Inc. Magazine May/June 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 Issues

in this issue

3 min
oh, the places you’ll work

When I was a kid, I worked as a laborer for a carpenter. I made minimum wage: four bucks an hour. After school and on weekends, and six days a week during the summer, digging ditches, hauling cinder blocks, and running to the lumberyard. And that was enough money, along with a small scholarship—which fortunately, required only mediocre grades-to pay for what was then a pretty pricey private college. I couldn’t do that today—and not just because my back would hurt. The average private college costs four times what it did for me, yet the minimum wage has not even doubled. Even working full time for the federal minimum would pay only about one-third of the bill. But that’s not just my hypothetical problem. Today, many adults—not just school-age kids—previously employed in…

1 min
don’t take no for an answer

IN 2005, FOUR BANKS told Laura Spaulding (above, center) her business plan wasn’t good enough for a loan. So she told the fifth bank she needed a home equity loan to replace her windows—and used the $15,000 to start her business. “I never got windows,” Spaulding says. Instead, she’s spent the 15 years since renovating other people’s homes (sort of) in her role as founder and CEO of Tampa-based Spaulding Decon—her biohazard and crime scene cleanup business. As a patrol officer in Kansas City, Missouri, Spaulding got the idea for the business (which also cleans up meth labs and hoarder lairs) after learning that the families of homicide victims often had to take care of the mess themselves. From that original $15,000, Spaulding has grown the business to 37 franchises…

2 min
my mentor taught me you get one shot

“HELLA COCKTAIL CEO AND CO-FOUNDER JOMAREE PINKARD: “Jack Belsito and I played pickup basketball together for probably a decade before either of us figured out what the other did off the court. There was never any talk about careers (hoops is the great equalizer), so I didn’t know what Jack did for a living. But others referred to him as Snapple Jack, and by 2015, I’d realized he was the former CEO of Snapple. I’d been running Hella Cocktail—which sells craft beverages, premium bitters, and cocktail mixers-for three years. So naturally I told Jack this when I found out he’d run Snapple. I can’t remember who asked whom, but one day we ended up at Jack’s office to talk without all the basketball noise. And we’ve been meeting for breakfast ever…

2 min
love is blind … or is it?

THE ENTREPRENEUR Taly Matiteyahu Co-founder and CEO of audio-only dating app Blink Date In 2012, while living in Tel Aviv, I ate dinner at a restaurant that operated in total darkness as a way to call attention to the experience of blind people. This gave me the idea for a nonvisual approach to dating that relied on personality to match people, rather than physical appearance. Then, in February 2020, Netflix launched Love Is Blind, a reality show founded on a similar premise, which helped inspire me to pursue my nearly decade-old idea and create a “blind” dating service: Blink Date. Currently, my co-founder, Laura Ciccone, and I have around 400 enthusiastic beta testers lined up to make an audio-fueled connection. But we need more trial users to ensure matches, to validate the app—and to give…

2 min
travel: the road ahead

“THIS YEAR SHOWED US THAT PEOPLE ARE EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TO TRAVEL—IT’S ESSENTIAL TO WHO WE ARE.” How will travel change over the next year? We’ll see the continued prioritization of domestic travel, as people explore their own cities, venture out on weekend getaways, and visit friends and family across the country. Hygiene and sanitation will remain front-of-mind, and vaccine passports will likely be required for international travel. Travel-focused businesses should continue to ingrain public health protocols, and create more contactless experiences to put consumers at ease. What will change over the next five years? Global travel will continue at its pre-pandemic rate of acceleration. The need for vaccine passports will have become a relic of the past. But traveling for business is going to look very different. It is hard to imagine a world…

1 min
what venmo could have been

In November 2010, the Venmo team found itself at an inflection point. The payments-processing startup had only $500,000 left in the bank, just a few hundred regular monthly users, and no idea of how to speed its growth—or make money. A few years later, PayPal would save Venmo by acquiring its parent company, Braintree; many folks know that story. But few know how close Venmo was to making a drastic pivot before ever reaching that exit. Here, co-founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail recalls the moment that kept Venmo from giving up on its mission-and how he learned a valuable lesson about when to pivot and when to stay the course.…