This Week In Small Business: Mibblio, Kaggle and Shodogg

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(This post originally appeared on the New York Times)

A weekly roundup of small-business developments.

What’s affecting me, my clients and other small-business owners this week.

Must-Reads

Ryan Tate says you can hear the screams of crushed start-ups echo across Silicon Valley. Here are five reasons undergraduate entrepreneurship coursesaren’t producing entrepreneurs. Anil Dash offers 10 rules of the Internet.

The Economy: Manufacturing Is Sexy

Retail and food service (pdf) sales for June increased slightly, and consumer prices rose 1.8 percent over last year. Tim Mullaney reports on why the economy is not yet a pretty picture, Michael Lombardi explains why a recession is inevitable within 12 months, and Fabius Maximus is confused. But American manufacturers are seeing domestic growth, industrial output rose by the most in four months, and a Penn State University professor proclaimsproclaims that manufacturing is sexy again. Conditions in the New York regionimproved modestly, and the Philadelphia area showed solid expansion. Builder confidence increased to its highest in seven years. Ben S. Bernanke tells the world the Federal Reserve is still easing. Shawn Tully explains whythe interest rate party is over. Small businesses created 45 percent of the new jobs generated in June.

Finance: $92 Quadrillion

AmeriMerchant announces a new $60 million credit line to finance small businesses, HSBC starts a $1 billion loan program for small exporters, and a Paypal glitch debits $92 quadrillion from a guy’s account. Tracy Kellaher lists four ways banks alienate small-business customers. Here are the 13 biggest Kickstarter projects ever — and where they stand now. Amrik Randhawa suggests three accounting habits to practice weekly, and a new cash-flow tool promises to help businesses improve their forecasting.

Start-Up: Mibblio, Kaggle and Shodogg

Here’s why so many start-ups have silly names, like Mibblio, Kaggle and Shodogg. A start-up wants to help freelancers earn more. Here are 16 essential skills for freelancers. Google and Blackbox, a global start-up accelerator, team up to help selected start-ups. A study reveals how to spot future entrepreneurs (hint: it’s not about the grades), and one entrepreneur makes millions doing the chores we all dread. Nathan Beckord explains how he hacked the start-up conference circuit.

People: Unlimited Vacation

Justin Fox makes the case for paying people more. Bryan Goldberg explains why seeing employees get rich is awesome. The chief technology officer and co-founder of HubSpot says employees should get unlimited vacation, andthis company is advertising for a happiness engineer. A business owner offers employees the use of a financial adviser. The difference between how employees are are treated at a company can boil down to which ones have children. Victor Cheng suggests five ways to keep employees from checking out on the job. Christine Comaford shares her thoughts on using psychologyto engage employees. A restaurant owner fires all of his employees by text message.

Management: Crazy, Successful People

Here are some tips for making it in the art world. Carolyn Gregoire shares the one thing that many “crazy successful people” do every morning. A Sage survey finds small-business owners continue to work longer hours and take less vacation. Srikanth An says doing foolish things with enthusiasm is one of10 traits of a successful entrepreneur, and Valerie Balester lists seven habits ofhighly effective communicators. Lin DeBeaulieu shares a few fitness tips for business travelers, and Paul Mah shows how to transform your hotel roominto a productive workspace. Prasad Kaipa explains to tell if you’re sufferingfrom “Superman syndrome.” Jason Piatt suggests eight steps to improveoperational processes.

Marketing: Selling in Asia

Jeff Bullas points out seven marketing trends you should not ignore. Sean D’Souza says there are three core elements of good storytelling (and says your business needs them). Sonia Simone says there are five things you can do this week to fix your marketing. Craig Briggs has 12 answers to help Western marketers sell in Asia. Some retailers are tracking their shoppers’ cell phones, and research finds that mobile accounts for 85 percent of gas and conveniencestore searches.

Social Media: Twitter Power

Stephanie Miles shares seven strategies for maximizing the success of your social media. This infographic reveals the marketing power of Twitter. Dave Matthews hitchhikes to his own show. Bridget Ayers wants you to implement these simple security settings for your social media activities. Becky McCray explains what to do if you hate your Web site. Andy Hayes shares three Web trends that customers (and business owners) will love.

Around The Country: Boot Camp for Women

Detroit files the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history. Moody’sdowngrades Chicago’s debt. Miami is experiencing a rise in start-up activity, and Phoenix small businesses are seeing a growing economy. Angered by the Zimmerman verdict, some are calling for a boycott of Florida businesses. An entrepreneur finds a niche in the San Francisco rental market. The Community College of Philadelphia is offering free small-business training. An online event will feature a panel of women entrepreneurs who have received financing from United States Special Operations Command. American Express Open will hold a boot camp for women entrepreneurs in September.

Around The World: Hitting the (Great) Wall

The world’s largest building opens for business in China even as the country’seconomic growth slows (and Paul Krugman suggests it’s about to hit the wall). Central bankers in India and Brazil tighten liquidity. The infamous Russian oligarch Sergey Veremeenko shows how the .00001 percent lives in Moscow. British retailers are coming up with creative ways to capitalize on the royal baby buzz. The Middle East tops the West in female founders of tech companies.

Red Tape: Planning for Bunny Disasters

Microsoft is backing a small-business lobby to ease immigration laws. The Feds want a disaster plan to protect magic-hat bunnies. Here’s how Hurricane Sandy affected local taxes. Richard Posner says the sequester has been a failure. The Internal Revenue Service cancels one of its furlough days. A report finds that two of every three small-business executives say they’re not ready for the Affordable Care Act. Still, the new law is bringing good news about insurance premiums. Hamilton Nolan reports that part-time is the new full-time, but Matthew Yglesias says “Obamacare” is not to blamePrivacy fears over the legislation are looming as agencies begin to link up. More doctors are bailing out on their practices.

Technology: Five Million Smartwatches

A research firm says $2.1 trillion will go into information technology spendingin 2013. Paid apps are on the decline. Five million smartwatches are expected to ship in 2014. Ramon Ray has 10 tips for staying safe and virus free. NewMac malware is confusing users. Here are the eight best apps for team collaboration. Samsung continues to dominate Android. Microsoft’s introduction of the Surface was “a disaster,” but Tony Bradley says the device can help small businesses reduce tech costs. Sameer Doshi, who is blind, shows how he uses a computer. Researchers have developed a phone that can be recharged with urine.

Tweet Of The Week

‏@SalesLeaderTodd – Is there a silver bullet for sales? Nope. If you have forgotten the basics get reacquainted and sell more.

The Week’s Best Quotes

Seth Godin believes more people are marketing badly: “The cure? Notice what is working in the real world and try to figure out why. Apply it to your work. Repeat. Learn to see, to discern the difference between good and bad, between useful and merely comfortable.”

Adrienne Asselmeier says failure really is an option: “Instead of proclaiming that you’re not afraid to fail, it’s important to contemplate challenges you may face, how you will handle them, and what you will do if ultimately you do fail. If you’re prepared for failure as an option, then you won’t end up in the gutter because you will be vigilant and flexible while still working toward your business goals.”

This Week’s Question: Are you prepared to fail?

Gene Marks owns the Marks Group, a Bala Cynwyd, Pa., consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. You can follow him on Twitter.

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