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Top of Minds 5 Must Read Articles in Entrepreneurship

Taylor Brown on August 08, 2014 Source: e360 Blog

Taylor BrownIt looks like Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies is out to buy the next big thing in consumer health and wellness. Late last month, the $300 billion company announced its plans to partner with CircleUp, an equity-based crowdfunding platform. The news was all over the national entrepreneurship-focused media outlets. An article on Entrepreneur.com explained that the behemoth business made this move to get early access to the pipeline of emerging innovations in its market. Then it can acquire and add these products to its own product line.

Johnson & Johnson is scooping up these fledgling companies to beef up its product lines. And while it's at it, the big business is helping entrepreneurs get their ideas to market and in front of millions of potential customers. Seems like a win-win, right? Well, not everyone thinks so.

Foreshadowing this news, an article on The Wall Street Journal online discussed the same kind of trend taking place at established, high tech companies. In “An Innovation Slowdown at the Tech Giants,” the author used Facebook’s February acquisition of WhatsApp (a mobile messaging startup) for $19 billion as an example of what Johnson & Johnson is looking to do. He asks an interesting question though: “What possessed Facebook to spend that kind of money?”

His answer isn’t positive. In his opinion, Facebook, like many established companies, is at a crossroads with its measly 4 percent user growth last year—innovate within its own walls or buy the next big thing. “It may prove a brilliant strategy. But it also means that Facebook, one of the most innovative companies of the past decade, now depends on purchasing the inventiveness of others,” the author states.

What do you think? Is this the kind of innovation our country needs? Read the article below and weigh in using #TopOfMind.

What Does a Multibillion-Dollar Corporation Want With Crowdfunding?

This morning, Johnson & Johnson was worth nearly $300 billion. Yesterday, Johnson & Johnson announced that it plans to partner with CircleUp (an equity-based crowdfunding platform). Partnering with CircleUp will give this corporate giant the opportunity to see emerging products in its market. They want access early on to the pipeline of new products so that it can acquire these companies and add its product lines.

Why the Structural Changes to the VC Industry Matter

The VC industry is experiencing a time of change. Companies are not going public as soon as they used to and public investors are entering the VC game. Here are some reasons why the VC structure is changing: there is a rise of small funds, concentration of capital among fewer larger firms, decline in the number of VC firms and companies are staying private longer. It is cheaper to start a company today, but in some ways more difficult to raise capital. Even though it is easier to enter the market, that does not in anyway guarantee that these companies will win the market.

The Skills Leaders Need at Every Level

Are there certain leadership skills that one should have at every level of management? A dataset was compiled where 332,860 bosses, peers and subordinates were asked what skills had the greatest impact on a leader’s success (from the perspective of their current position). Every respondent selected the top 4 out of a list of 16. These results were then compared to managers at different levels. There were four consistent skills that all of these groups had in common: 1) inspires/motivates others 2) displays high integrity and honesty 3) drives for results 4) communicates powerfully and politically.

Smart Entrepreneurs Don’t Need Disruptive Technology

Businesses that are not called “disruptive technology” are not as sexy right now in the startup world. Don’t let this fool you! Right now, simple models seem to portray a lesser image. This model is still really hard. In fact, it can be argued that it is more difficult because more effort and attention might be required to ensure you know what works and what doesn’t. Try to improve your odds with the advice in this piece.

Takeaways From July Jobs Report

On payrolls, the trend is your friend. The consensus forecast was 230,000 jobs. The result was 209,000 jobs. The good news is this is the 6th consecutive month of a net of 200,000 jobs per month.

  1. More jobs for past months. An additional 127,000 jobs were added in the first half of the year.
  2. But there is still slack in the labor markets. The jobless rate ticked up to 6.2% in July.
  3. For fed, it’s “show us the money”. A sign of balanced labor market will be higher wage growth.
  4. Factory workers are bringing it. Factory payrolls jumped 28,000 slots last month.


Tags:  Top of Mind, 5 Must Read Articles in Entrepreneurship, Johnson and Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Circle-Up, equity-based crowdfunding platform, Facebook, WhatsApp, Wall Street Journal, big tech companies acquiring innovation, VC industry, Skills Leaders need, July Jobs Report,

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