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To patent or not to patent, and if so when?

I am a research student who may have inadvertently invented something commercializable. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by cestlavie on Apr 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Midlife crisis: Suggestions for a career path out of media?

I'm nearly 40 years old and by some measures, successful. I graduated from a top university and have been employed by major companies for nearly 20 years of my professional life. I've grown increasingly dissatisfied with my chosen career though, and I was hoping some of the wise minds here could give me some advice. Details follow. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 13, 2014 - 6 answers

How can I keep up to date with the startup world?

As a programmer, I try to keep up to date with the tech world - including startups. Unfortunately, sometimes a site or app grows to huge proportions (ie. PInterest or Snapchat) and I have no idea that it exists. I know that there are a ton of blogs such as Techcrunch, Mashable, The Next Web and ReadWriteWeb, but these blogs are far too noisy for me as they all seem to run several posts per day. So I'd really love to find a site that focuses on those startups that are gaining significant traction. Or, I'd love to find a site where you can view what startups are getting hot, based on some metric such as people's votes. I know there's http://www.reddit.com/r/startups, but most of the posts are about the process of creating a startup. So what's a good site for keeping updated on startups that isn't too noisy?
posted by casebash on Dec 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Would u be offended if ur friend didn't tell what their business idea is

If your good friend told you they are trying to start a new business, but they don't want to tell you what kind of business, would you be offended? [more inside]
posted by MiuMiu on Dec 6, 2013 - 24 answers

How to register a company name and if under LLC or Corporation?

Hello, I am currently developing a small food business. I am interested in selling my food on weekends at outdoor markets across the city. I think this is a good way for me to get my feet off the ground and see how people respond to my product. What I can't quite figure out is if it is too soon to start thinking about registering the company name and logo? If so, would I register my small business as a LLC business or corporation? I am a bit confused. Would someone be able to help? Thank you!
posted by delasoull on Dec 6, 2013 - 6 answers

Hacked Instagram account; can my friend get justice?

A fellow aspiring entrepreneur and friend of mine is in desperate need of help. Time is of the essence! Here's the story: Two years ago he created his own business that sells custom hand-made clothes and products. He owns a website and is on all of the normal social media. One of his most effective tools to connect with customers is through instagram. He's worked hard over the years to develop a fan base of over 27K followers. Mysteriously, last night this account was hacked. They changed the password, hacked the business email, and have taken control of the brand. This account is the business' main source of revenue and advertisement. Although he's trademarked the company and taken all the normal preventative measures, the admin. at instagram claims there's nothing they can do to help. Assuming this is true, what are his available options? Essentially, my friend's ship just got hijacked by some evil bastards and he's going to need a seal team to get it back. [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool on Dec 3, 2013 - 15 answers

Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur's Soul

So I asked you for help solving my problems and said I'd do a three-part series over three weeks- thing is, I'm still on the first. Please help me with my business. [more inside]
posted by cacao on Nov 19, 2013 - 10 answers

help me solve my problems

I plan to make this a three-part series over three weeks, where I ask you to help me solve the three problems that keep percolating in my head. This week: my career [more inside]
posted by cacao on Nov 9, 2013 - 2 answers

I have an idea but I don't know what to do with it.

I have an idea for a product. I live in Chicago so I feel like there have to be some ueful resources around. I have never had something made or produced. How do I do that? And once I do that, what comes next? [more inside]
posted by smeater44 on Aug 20, 2013 - 9 answers

How do I evaluate the success of my business?

I own a restaurant in its first year of business. Some stretches I feel like we're doing just fine, whereas other stretches I feel like pulling out my hair. I'm having trouble evaluating the success of my business. We've very consistently turned a monthly profit, though I still own the bank nearly $150k, and I also have a large chunk of money invested myself, though I am paying myself $40k / yr. [more inside]
posted by masters2010 on Aug 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Are entrepreneurs employable?

Will the entrepreneurial work I've been dedicating the bulk of my time and energy to make me look hirable if I ever decide to get a "real job"? Or will it look like a potential liability and put me at a disadvantage? What will I be qualified for? [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Mar 4, 2013 - 6 answers

How can I start a digital publishing company?

Does anyone have an insights into the digital publishing industry? [more inside]
posted by swizzle_stik on Dec 20, 2012 - 7 answers

web-site address help

help with web-site address [more inside]
posted by saraindc on Nov 12, 2012 - 7 answers

Leaving the office?

