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New Beer Developed to Maximize Creativity
Problem solver portions
Conventional wisdom tells us that getting a little drunk stimulates creativity and problem-solving by quieting that “inner critic” who tells us to ignore (or not speak out loud) our most divergent ideas. The trick, of course, is getting just drunk enough to be creative and productive without slipping over into the territory where every idea feels like a good idea. Advertising agency CP + B has teamed up with Professor Jennifer Wiley of the University of Illinois at Chicago to solve that problem for us. Wiley’s team discovered that a blood alcohol level of 0.075% is optimal for creative problem solving. The Copenhagen-based ad agency has create ... Read More →

How to Reward Startup Workers With a Stake in the Business
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Equity Sharing Question: How should an entrepreneur award equity to skilled technical workers? I’m considering doing this for a development team and Web designer. Answer: There’s really no tried-and-true formula for sharing equity with your employees because there are myriad variables unique to each situation. Here are a few things to think about. First, is awarding equity common in your industry and your region? If not, it may best be avoided. “It’s standard practice in Silicon Valley, but not so much elsewhere,” says Michael Gold, president of Intermedia, a cloud technology company based in Mountain View, Calif. “The stage and structure of y ... Read More →

The Moments Startup Founders Always Remember
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One of our investors Robert Siegel always tells me, “Startups are the best and worst time of your life. What they don’t tell you is that those moments are 24 hours apart.” Every time I catch up with Robert I’m at a different point on the emotional roller coaster that all founders ride: unbelievable highs coupled with gut-wrenching lows. Whether you like it or not, you’re always thinking about ways you can improve your company, and, as a result, your emotions are constantly affected by its success (or lack thereof). Not all moments on this roller coaster are created equal. The same way physical roller coasters have distinct characteristics; eac ... Read More →

Distributing solar energy products via Digicel merchants in Haiti
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Idea This idea capitalizes on the most ubiqutous distribution network in Haiti - Digicel Top Up merchants. To add more minutes to their mobile phones, Haitians visit roaming vendors sometimes as much as twice a week. These merchants present a preexisting network for spreading the word, selling, and distributing small-scale solar devices. The same customers who visit these vendors to add minutes naturally need means by which to charge their cell phone among other essential needs. We would start by selecting 20 merchants from across the Port-au-Prince urban area as a pilot to test success in selling the solar devices. These merchants would be ... Read More →

America Is Très Bien For French Entrepreneurs
Frenchentrepreneurs
“Do you want to play second division or do you want to make it to the stars?” Sebastien Mirolo asks me. The thirty-seven-year-old has shed the existential torture and gravitas of his native country – France – for the cheery optimism and hyperbole speak of America. Having rolled through three startups, Mirolo is a serial entrepreneur. The first one bankrupted him (at one point, he slept on a friend’s couch for more than six months because he did not have money for rent) and the second one did not gain traction. He is currently at work on his third startup. “I could have done this (started three companies) in France but I would have been conside ... Read More →

TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2014
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There are more people than ever on Earth, but never have we been this connected with each other. Photography plays a large role, with the still image continuing to hold extraordinary power, bypassing borders and languages and cultures, to inform and educate us. Its success is its impact, altering our actions or thoughts merely because it exists. It’s our proof. And technology has kept pace. Each photograph selected for TIME’s Top 10 photos of 2014, unranked and carefully culled from thousands, takes us into a dramatic scene that provides an important visual record of history. As these images came through our news-gathering operation over the c ... Read More →

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