Inc. Magazine March/April 2021

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.

United States
Mansueto Ventures LLC
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6 Edições

nesta edição

3 minutos
we’re not going to be short on challenges

I’ve hit the one-year mark working at Inc. And aside from meeting many of you—which is always an honor and often an education—circumstances have sure made my job something of a carnival ride. Some days it feels like I’ve been here only a week, and some weeks it feels like it’s been a decade, but certainly my time at Inc. has not resembled anything I imagined—won—derful or worrisome—the night before my first day on the job. Maybe the past 12 months have made you feel the same way about your business. After all, who could have predicted them, starting with a global pandemic, swerving into social upheaval, pivoting to insurrection, and then hitting the backstretch with Texas icier than Alaska and Alaska toastier than Texas? That’s the thing, right? We may see…

2 minutos
how to spy on your rivals

Hire a Rabbit. Inc. doesn’t recommend corporate espionage—but if you can get creative while staying on the right side of the law, go for it. That’s what John Ross, CEO of Test Prep Insight, was thinking when he heard that one of his competitors was meeting with a potential buyer. Ross—who was also contemplating a sale of his Sacramento-based online education company, wanted to get some intel on the buyer. But how? He paid someone from errand service TaskRabbit $150 to go to the competitor’s New York City office on the day of the meeting and get the potential buyer’s name from the receptionist. The Tasker told the receptionist he had a package (a box of takeout menus) for the meeting participants coming in that day. It worked. “We ultimately didn’t…

1 minutos
my mentor taught me: keep taking risks

PREZI CEO JIM SZAFRANSKI: “I took a course on technology strategy while at Stanford’s business school. The professor was Andy Grove, the late former CEO, president, and chairman of the board, and the first hire, of Intel. Andy taught me to take big, risky bets when you’re already successful. Much of his teachings centered on strategic inflection points—when the fundamentals of a business are changing significantly. Now we all know that Intel became legendary at making microprocessor chips, helping ignite the personal computer and internet industries. But most of us don’t realize how unlikely that result was, given that it required Intel to exit a business it was dominating—making and selling memory—and take on a whole new set of challenges and unknowns. Outside of the classroom, Andy invited us to small gatherings,…

1 minutos
how i got the idea

In the summer of 2019, Ciara Imani May’s scalp began to itch painfully. Research into her plastic braids revealed PVC as a common ingredient, which is linked to a host of health problems and can be difficult to recycle. Sustainability-obsessed May thought she might have a solution: plant-based braiding hair. She launched Rebundle in the fall, powered by $110,000 in grants from organizations like Venture for America and Launch Pad. The St. Louis-based company sells banana fiber-based, biodegradable braiding hair (shown on model at left) that will begin shipping to customers in March 2021.…

2 minutos
is this a business?

THE ENTREPRENEUR Marco Zappia, a former bar director in Minneapolis, has an idea for a cocktail commissary business. ZAPPIA It’s no secret that restaurants and bars often make most of their profit through alcohol sales, and that the best margins in booze come from cocktails. But in the craft cocktail movement, everyone does their own prep in-house, and preparing the necessary ingredients—juices, syrups, infusions—takes a lot of labor, which eats into those margins. Plus, the equipment needed to make some of the more complicated concoctions—rotovaps, centrifuges, immersion circulators—can cost thousands of dollars. Outsourcing to a small prep operation servicing one or two dozen local bars would help cut labor and equipment costs and provide economies of scale: Buying a weekly pallet of sugar is more cost effective, but very few restaurants or craft…

1 minutos
please take our money!

In 2008, the Great Recession hit, and Daniel Lubetzky panicked. The Kind Snacks founder (and current executive chairman) was naturally averse to spending money, and the crashing economy—high unemployment, low consumer confidence—seemed like a deterrent for his then—young company’s growth plans. But he was wrong. A single conversation with his investors changed his mindset and allowed his business to thrive while others floundered. In the wake of Mars Inc.’s purchase of Kind in December 2020 for an estimated $5 billion, Lubetzky reflects on lessons from uncertain times—and offers advice for launching during a pandemic. 1994 Lubetzky’s first company, PeaceWorks, struggled financially—imbuing its founder with a “scarcity mentality,” which led him to see every penny as a cost. Even for the hiring budget. 2001 That’s because he was particularly scared of the other…