February 7, 2009
My friend Dan is launching a great organization called Triangle Gives Back with the goal of engaging corporations in the Triangle area of North Carolina to give more back to the community. The Triangle area ranks highly in many national lists that compare quality of living, education, business climate, universities, etc but its rankings for philanthropy are a little further down the list. Triangle Gives Back will be a hub for businesses, employees, organizations, and individuals to discuss opportunities for giving and partnering across the divide between for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.
As one specific example, businesses will pledge discounts to qualified member not-for-profit organizations who can then take advantage of the service or product discounts. Preation has pledged a discount for Eden Platform’s monthly subscription cost to Triangle Gives Back. Under this arrangement Triangle based charitable organizations can optimize their websites with no technical or marketing expertise required at a low and discounted cost. Eden Platform is offered with no setup fee and no term commitment so not-for-profit organizations can rest easy knowing that Preation has entirely removed the risk from the process of optimizing a website for the search engines. Non-profit organizations use Eden Platform to reduce cost and delays, empower staff and volunteers, and expand the reach and influence of their missions online.
February 7, 2009
The Triangle business journal highlighted a few local cities, Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, that ranked in the list of best of national job growth in 2008. Out of the top 88 cities only 15 actually had a net gain in jobs in 2008 with most losing several thousand net jobs within the year. The article didn’t seem to have much to say about the fact that four out of the top five cities on the list were in Texas (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin). That was pretty impressive to me.
Only Washington DC represented any other part of the nation in the top five. Each of the cities in Texas that topped the list gained ~10,000+ jobs and Houston gained nearly 60,000. I need to visit Texas some more this year and talk to some business owners to find out what’s driving the growth down there. Many of those cities and certainly Austin are known as up-and-coming technology business centers but I didn’t realize the growth was so out of proportion with the rest of the country. Or maybe it was simply that the job loss due to macro economic challenges was less for this region. Regardless, something is different and inquiring minds want to know.
Durham created 1,700 net jobs and ranked 11th which was due in small part to iContact hiring around 80 employees in 2008 which was pretty cool to see.
February 5, 2009
A friend of mine passed on an article to me tonight on the topic of (warning: some possibly offensive content on this site) dating an entrepreneur and I thought it was good enough to be shared. I don’t believe I ever dated an entrepreneur actually thinking back on it now. These days my wife is becoming a bit of an entrepreneur herself so I guess I’m wading into this situation slowly. In her article Kelli looks at what it’s like to date an entrepreneur, a reflection probably not far from the conversations in the heads of everyone I dated in my single years. I will mention as a marital-peace disclaimer… I do not remember these years.
Entrepreneurs can do very abnormal things but I think they are driven my pretty normal motivations.
I heard a great analogy from John Grinnell of Grinnell Leadership the other day about two different people approaching the same problem from different angles. The story goes like this. Two people with identical assets and situations see a beach house for sale and the first person decides that the monthly payment is simply too much for them so they turn down the opportunity to buy it. The second person sees the beach house and knows that they cannot afford the monthly payment but notices that because of the structure of the house two additional downstairs entrances would easily allow it to be subdivided into three units. Because the property is undervalued two units could easily be sold for the total value of the house which would yield them a free house at the beach. The house is smaller and the risk required to purchase the house and divide it into three separate units may be high… but the reward of a free beach house is high.
The funny stories you hear about entrepreneurs come in the midst of these little projects and I bet many of them rise out of the stress that comes from taking unusual risks. Using money and time carefully and seeing business opportunities everywhere comes naturally to this type. They can also be seen as loners because the large majority of the population thinks like the first person in the example above who would never consider subdividing the beach house.