Inc. Magazine Dec/Jan/Feb 2018

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

1 min
4 ways taking a vacation will make you more productive

1 — IT’S LESS FAMILIAR Research has shown that breaking your routine makes your brain push you to explore, increasing your creativity. 2 — FRESH AIR DOES YOU GOOD Time spent in nature can help performance and focus, a University of Michigan study found. 3 — IT RESTORES YOU Lack of sleep negatively affects your alertness, cognitive processes, and decision making. Rest up so you can return to work refreshed. 4 — YOU’LL GAIN NEW PERSPECTIVE By exposing yourself to new cultures, you broaden your worldview and become more valuable to your team. “Don’t wait to get sick or have some dramatic life-changing event. Build a life, not just a business.” Angela Benton, founder of NewMe •…

2 min
leap year

SOMEWHERE IN THIS AUDIENCE is the founder of the next Facebook, the next Google, the next Apple.” So said Steve Blank, Stanford professor and one of the brains behind the Lean Startup technique, to an auditorium full of young founders at the Web Summit in Lisbon this fall. “Which of you is it?” A few hands poked up. “The rest of you,” he said, “instead of trying to be entrepreneurs, should be working for them.” Starting a company is an overt act of overconfidence. It requires willful blindness to the odds against you and a conviction—based on little or no evidence—that you are different from the vast majority of would-be entrepreneurs who’ve come before you. Among the young entrepreneurs whom Blank was addressing, those who kept their hands in their laps…

13 min
the first 90 days

The dreaming is over. The launching begins. The decisions you make in the first months of your startup can make the difference between profit and loss, joy and heartbreak. We have what you need to start right, including a plan for the first 90 days, real-life advice from successful founders, a checklist of things to do now that will save you money later, and the answers to key startup questions. We can’t wait to see what you build. It’s 2018, and you are really doing it. You have long imagined your product on the endcap at Walmart and practiced what you’ll say when Mark Cuban grills you about your competitive edge. But this year, you are finally launching a business. Where do you start? Leigh Buchanan asked some of the top business…

1 min
lead with your com petitive advantage

For both HuffPost and Thrive Global, the first question was “What problem are you solving and what are you bringing to the market that’s not already there?” For HuffPost, the answer was a destination website where both wellknown and lesser-known people could share their views on the news of the day or on culture, entertainment, and every aspect of life. Blogs were around, but they were not yet widely respected as a way to express views and communicate. Before we launched, I emailed every person of note I knew and said, “If you have a thought and you can interrupt your day for 10 minutes to share it, send it to us— we’ll post it and make it incredibly easy.” Within the first week, we had Larry David, Ellen DeGeneres,…

2 min
go where opportunity points you

When I began, I didn’t know anything about business. I was excited about starting Student magazine, and then we had the idea to use the publication to sell music, too. I didn’t create a formal business plan. That seemed really boring to me. I just thought about the high cost of records and the sort of people who bought Student; we believed we could sell cheap mail-order records through the magazine. We made enough money from mail-order to open a record shop. In 1971, music retailing in the U.K. was dominated by WHSmith and John Menzies, which were both dull and formal. We decided Virgin Record shops would be where people could meet and listen to records together. We wanted to relate to customers, not patronize them, and we wanted to…

1 min
be creative about getting your name out

One of the crucial things that we had to figure out when we launched our product was how we were going to reach our target audience. Most of the fitness market was targeting performance athletes. It was about results. Our platform was about discovery and education, and we thought the average Lululemon shopper might identify with that. So, over the first year, we gave out $100 Lululemon gift cards to get people to commit to a ClassPass six-month membership. We also had a one-month subscription option, but it didn’t make sense to give away $100 for a plan that cost less than that. We started the campaign at the end of 2013, and at that point, people didn’t even know what ClassPass was—they were just excited about getting $100 to…