Inc. Magazine March 2017

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 to find your next big idea, courtesy of nobel prize winners

The world’s sharpest minds draw on these concepts for inspiration, writes columnist Linda Naiman 1 — IT NEEDS TO BE CONTROVERSIAL “You don’t know you’ve got a good idea until at least three Nobel laureates tell you it’s wrong,” said 2003 medicine prizewinner Paul Lauterbur. 2 — MAKE SURE IT’S IMPORTANT “Don’t set out to make incremental advances,” says 2011 laureate Bruce Beutler, an immunologist and geneticist. “Choose a problem you’d be proud to solve.” 3 — TAP INTO YOUR ARTISTIC SIDE Many laureates are artists. Physicist Lawrence Bragg (1915) was a lifelong watercolor painter. 4 — PASSION COUNTS “Nothing is going to happen unless you work with your life’s blood,” says Riccardo Giacconi, the 2002 prizewinner in physics. “Change is hard and must be continuous. You’re never done innovating.” Justin McLeod, founder and CEO of Hinge CLOCKWISE FROM…

2 min
editor’s letter

I ’VE WORKED IN BUSINESS JOURNALISM for a couple of decades, but Inc. has been by far the job I’ve loved most. The reason is simple—it gives me the opportunity to tell stories like that of Ambarish Mitra. You’ll find Mitra’s uplifting full-length tale, expertly crafted by Inc.’s San Francisco bureau chief Jeff Bercovici, on page 42. But let me hit the highlights. A runaway, young Mitra is living with roommates in a single-room mud-andcow- dung shack in New Delhi when he enters a business-plan contest. His plan wins and grows into a company that makes him wealthy. A few failed startups later, he and business partner Omar Tayeb hit the jackpot with one in the nascent field of augmented reality. They move to Silicon Valley to find the energy and…

4 min
tip sheet

In a tight job market, these tactics can make your tech workers want to stay WHEN ANASTASIA LENG QUIT Google to start, a shopping site for handmade goods, in 2012, one of the skills she’d developed at the tech giant proved crucial. Managing some of the world’s best IT talent gave the marketing specialist deep insight into how their values and priorities are different from those of other business people. “I was like a fish out of water my first six months,” she recalls. “I needed to earn the engineers’ respect by understanding the things they were saying at a philosophical and logical level.” That lesson proved essential as she built and, later, creative-intelligence platform Picasso Labs, both based in New York City. You could use some of Leng’s…

1 min
the jargonator

Swatting the buzzwords of business TECHFIN / • noun. Whereas “FinTech takes the original financial system and improves its technology,” said Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, “TechFin is to rebuild the system with technology.” You might think this sounds like nonsense, but it is, in fact, gold-plated SenseNonTM. Source: South China Morning Post J.A.M. / • noun. The British government is proposing policies to help J.A.M.’s—those who are “just about managing”—avoid poverty. It’s a cruel epithet, given Lewis Carroll’s thoughts on unfulfilled promises: “The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday—but never jam today.” Source: The Telegraph PREMIUM FRIDAY / • noun. Japan has a new plan to let people leave work a few hours early on the last Friday of every month. In the country that gave us a word for…

7 min
inc. 5000 europe

L AST SUMMER, a colorful truck began driving slowly around the streets of London. The back of it carried an electric pink, blue, and yellow billboard that said, “Dear startups, keep calm and move to Berlin,” a play on the famous 1939 poster the British government used to raise morale when the Nazi bombing of London was imminent. Indeed, the truck represented a German invasion of sorts; it had been sent by the FDP, a free-market liberal political party in Germany. As it drove around London’s Silicon Roundabout, one Bloomberg reporter tweeted a photo of it. “The vultures are circling,” he wrote. Neither London nor Europe is quite ready for vultures, but 2016 was a punishing year. The Brexit referendum threw the U.K. into chaos, unnerving London fintech companies that discovered—to…

6 min
the inc. quiz

ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS TO FIND OUT SINCE 1990, RETURNS TO SHAREHOLDERS in public companies in which the founders are still involved have been three times higher than in other companies, according to research published in The Founder’s Mentality, a new book by Bain & Company partners Chris Zook and James Allen. What accounts for these companies’ success? They retain the Founder’s Mentality, which is distinguished by three primary traits: a sense of insurgent mission, an obsession with the frontline, and an owner’s mindset. Do you and your team have a Founder’s Mentality? Take this quiz—designed by Zook and Allen exclusively for Inc. readers—to find out. A higher purpose and a longer time horizon 1 What percentage of your employees can clearly articulate the company’s mission and priorities? • Fewer than 25% • 25–50% • 51–75% • More…