Inc. Magazine Winter 2019/2020

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
reflect, rest, and return

The end of the year is always a time of reflection. Many of us look back to see how much we accomplished over the past 12 months, while, at the same time, we look forward to what lies in the year ahead and where we’ll strive to go. For some, the new year is about growing an existing business, and for others it is about taking the plunge to start a company from the ground up. Whatever the current focus, the leaders of America’s businesses are responsible for building one of the healthiest economies in our history. Inc. celebrates the courageous men and women in this country who are willing to put themselves out there and start a business. It is not an easy road to walk. But that journey can be…

2 min
unconventional wisdom

One of the great joys of working at Inc. is seeing how real stories of successful entrepreneurs differ from the clichéd notions you see elsewhere. Take Pat Brown, founder of Impossible Foods, the company that brought the world the meatless burger that sizzles, sears, and bleeds like the real thing (thanks to some fancy genetic engineering). Brown, while a notably driven founder, didn’t start his first company until he was in his mid-50s—challenging the popular wisdom that entrepreneurship is for the very young. He spent decades as a star academic before launching Impossible around one very big, potentially climate-saving idea. Specifically, as Inc. editor-at-large Burt Helm puts it: “What if juicy, delicious beef didn’t come from cows?” For one thing, if it’s juicy and delicious enough to make inveterate carnivores crave fake…

4 min
the rise of the fake applicant

A few years ago, Daniel Zubairi caught a job applicant in a flagrant lie. The woman’s résumé said she worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That didn’t sound right. Zubairi’s Bethesda, Maryland–based cybersecurity company, SydanTech, worked closely with NOAA—and Zubairi had never heard of her. As it happened, Zubairi was at the agency’s offices during the woman’s phone interview. He asked to meet her in person. “Sir,” she said, “I’d like to end the interview now.” Click. Zubairi ran a background check. She was a home nursing assistant. Job seekers have been fudging their accomplishments forever. But founders across the country say they’ve lately seen a surge of incidents that take job-applicant fakery to new—and shadier—levels. Totally false résumés featuring fictional employers. Professional interviewees. Covert coaching of candidates with…

2 min
should your employees work from anywhere?

Is the couch the office of the future? • Look at how people typically make connections. From dating to social networks, online community building is already happening, and businesses are just catching up. Can people collaborate digitally as easily as they do in an office? • Meetings are really useful when things are urgent or emotional. Most things aren’t. And if you’re physically limited by the number of people you can fit in a room, you won’t get the context you need to make your best decisions. Does remote work hinder productivity? • Companies and leaders have to trust their employees. Giving them the flexibility of “Hey, go where you need to go to get your best work done” is a net benefit. How does a remote workplace impact company culture? • Louder folks have a bit…

1 min
a lovable debt collector?

In 2013, Ohad Samet started getting calls from strange numbers. When he finally answered, he discovered the reason: He had a $120 balance on a store credit card. The agent making the call was not particularly pleasant, so, though Samet could afford the payment, he started thinking about what it must be like for those who can’t. “You get all these calls, then it’s, ‘You owe money. Cash, check, or credit card?’ And if you can’t pay,” he says, “you risk financial ruin.” So Samet founded TrueAccord, a collections agency that today counts Yelp and LendUp among its clients and communicates via friendly—even playful—texts and emails. (“I’ve been sitting here eating ice cream and listening to breakup songs because I feel like you’re avoiding me,” reads one dispatch the company’s sent.)…

6 min
how this entrepreneur earned a profit from her first day in business

If Nadia Elhaj has her way, Austin will be the popcorn capital of the world. The city is home to her company, Cornucopia Popcorn, a snack-food e-commerce juggernaut that launched in 2008. With two locations, more than a dozen dedicated staffers, and one driven business owner, Cornucopia might be on its way to cornering the gourmet-popcorn market. Elhaj had previously worked at insurance giant AIG, where she was “not super happy” with her career. Her life took a major turn when she had the opportunity to travel to India with a couple of acquaintances. “I thought it sounded like an exciting time,” Elhaj says. “I think just going on that trip allowed me a little bit of practice in fearlessness and courage. It set a tone to make decisions that were a little…