Did you leave the office job for a year or more of trying to make it on your own? How did it go? Would you do it again? What would you go back in time and tell yourself? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Oct 31, 2012 - 14 answers

Cross border independent consulting- how's it work?

Cross border independent consulting- how's it work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 16, 2012 - 3 answers

What novels will nurture my inner entrepreneur?

There are plenty of non-fiction books on the subject of startups and entrepreneurship. But what about when you don't have the energy to learn? Please recommend me some novels on the subjects of creating products, building companies, etc. Inspiring tales of business and innovation... [more inside]
posted by ChristopherS on Aug 14, 2012 - 5 answers

Choosing entrepreneurial teams

Choosing teams for an entrepreneurial team project to solve problems in the developing world. Help me! *snowflakes inside* [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Jul 16, 2012 - 16 answers

Boss and Day Offs

Is it possible to take 1-2 days off a week if you own a business? [more inside]
posted by Asian_Hunnie on Jul 13, 2012 - 35 answers

How to protect idea for database and apps after showing it to someone?

I sent a video outlining an idea I came up with for a DB and series of apps to a contact I made at a big org. I received a terse reply that appeared to be claiming the idea as theirs. What is the best way to respond? [more inside]
posted by brynnwood on Jul 10, 2012 - 10 answers

How do I tell my friend that I stole her idea?

I stole my friend's idea. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 2, 2012 - 51 answers

Source for a quote

"Good Businesses look for a problem first of all and then try to find a solution." I have heard variations of this quote numerous times. I am writing a business pitch and would love to find a source to someone who decent who said either this or something similar.
posted by monkeywithhat on Jun 14, 2012 - 1 answer

How do you get to Eye of the Tiger mode?

How do you cultivate discipline as an entrepreneur, or even just in general? [more inside]
posted by drea on Jun 7, 2012 - 8 answers

Working on my own start-up and looking for tips on solo entrepreneurship.

Working on my own start-up and looking for tips on solo entrepreneurship. [more inside]
posted by heartofglass on Feb 7, 2012 - 5 answers

Businesses to start instead of spending the 200k on a grad education?

Businesses to start instead of paying for grad school? [more inside]
posted by saraindc on Jan 27, 2012 - 18 answers

Engineering entrepreneurship

Is one field of engineering more suited to entrepreneurial endeavors? How does one become an entrepreneur in engineering or otherwise? [more inside]
posted by strekker on Dec 24, 2011 - 8 answers

New one-main-person business website: "I" or "We"?

After nearly a year of being unemployed and looking for that perfect job, I've decided instead to start my own business. It is set up as a sole proprietorship, but I will be collaborating with a bunch of fellow freelancers as their services become necessary (video editors, etc). On my website (which is set up as the name of my company), I have been using "we" to describe the work. "We have ten years of experience" "We have a specific passion for telling stories", etc. I'm not trying to fool anyone (my "about us" page basically says "this company is SoftLord, and also other awesome freelance partners"), but I'm having a difficult time figuring out the proper language to use. I've been going back and forth on this with fellow solopreneurs (yeah, I know) and there hasn't been any consensus. Is this disingenuous? Should I be using "I" instead? Snowflake inside. [more inside]
posted by softlord on Dec 4, 2011 - 25 answers

How do you learn to set and work on goals as an adult?

How do I figure out what I want to be when I grow up? I've been very lucky in my life so far—just a little bit of work has yielded me amazing opportunities that have more or less fallen into my lap. But I'm starting to realize that I have no idea how to set, develop, and follow through on goals on my own. [more inside]
posted by sockpuppet yo on Nov 30, 2011 - 5 answers

Help me hack fear of failure

What are your personal hacks for getting over fear of failure? [more inside]
posted by carolinaherrera on Nov 2, 2011 - 19 answers

Entrepreneurship class: We're creating a GPS company, how do we get licensing?

Obtain a commercial license to use GPS? [more inside]
posted by snow_mac on Oct 23, 2011 - 7 answers

I just got into a top journalism school, but I want to be an entrepreneur

I'm 24 years old. I graduated in May with no debt from what is, frankly, a terrible college with a bachelor's degree in psychology. From there, I got into a top journalism program that will take 2 years to complete. My debt from that won't be astronomical, but I'm still worried about it. I wrote for my school paper and people really loved my work. My career goal if I were to go down this road is to write feature stories for New York Magazine and Esquire. I'd be satisfied with myself if I did that, even if the money wasn't fantastic. However, I've always dreamed of having my own dress company. [more inside]
posted by CorduroyCorset on Mar 21, 2011 - 19 answers

How do I get businesses for sale marketed to me?

