.
January 25: Generate 20 business ideas in 10 minutes.
January 30: Start hugging or kissing your family before you leave for work.
January 31: Start walking into job interviews like you already have the job.

The orginal article.

Summary of “UberEats is outgrowing Uber in some cities”

Uber’s food-delivery business is called UberEats.
Uber told Business Insider that UberEats was bigger than Uber’s transportation app in 19 European cities, and Toussaint Wattinne, a general manager for UberEats in London, described UberEats as among the world’s fastest-growing food-delivery services.
Fueled by the billions of dollars that Uber has raised from investors, UberEats operates in more than 30 countries.
The UK is one of the largest geographical markets for UberEats, Wattinne said, adding that the service was live in 40 UK cities.
UberEats is bigger than Uber in Milan, Madrid, and Grenoble.
UberEats now brings in more revenue than Uber’s ride-hailing business in cities like Milan, Madrid, and Grenoble, France – three European cities where the business has doubled in size since launch.
Unlike Uber’s ride-hailing business, UberEats has largely managed to stay out of the limelight since launching.
The UberEats app, which uses the same payment card and profile information as the main Uber app, recently underwent a redesign, possibly in a bid to further distance itself from its naughty big brother.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Town Fights to Turn Retail Tide at a Little Mall That Might”

She found a new kind of anchor: a group of residents who had formed a company, North Country Showcase, to sell wares from local artists.
It has filled the vacated Express store with bowls, mittens, mugs and miniature wooden reindeer earrings carved by a retired technician at the power company.
An Amish farmer delivers handmade fly swatters and other goods to the store by bus since he does not drive a car.
The store writes him a letter if they sell out and need him to make more because he does not use a phone.
“Quite frankly, I am tired of our future being controlled by corporations that live in other places, whether it is Alcoa or these corporate stores,” said Ms. St. Hilaire, president of North Country Showcase.
Holiday sales at the store have been twice what Ms. St. Hilaire expected.
Lenny Nesbit and his partner, Jason Foster, run an event-planning business, Elite Events by Lenny, at St. Lawrence Center.
They are also raising a 7-year old son, who likes to spend time in the mall’s hair salon watching women get their hair washed while his fathers work nearby.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to build a startup while having a full-time job”

Starting a new startup while having other critical obligations in your life, like a full-time job or a family, is certainly challenging – but not impossible.
I started my career at a design agency teaching me the basics of being a designer and how business works.
In the evening hours two friends and I started an online design magazine named FONTANEL, basically to satisfy our creative curiosity.
Even though we didn’t earn a penny in the first couple of years we did manage to interview our heroes, experiment with the possibilities of the internet, grow our network, sharpen our design critique, and enable talented designers to find great new jobs.
I’ve found people usually do their best work if they combine the two.
My personal purpose has always been to help people become happier through work and I’ve managed to combine that with my love for digital design by co-founding recruiting platform Homerun.
Balancing my full-time job while founding my startup basically meant that after a day’s work at my job, and after our newborn baby got to sleep, I opened my laptop and started to work on my startup.
My working days were quite long but it didn’t feel like hard work because I really believed in what I was solving and I felt very passionate about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Business Lessons from Ben Thompson of Stratechery – 25iq”

Another way of thinking about this aggregator phenomenon is: an aggregator is a platform on steroids and a super aggregator has twice the steroid dosage.
Thompson makes clear that it is possible to have a wonderful business result and not be an aggregator.
In the case of an aggregator, Thompson writes that: “The network should be generating an improvement in benefits that exceeds the cost of acquiring customers, fueling a virtuous cycle.” He is describing the scalability of the business which I have also written about on this blog.
The high scalability of the business of an aggregator is a wonderful business attribute to have, but it is neither essential or common.
Thompson is pointing out that it is possible to be an aggregator and at the same time own and operate other platforms which do not rely on aggregation.
“Because aggregators deal with digital goods, there is an abundance of supply; that means users reap value through discovery and curation, and most aggregators get started by delivering superior discovery.” “The power has shifted from the supply side to the demand side.” “Value has shifted away from companies that control the distribution of scarce resources to those that control demand for abundant ones.” “The goods ‘sold’ by an aggregator are digital and thus have zero marginal costs.”
“Once an aggregator has gained some number of end users, suppliers will come onto the aggregator’s platform on the aggregator’s terms, effectively commoditizing and modularizing themselves. Those additional suppliers then make the aggregator more attractive to more users, which in turn draws more suppliers, in a virtuous cycle. This means that for aggregators, customer acquisition costs decrease over time; marginal customers are attracted to the platform by virtue of the increasing number of suppliers.”
With his Stratechery newsletter and its paywall-based subscription business model, Thompson is pioneering a new way to make a living in an Internet age.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What does small business really contribute to economic growth?”

For all the enthusiasm, a central puzzle remains: what, really, is the role of small business in the economy? Is looking out for small business a progressive goal? Surely, the public fascination with upstarts, bootstrappers, and innovators reflects ideals of independence, improvement, and a better tomorrow.
Although love for small business may seem like a timeless feature of capitalism, the widespread belief that small entrepreneurs hold the keys to economic revival is relatively recent.
Most job creation, in the 1970s and today, comes from a small number of very fast-growing firms, while most small firms either fail or remain small.
Republicans picked up the rhetorical mantle of small business, but instead of changing their policy ideas, they changed what it meant to speak for small business.
‘Entrepreneur’ today implies a growth orientation: small business owners that don’t want to remain small business owners.
By putting the focus on growth, not small business as such, conservatives subtly manipulated the mythology of small business.
Earlier small business proponents understood the nearly permanent condition that small business represented and treated small business owners as a stable class.
In short, entrepreneurs are small business owners that don’t want to remain small business owners.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ace Your First Impression: Then Follow These 7 Steps to Keep Impressing”

So how do we do this in business? How can you make the impression you want, and then keep impressing them enough to create a lasting relationship?
For YPO member Heather Shantora and her company, success is all about relationships.
Shantora always gets to know the people she’s working with, and she sincerely cares about them.
Shantora expresses her enthusiasm for the possibilities when she says, “My frame of mind is one of learning from one another and innovating in new and creative ways. Instead of trying to one-up each other, we can leverage each other’s strengths. To me, this is the epitome of working smarter, not harder.” By working together, you can make both your industry and your individual business that much stronger.
Unlike some CEOs, Shantora believes her job requires her to be intimately involved in the finer details of the business.
“For me, it’s important that at every level of the business, I am able to meet an individual in their role and know about their day and job. They are consistently surprised that I know and care about the details.” Some CEOs don’t get involved at this granular level, but for Shantora, “I don’t comprehend how one can make decisions about the business if they don’t.” Another reason for this approach is “Knowing which dark corners of the business to probe. Working ‘in’ the business is actually as important as working ‘on’ the business,” she explains.
Listening to a variety of opinions helps your company grow and helps you become a better CEO. Shantora explains, “Diversity of minds enables me to identify my own blind spots, and I use that to become a better leader.” Don’t be afraid of being challenged.
Jim Collins’ research in Good to Great shows that a consistent feature of great CEOs is humility, and to Shantora, the underdog mentality requires humility in abundance.

The orginal article.