Inc. Magazine

Winter 2021/2022

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
6 期号


a thing worth talking about

It was spring, and the day had started sunny. But now, as I stood alone in a dim pool of light in a near-empty parking lot of the corporate headquarters of one of the world’s largest hotel groups, it was raw and windy, with gray clouds scuttling across the night sky. The wellness startup I had co-founded, poured my time and money into, even authored a patent for, had just beaten two dozen others to win a global innovation competition. The win had set the stage to install our service in thousands of rooms, spas, and gyms around the globe. It should have been a glorious, celebratory moment, right? A validation of the prior two years of work. But with the warm congratulations of winning behind me and my co-founder already in…

take their customers-please

IN 2018, Ryan O’Donnell and Marco DiDomenico co-founded Cleveland-based Replyify, an email service to help salespeople send campaigns, automate follow-ups, and track responses. Today, they manage 1,528 paid clients on the platform, with the help of a few contractors. One of the secrets of their success: giving business to their competitors-the wrong kind of business, that is. Consider the customers who use Replyify to send spam-like messages, which could damage the company’s reputation by tripping junk filters. O’Donnell sends them on their way. “Let them litter in our competitor’s park” he says. He’s even quicker to jettison the customers who refuse to watch Replyify’s how-to videos, who want to be handheld, or who are just plain rude. Those “problem children” could cost Replyify hours of work each week, O’Donnell estimates, so…

is your hiring in need of help?

When pandemic demand led Pattern Brands, an NYC-based e-commerce retailer of items for the home, to double its team and hire 27 full-time employees in the past six months, co-founder Suze Dowling opted to speed up the process with an applicant tracking system (ATS). And why not? Ninety-nine percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted such a system, the benefits of which include automating tasks such as followup emails, uploading resumes, and updating career pages with available roles. And a combination of software from HR tech companies Greenhouse and Lever can typically get the job done for around $150 to $300 per person hired. “It’s been vital to helping us scale with a pretty lean team,” Dowling says. Still, it’s not quite as easy as pushing a button and waiting…

what got you here won’t get you there

JAMES CHAPMAN, FOUNDER AND CEO OF PLAIN SIGHT “When I first met Dan Gilbert in January 2016, I was making my living as a contract consultant for budding entrepreneurs while running an evening co-working space on the side. A mutual colleague of ours invited me to meet Dan courtside at the thennamed Quicken Loans Arena to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA team Dan owns. We discovered we were kindred spirits-Detroit entrepreneurs who know a bad ref when we see one. We kept in touch long after that game, and I started to view my conversations with Dan as a source of guidance. When I launched my networking platform, Plain Sight, in October 2019, Dan was one of the first people I rang for advice. He told me, ‘James, I work with…

how i got the idea

In 2015, James Eberhard needed a bow tie. He had a wedding to attend in Brooklyn, and nobody, not even the “super hipstery” hotel he was staying at, had one. “I thought there’d be some type of community sharing,” he says—a Zipcar for bow ties, if you will. There was not. So he launched an app—Fluid Share (which quickly changed its name to Fluid Market)—that allowed users to rent anything from tools to recreational gear. On day one, someone rented a truck. Eberhard, finding the truck-rental business especially dysfunctional, leaned into that early signal and in 2018 rebranded his Denver-based company to Fluid Truck, which now offers 24/7 access to hundreds of vehicles with an hourly, daily or weekly pricing model. The company closed a Series A round of $63…

i got lost in the details

“When I took on the role of supporting the overall e-commerce supply chain at Walmart, I found myself getting hyperfocused on details and metrics in the first six to 12 months. I’d never managed an organization of that size—more than 10,000 people—and I began to see that my role in moving the business forward should be less about digging into details and more about setting a cultural tone and communicating an overarching vision. I thought it was vital to help people understand how all the pieces connected. So I created this biweekly-to-monthly session that would bring an entire team together—anywhere from 100 to 1,000-plus people on a conference call across the country—and we’d take a single customer order and dissect its journey. In individual fulfillment centers, for example, they’d walk through…