Inc. Magazine May 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
creative construction

When we think about business and creation, we think first that the people running businesses are lauded as job creators. Or, perhaps, of the Austrian-born economist Joseph Schumpeter’s enduring description of capitalism as “creative destruction.” What’s too often overlooked is that so many businesses are themselves creative. Creativity isn’t restricted to an obvious artistic field, like film or dance. Lots of com panies not only make something out of nothing; they also structure reality in a way that few if any have seen before. Take, for example, Adelle Archer of Eterneva, whom you’ll meet as part of our Rising Stars cover package (page 24). Moved by the premature death of a mentor, Archer found a way to transform the ashes of a deceased loved one or pet into jewelry, a physical, daily…

4 min
the problem with the platforms

Jeremy Edberg has some advice: Don’t build a business on Amazon’s digital turf. Edberg, a veteran infrastructure architect for Netflix, Reddit, and PayPal, has seen the movie many times: A software startup launches, catering to the millions of companies that use Amazon Web Services, and quickly attracts customers—and then Amazon, with its God’s-eye view of its platform, spots it and trots out a cheaper product boasting full AWS integration. Within six months, the startup folds. But, contrary to his own advice, Edberg chose to build his new cloud-management startup, MinOps, on the AWS platform. “My hope is I can diversify faster than they can build the same functionality,” he says. These days, what can founders do but hope? Starting a business now invariably means going through one or more of the…

5 min

STARTUP NEIGHBORHOODS The old factories and warehouses dotting the Allegheny River make up Robotics Row, where Edge Case Research—which, among other things, tests self-driving-car soft-ware—works out of 19th century stables. Boutiques and craft breweries have taken over Lawrenceville’s vacant storefronts in this once blue-collar neighborhood. Grab a coffee at Caffè d’Amore in Upper Lawrenceville on your way to RE2 Robotics, 4 a robotic arm manufacturer. Farther south, Toll Gate Revival sells reclaimed industrial objects near Uber’s Advanced Technologies. With more than 500 employees, Google’s 2 presence in Bakery Square, site of a former Nabisco factory, looms large in East Liberty. Startup accelerators AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear reside here, as does language-learning app Duolingo, recently relocated from the Shadyside neighborhood. WHO TO KNOW You’re no entrepreneur until you’ve been hit by “a two-by-Frank,” Carnegie Mellon’s Mawhinney…

1 min
the campus jocks who practice on mom’s couch

Carl Leone attended Chicago’s Robert Morris University, going to class till noon—stretching tired hands when the lectures got boring—and then heading to practice from 2 to 9 p.m. Some nights, he continued at home for hours after his team’s clubhouse closed. He wanted to go pro, you see. At League of Legends. Yes, the wildly popular game owned by Inc.’s former Company of the Year Riot Games. In 2014, Leone was one of 35 students who won the nation’s first e-sports scholarships offered by RMU. Around 40 schools offer them now. “There are unbelievably skilled kids,” says RMU’s executive e-sports director, Kurt Melcher. “Why not bring them on the way we do with any other sport?” RMU gives its e-gamers standard jock accoutrements, including uniforms and medical help for ailments…

1 min
the jargonator

FLICK • noun I regret to inform you that Facebook has invented a unit of time. One “flick” equals 1/705,600,000th of a second. It has something to do with “std::chrono::duration” and, for those keeping score, “1 TimeRef = 50 flicks.” I suggest we stick to measuring our lives with coffee spoons. Source: Facebook HODL • verb Mistyping hold gave cryptocurrency fanatics an acronym for “hold on for dear life.” This ties in with Paul Krugman’s “Wile E. Cryptocoyote”: When running off a cliff, never look down. Source: CNBC/Paul Krugman PERMANXIETY • noun “A near-constant state” of unease travelers feel from “terrorism, security, neo-isolationism, racial tension, Trumpism … the widening economic gap, culture wars, climate change”—jeez, guys, stay home already. Source: Skift TOO BIG TO TAX • adjective “Various tax credits and tax breaks” meant Amazon made $5.6 billion in 2017…

2 min
the pros and the cons of net neutrality

Should the internet be treated like a utility, such as electricity? Yes. Innovation didn’t decrease when net neutrality rules were in place. They made it possible for upstarts, like mine and Eliran’s, to compete. The Communications Act of 1934 tried to regulate the phone system. It caused a lack of competition and made services more expensive. More regulation is terrible for businesses. What will the internet look like now that the FCC has rolled back these rules? The dystopian vision is that you’ll be able to watch Netflix, but when someone puts an indie film online, you’ll have to pay an extra $100 a month to see it. That’s a world where someone starting a company can’t get distribution. No changes. Eliminating net neutrality hasn’t caused any shift. Whatever has changed is due to market…