Inc. Magazine July/Aug 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

2 min
tales of tenacity

One of the most inspiring elements of Inc.’s annual conferences is hearing tales of tenacity from company founders who refuse to give up. Some of these stories get told onstage, like Slack co-founder Cal Henderson’s describing, at this year’s GrowCo conference, how a failed video game business turned into a multibillion-dollar software empire. But we hear just as many from attendees, like Merrill Crawford, who runs a successful plumbing company in Houston. Finding clients, Crawford says, is easy; finding good plumbers is much harder. Her hiring needs are so urgent that she has gone well beyond traditional recruitment channels; indeed, she is looking to retain an ad agency to help convince would-be employees that her business is a great place to work. This issue of Inc. is similarly loaded with such…

5 min
you’ll never train in vain

For most employers, she’s the holy grail: the day-one-ready new hire. In she walks, preloaded with requisite skills. Just add caffeine and let her rip. But with unemployment at near-record lows, people like her are hard to find. Good. That scarcity is an opportunity. In today’s tight labor market, the talent-is-hard-to-come-by lament is near universal—and also potentially misleading. The problem isn’t so much that employers can’t find workers for jobs that require skills, some experts say. It’s that employers want workers they don’t have to train. That attitude may deny businesses a powerful competitive advantage. That’s particularly true for entrepreneurial companies, which rely on workforces’ thinking and acting differently from incumbents. Chad Laurans would agree with that. When he founded the Boston-based home-security company SimpliSafe in 2006, Laurans wanted to upend the…

1 min
summertime, and the business of shark repellent is easy

Nathan Garrison was a teenager growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, when a friend told him about the time a shark ripped said friend from a surfboard and dragged him underwater. The pal survived, but Garrison was scarred. So, in 2015, he and his father invented Sharkbanz—wrist and ankle bands and leashes that connect surfers to their boards with Velcro straps, which contain magnets that create an electromagnetic field that repels sharks. It makes sharks feel the way humans do when a bright light shines in their eyes, Garrison says. “It’s a defense,” he adds. “Before, you were relying on luck.” Last year, Sharkbanz took in almost $970,000, way up from 2015’s $617,000. Also eating into the sector: Australia’s Smart Marine Systems, which makes two antishark wetsuits. One, striped with…

1 min
the jargonator

SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM • noun “Will the brazen new methods of social engineering and behavior modification threaten individual autonomy and democratic rights? Or will the promise of the digital age be one of individual empowerment and democratization?” In other words: Orwell that ends well? Source: Publisher’s promo for Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism PRESIDENTIAL TWITTER STRATEGY • noun Ninety percent of the members of the Information Technology Industry Council have a “presidential Twitter strategy” to prepare for a Trump tweet. Without one, what will do you when your CIO is mocked as “CHIEF IDIOT OFFICER” or your CFO is blasted as “POCKET PROTECTOR PAM”? Source: The New York Times VAMPIRE APPS • noun They suck out your personal data. Is this why I smear my iPhone with garlic? Er, yeah. Source: Daily Mail LONE WOLF TRAVELERS • noun Corporate…

2 min
i scream. you scream. we all scream for … taylor ham

For the record: Jake Hunt prefers chocolate. But he thought his fellow New Jerseyans might like a taste of home in their cones, so he’s making ice cream from Taylor Ham, a.k.a. pork roll—a processed sandwich meat mysteriously beloved in the Garden State. “It’s a roll of pork. There’s no pretty way of saying it,” says Hunt, a managing partner of his family’s Windy Brow Farms in Fredon Township, New Jersey. “It’s not pleasant when you think about pork roll alone, but it’s pleasant in maple ice cream. Especially with some French toast tossed in there.” Sure. In any event, Hunt’s sweet-and-meaty offering will be the centerpiece of five “only in Jersey” flavors available this summer at the farm’s creamery. Other varieties: cranberry creamsicle, sweet corn and honey, buttermilk blueberry crisp,…

2 min
will a.i. remake business—or destroy it?

Elon Musk has said that A.I. could wipe out the human race. Could it? Some applications of A.I. may be concerning. But we’re just starting to see machine learning improving treatments in medicine. Experiments suggest that once machines have neural networks, they will be able to ignore their initial programming. We won’t be able to program laws and assume that humanity is safe. Might some factor make A.I. unlikely to be used widely by businesses in the near future? Its inability to distinguish between cause and effect. But we can start empowering physicians to make better decisions—and spend more time with patients—since machines automate certain menial tasks. Machines are very close to passing the Turing test—where a person could converse with a machine via text and not know that it was a machine. That’s when…