I am interested in buying an existing business. How do I find businesses for sale, and how do I get taken seriously? [more inside]
posted by prunes on Feb 7, 2011 - 11 answers

Youth entrepreneurship in British Columbia

What resources are available to an aspiring teen entrepreneur in British Columbia? [more inside]
posted by mossicle on Nov 6, 2010 - 1 answer

From the kitchen to the real thing.

How much does it cost to bring a new (non-alcoholic) beverage to market? [more inside]
posted by eschatfische on Oct 12, 2010 - 4 answers

How do you actually make money off of web-based software?

I'm a web developer with enough proven abilities to develop good stuff that end users like. I'm employed, but want to start a business with a couple of friends with complementary skill sets in the technical side of things. We'd like to create one or more web-based products used by small-to-mid-size businesses and/or individual consumers, paid for on a monthly basis using a "software as a service" model. We've got more than enough combined development and graphical/UX design abilities, but we have no solid product ideas that we feel confident enough about to start doing the enormous amount of work involved in any of them. The main problem with any idea we get is this question: how on Earth do you convince anybody to pay you money for the product? [more inside]
posted by lifeless on Sep 6, 2010 - 13 answers

Ownership. I wants it.

I want to open a bar in San Francisco. This is my first step. [more inside]
posted by danny the boy on Jul 22, 2010 - 14 answers

How do I pitch an idea to a corporation without getting screwed?

Can I make a company sign a contract that says that they will have to pay me a certain percentage of profits for an idea? [more inside]
posted by defmute on Jul 2, 2010 - 14 answers

Entrepreneurship: boiler-plate trend or the way of the future?

I am a young person terrified of this so-called 'new economy' we are entering. I don't have the entrepreneurial streak that everyone says is necessary for success, and my strengths are not ones valued in the labor market. How do I avoid underemployment and unemployment? [more inside]
posted by slow graffiti on Jun 14, 2010 - 21 answers

Starting a startup?

What do you wish you had known before starting your...startup? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on May 30, 2010 - 10 answers

How to make sure a business idea has merit before running with it?

How do you make sure a business idea has merit before running with it? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on May 22, 2010 - 5 answers

Is selling other people's junk on eBay a good idea?

I want to start an "I will sell your stuff on Ebay" service in my town. What should I know about this before proceeding? [more inside]
posted by Wanderboy on May 8, 2010 - 9 answers

Is it feasible to start a brewery?

My family has an old family farm out in Hannibal, Missouri (Birthplace of Mark Twain™) that I've been told I could use for future business ventures. Is it a good idea to turn it into a brewery? [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Apr 24, 2010 - 13 answers

How do you market a new blog?

How do you market a new blog? [more inside]
posted by gacxllr9 on Apr 16, 2010 - 17 answers

Startup and niche marketing podcasts?

How can I take advantage of a long road trip to learn about entrepreneurship and niche marketing? [more inside]
posted by mokudekiru on Mar 19, 2010 - 2 answers

Does the tranquil business owner really exist?

Do business owners and freelancers ever learn to relax while running their own businesses? And if so, how do they get to that point? [more inside]
posted by the foreground on Mar 19, 2010 - 18 answers

How to help rural hometown friends survive in this economy?

What's the best way to help my rural hometown friends survive in this economy? [more inside]
posted by ElfWord on Dec 27, 2009 - 31 answers

Help me buy or start a company

Suppose an entrepreneur has 100k to 200k cash. He has some experience launching and marketing a small scale services firm, but has no financial background. He wants to use his 100/200k to start a new business venture. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 23, 2009 - 6 answers

Real Estate development in a nutshell

I think I really, really want to get into developing real estate. Can anyone give me an overview description of what the work / process is is like? [more inside]
posted by drea on Oct 21, 2009 - 6 answers

How to Write a Business Plan

I'm looking for some freely available online business plan templates for a quasi-client who wants to start a training business catering to IT project management in government. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jul 28, 2009 - 2 answers

good research materials on the subject of electric cars, 3d modeling and/or entrepreneurship?

good research materials on the subject of electric cars, 3d modeling and/or entrepreneurship? [more inside]
posted by groovinkim on Jul 20, 2009 - 4 answers

What is the best way to be a part owner in the restaurant I'm helping design?

What is the best way to be a part owner in the restaurant I'm helping design? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 8, 2009 - 4 answers

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