Entrepreneur Magazine

Entrepreneur Magazine December 2020

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Entrepreneur Media Inc.
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14 Numeri

in questo numero

3 min
we’re the lucky ones

AS THE PANDEMIC altered our lives this year, I think we collectively went through four phases. The first was panic, as we feared for the future. The second was adaptation, as we tried to make sense of our world. The third was a “new normal,” as we cautiously lifted ourselves back up. And the fourth—and most important—was this: I wouldn’t go back. Not everyone is at that last phase yet. For many people, it’ll take more time to get there. And to be clear, when I say, “I wouldn’t go back,” I’m not blind to the immeasurable loss that so many people felt this year. But I will tell you this: Over and over, entrepreneurs tell me about the same experience. They were forced to change this year, and it was…

5 min
“with gratitude, optimism is sustainable”

Michael J. Fox is flat on the floor in his Manhattan kitchen. It’s 6:30 a.m. on August 13, 2018. He is supposed to go shoot a scene for the movie See You Yesterday, but he has fallen and broken his arm. For the first time in his life, despite writing three books about optimism, he can’t see a bright side. On that floor now, there’s not even a glimmer. This is how Fox opens his latest book, No Time Like the Future. He knows how it feels to be set back—something everyone has felt, in some way, this year. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age 29, in the white heat of his fame. Two decades later, doctors discovered an unrelated tumor that could paralyze him; it took months to…

2 min
getting more from less

1/ Excited fans. “We used to spend thousands of dollars on social media advertising, but we’ve recently developed a brand ambassador program. We enlisted our loyal and enthusiastic customers to help spread the word about our company in exchange for discounts and swag. This helped cut marketing costs tremendously while allowing our customers to feel a part of the team.” —KRYSTAL DUHANEY, CEO, Milky Mama 2/ Supplier savings. “We’ve saved money by providing our suppliers with some certainty. Many suppliers have trouble forecasting demand these days, which created an opportunity for us to play the long game with them. We used our sales projections to order at a higher volume and with longer-term commitments. That helped our suppliers minimize their own volatility, and in turn, they’re lowering our costs—which boosts our margins and ensures…

3 min
“how can i help you?”

Christine Schindler was obsessed with handwashing way before COVID-19 came along. In 2017, as foodborne illness outbreaks were plaguing businesses like Chipotle and wreaking havoc on public health across the country, she understood how to solve the problem. “No one walks into a restaurant with a vial of E. coli,” says Schindler, a biomedical engineer. “Eighty-nine percent of foodborne illness outbreaks caused by restaurants are directly linked to poor handwashing practices.” She got to work on a solution, called PathSpot, that would utilize spectral imaging to detect illness-causing contaminants on a restaurant worker’s hands, all in a matter of seconds. But there was a problem: Although Schindler knew how to build the technology, she had no idea what kind of product a restaurant would actually use. “I truly had hundreds of different versions…

3 min
can there be two tinders for clothes?

When Madison Semarjian was a college freshman, she had an idea for an app: It would be like Tinder, but for clothing—using AI to learn her personal style, and then pulling together outfits from a wide range of retailers that she could swipe left or right on (and of course, buy). Semarjian couldn’t shake the idea, so she spent all of college creating it—developing the tech, raising money, and signing partnerships with major brands like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Prada. She called the app Mada, and it launched in January 2020. It was a hit with the media and style lovers because nothing like it existed. But that quickly changed. A startup called The Yes soon launched with similar functionality and major backing; it’s run by the former COO of Stitch Fix and…

3 min
the office culture, now at home

Vital Proteins is no ordinary supplement company, so founder Kurt Seidensticker didn’t want it to feel ordinary, either. He is a former NASA engineer who started his collagen protein business in 2013. It went on to define its category and get acquired by Nestlé, and it projects $250 million in revenues this year. Back in pre-COVID-19 days, Seidensticker designed the Chicago headquarters to feel like a buzzy wellness club, dotted with lockers for running shoes, meditation rooms, and plants, and infused it with the brand—literally, thanks to an on-site café making collagen-spiked coffee. Now that most of his 400 employees are working remotely, he is focusing hard on “maintaining that connection.” That means plenty of online meetings, Zoom workouts and a virtual running group, and healthy snacks sent to staffers’…