Well, there goes the first week of the new year already. And, if you’ve been over-saturated with the Sorkin-like political fiscal cliff drama news from every media, I hope that this week’s news roundup will give some respite.
1) Bend Not Break – Ping Fu, the memoirist here, grew up in Mao’s China through harsh difficulties, including being gang-raped at age 10. At age 25, when she escaped to the US, with 4 words of English and $80, she started her American dream of entrepreneurship. This woman entered the world of technology startups and founded GeoMagic. Listen to her brief segment on NPR’s Marketplace and tell me it doesn’t make you pause for thought.
2) Perfect 4-minute Film – Dan Pink recommends that we should start our year with this brief film. I agree wholeheartedly. Now, you might say – this is something only idealistic kids would do. And, jaded as I have become over the years, I might have agreed with you. BUT – it is exactly this kind of infectious idealism that we need more of to counter the world-weariness that kills inspired acts of bold genius. The kid here has started a micro-movement across the globe. How many of us can lay such claims? [Apparently, this post got retweeted 1000+ times over just 2-3 days, per Pink.]
3) Here, I Made This – Speaking of movements, I love the genius of this one from Seth Godin. He’s not asking you to buy his latest book, The Icarus Deception. He’s asking you to boldly declare your creation / business on a bookmark and place it in a new copy of his book at your local bookstore. Then, if someone else finds it and emails him a scan, he’ll post a copy to his site. Simple, right? Now, if your bookmark/creation/business gets featured on Seth Godin’s site, won’t you feel just a tad compelled to buy his book at least? Sheer genius. Yes, it IS about connection. And, it IS a call to action for his tribe. But, this is a man who really understands what makes his particular tribe tick. And, how to create life-changing movements. His Icarus sessions are another related call to action.
4) Franchises Live On – If you own or are thinking of owning franchises and need some inspiration, this article gives you 3 great stories. I want to write a lot more about franchises this year as well. So, send me your story if you would like to feature in a post.
5) Best Startup Posts of 2012 – Someone’s done all the hard work that I was gearing up to do this week for my readers. So, here’s a great selection of best startup posts by category. I’m not done with all of them, but it is a terrific selection.
6) Small Experiments – If you already have your own venture / business, do you wonder when you should tweak your business model? Do you fear that you might break what may not need fixing? This is a good approach to thinking about conducting small experiments. I intend to write about this in a lot more detail in the future as well.
7) Fiscal Cliff Deal Implications for Small Businesses- OK, I know I said I would keep away from tax stuff, but I really think this is important for self-employed folks like us. If you’re over-saturated, just skip it. I won’t mind. [Note: If you earn more than $400,000, it's not going to be pretty for you. Here's a take on that scenario from WSJ.]
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