Sunday, February 14, 2010

5 Business and Investing Blogs

Five Business and Investing blogs - Entrepreneurship sub-category

1. Biz Plan Hacks NO
2. The Franchise King YES
3. Information Arbitrage YES
4. Springwise YES
5. Under 30 CEO YES

Biz Plan Hacks BizPlanHack's mission is to provide practical planning tips for busy business owners. Every weekday you will find a fresh 'Hack' direct from the trenches to help you with organization and planning. Publisher: Creative Weblogging
I subscribed to Biz Plan Hacks, and the latest entry I received was January 28, 2010.

So I checked out the blog at its website and found that the last update to the blog was made on February 9! So, like Mysterious Issues, a blog I reviewed a few days ago, even though the actual blog is being updated on a regular basis, for some reason the feed isn’t making it to the Kindle!

The website also doesn’t give an option to subscribe via the Kindle, so one wonders if they’ve just decided to forego using the Kindle interface altogether.

Having said that, has some very good information. If you’re thinking of starting up a business, you need a business plan, and you need one that grows as you grow. There are four separate authors at this site who give you advice you need. It’s just too bad you can’t get it delivered conveniently to your Kindle! (I’m reluctant to try the Hard Restart of the Kindle solution that worked a few days ago when my own mystery review blog, The Friends of Mr. Cairo, wasn’t updating. Since then I’ve subscribed to dozens of blogs (temporarily) and never had a problem – but I have found two – this one and Mysterious Issues, that have some problems that can’t be Kindle related…they must be on the other end.

The Franchise King Blog Cleveland, Ohio franchise guru provides franchise investment tips,discusses upcoming trends,and reports on small business activity.

The Franchise King Blog is another one of those blogs that, at its website, gives you a paragraph, then a link that says “Read more here.” But, their blog interface is sophisticated enough so that on the Kindle, you get the entire article seamlessly, no need to click on a Read More button! I don’t know why more bloggers don’t have their feed set up that way.. perhaps they don’t realize that it’s possible to do that.

Anyway, The Franchise King is another fascinating business blog. The author talks about the various types of franchises out there (and there are more than just fast food restaurants).

Well-written, informative, and if you're thinking of opening a franchise, worth your time and money.

Here’s the last four entries:
--This low-investment business opportunity is now a member of the #100 club (Speaking Roses)
--Franchises for Sale! Huge Savings! Franchise Prices Slashed! Huge rebates!
--My Franchise Business Advice for the week of Feb 8, 2010
--Constant Contact Announces the Recipients of the Franchise Excellence in Email Awards

Information Arbitrage A 17-year Wall Street veteran's perspectives on investment, hedge funds, and ways to harness the power of the internet for Institutional Investors.. Publisher: Information Arbitrage. Costs 99 cents a month.

Some text from his latest blog entry:
IA Venture Strategies - Working to Build a Better Venture Mouse-trap
As was ably covered by Dan Primack in PEHub, I am starting a new venture fund. However, as my friends and venture colleagues know, I am extremely down on what the venture industry has become. To be clear, it is less an issue of structure (management + incentive fees in a GP/LP structure) and more an issue of size. It is clear to understand how motivations get skewed when venture firms effectively become asset managers, where the management fees alone are sufficient to make the partners rich and investments must become increasingly large and non-venture like. Growth capital is not venture capital in my parlance. Venture capital means funding "ventures" - taking on early-stage risk - and actively helping companies execute their plans and achieve their potential. I have a theory that the largest a true venture fund can be, which means, having a seed-stage investment charter together with a "life cycle" approach to investing (leaning into winners, deploying larger amounts of capital in Series A and B rounds, if necessary) is around $300 million. But I digress...

I decided to start my fund after determining that many of the deals I was seeing were both strategic and thematic, strategic to my trading company and thematic in that they all had a common thread - helping to manage and extract value from massive, often real-time data sets - "big data" in jargon. Rather than prosecute them as an angel, I felt a fund structure would better enable me to "size up" in particular deals and to cast a wider net across the big data domain. I wanted the fund to be small ($25 million stated goal, but with the ability to go a little higher) and I wanted it to be different than most venture funds I know, who have raised money largely from pension funds and endowments. I really wanted the fund to be an extension of my activities as an angel, where I frequently build syndicates of value-added angels and select venture firms to help de-risk the portfolio companies and create a network effect across a particular domain.

Talking about the blogs of investors who can start $25 million funds is just a leetle bit outside my area of expertise. All I can say is he certainly sounds like he knows what he’s talking about!

The author, Roger Ehrenberg, updates this blog on an irregular basis. When he’s “on” he does it every four days or so, but sometimes there’s a month in between. It is with this kind of blog that subscribing via the Kindle is most necessary. It only costs 99 cents a month – the cost of a cup of coffee, and when he does make a post you get it immediately without having to constantly check his website. And should he never update it (which I doubt will happen, but of course, anything’s possible) you’re only out $12 for the year. I’d say that’s a better investment risk than many out there!

Reading such a blog gives the average investor an insight into the rarified air of these fund managers, shows how their minds think, and so on. It’s a fascinating read.

Springwise Springwise scans the globe for the most promising business ventures, ideas and concepts ready for regional or international adaptation, expansion, partnering, investments or cooperation. Ferociously tracking more than 400 global offline and online business resources, as well as taking to the streets of world cities, digital cameras at hand. Publisher: Springwise

I give this blog a 100% thumbs up. Very enjoyable reads! It's a blog that will spur you to come up with your own ideas, intrigue your desire to check these businesses out, or just generally read because they sound like fun businesses.

The last five entries of Springwise:

--Chocolate with a conservation commitment: San Francisco based Original Beans plants a tree in a rainforest for every chocolate bar it sells.
--More decorative, designer barcodes – whimsical barcode designs from Vanity Barcodes
--Wifi Scale tracks its users weight onlin- from a French company called Withings
--Stock portfolio unites 20 best-loved brands
--Global directory lets medical tourists find and review clinics (RevaHealth)
--Business books served in bite sizes for e-readers. FT Press Delivers.
--Cookbook Only Store with Test Kitchen and Café. 25% Celsius is the store, Tryvertising is the advertising method.
--Eco-habitats for cats that can be decorated by kids, Caboodle Habitat for Cats

Under30CEO Leading young entrepreneurs to success in business and lifestyle. Daily articles covering being successful in business and also how to live it up in life. Interviews, expert Q&A and business reviews are done on a regular basis. Life has unlimited options, we are here to show you those options! Live the Dream.

This blog presents interviews with CEOs, as well as tips and information on starting and running a business. Well written, informative, everything you could want in an entrepreneurship blog.

The last five entries:

--Little Ducks Organic is moving forward with organic baby foods
--5 reasons why you should start dreaming now
--Pro football player turned LinkedIn Expert with Lewis Howes
--Biz Book a Day Giveaway + Limitless VC Contest
--Increasing Revenue Through Search Visibility: Part 2 of 5
--Dude, where’s my time?

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