Inc. Magazine November 2019

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 Issues

in this issue

2 min
founders helping founders

Inc.’s Founders Project began, earlier this year, as a way to commemorate our 40th anniversary. But as you can tell from this issue, it has grown into something much bigger—into a kind of mission. By the end of the year, we will have matched 40 seasoned entrepreneurs with the founders of 40 companies that find themselves at a crossroads. One of our Founders Project mentors is on the cover: Tilman Fertitta, the harddriving CEO of Landry’s, owner of the Houston Rockets, and star of CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer. You can read his remarkable biography, written by Inc. editoratlarge Bill Saporito, starting on page 26. But be sure to also check out the dialogue he has with his mentee, Megan Eddings of Accel Lifestyle, on page 30. Her company, which makes sweatabsorbing…

5 min
in praise of friction

Inside the infrared cedar sauna at Epic Entrepreneur House in San Diego, aspiring startup moguls can strip down to their core assets, generate a little sweat equity, and, finally, focus. At Epic, you see, nearly all distractions (friction, in productivity hackers’ parlance) have been removed. There’s no commute, because this is their home. The living room has standing desks; dry-erase boards line the walls from the kitchen to the family room. Friends come to them, lured by prearranged social events; an in-house chef prepares all meals. At Epic, one can ideate a vision for industry dis-ruption while staying totally undisrupted. It’s enough to make you wonder: If the founders of yore—Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, say—had started their companies here instead of in some stupid garage, what might they have…

1 min
fast on her feet

“My wife and I were able to adopt a child because of remote work.”—Darren Murph, senior manager on GitLab’s culture curation team 1 The Fort Washington, Maryland-based entrepreneur entered the competition to raise money for Flavors Culinary Group, the food-startup incubator she hopes will become, in her words, the “WeWork of kitchen spaces.” 2 Awarding a total of $25,000, the contest pitted Bingham against two other founders—of music therapy provider Maine Music & Health and landscape planner Garden in Minutes—in five timed trials of entrepreneurial skill. 3 While big names like WeWork and the Wing have taken co-working spaces prime time, a champion brand has yet to emerge from the kitchen and food incubators servicing the $140 billion specialty foods industry. 4 When Bingham launched her startup, landlords were reluctant to convert their properties…

1 min
the jargonator

ADORA-BOT • noun Amazon’s charming and hilarious nickname for its autonomous delivery droids. Presumably an acronym for “Amazon drives our retail apocalypse.” Source: Live Mint GOLDEN SKIRT EFFECT • noun “Whereby a few qualified women are invited to sit on many boards.” Or a depressing mashup of The Office and The Golden Girls. Source: The Wall Street Journal EXPODENTIALLY • adverb A Joe Biden word-mangle of exponentially—but can we adopt it as the official term for podcast hyperinflation? We’ll find out … after this mattress ad! Source: Washington Examiner SAD TRADER FACE • noun The expression in every photo that’s used to illustrate a stock market wobble. Coming soon: Recession bitch face. Source: Twitter…

2 min
hot new startups, cool older looks

“I haven’t had to wait in line to go to the women’s bathroom since I got started in tech.”—Ran Ma, co-founder and CEO of smart-sock company Siren, describing perhaps the only advantage to being female in the Silicon Valley boys’ club Like many great startup origin stories, the one for Love Billy!—a New York-based direct-to-consumer clothing brand—begins at a party. It was 2015, there really was a Billy, and Candice Pool Neistat thought it’d be funny to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with his name for his birthday. She found iron-on felt letters just like those her mother used in the 1980s. And a logo for a booming business was born. Love Billy! is far from the only such company going retro when it comes to the crucial task of choosing a font.…

2 min
should you conduct formal performance reviews?

“It may have a slight impact on productivity.”—Eric Rea, co-founder and CEO of Podium, on his favorite workplace activity: playing Fortnite DEENA FOX Founder and CEO of Brightfox, an HR software and platform that helps companies manage their talent Is the annual review process still relevant? Employees typically feel that the annual review process is not fair or objective and dislike that managers make assessments without talking to anyone else in the company. But why dismiss annual reviews altogether because of two fixable pain points? Can more casual feedback replace formal reviews? I would say that informal does not work at scale. The board of any company is going to want you to be able to tie individual employee performance to business outcomes. And that’s nearly impossible if you don’t have some objective, structured system. Can constant…