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1 hour ago by braposo
Venture Capitalist: A.I. Hype Still “Has a Ways to Go Up” - The New York Times
The chief executive of Google has likened artificial intelligence to fire — a powerful breakthrough that is full of risks. Earlier this year, Google said it would not renew a contract to provide artificial intelligence technology to a Pentagon program after company employees protested.
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10 hours ago by satoyuta
Something New May Be Rising Off California Coast: Wind Farms - The New York Times
LOS ANGELES — California’s aggressive pursuit of an electric grid fully powered by renewable energy sources is heading in a new direction: offshore.
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10 hours ago by satoyuta
When a Manager You Don’t Like Expects a Wedding Invitation - The New York Times
An employee reluctantly invited her immediate manager to her wedding. Now the boss has blabbed about the occasion to a higher-up manager — whom the employee really dislikes. Send your workplace conundrums to workologist@nytimes.
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10 hours ago by satoyuta
Italy’s Debt Rating Is Cut to One Level Above Junk - The New York Times
The rating on Italy’s debt was slashed on Friday by Moody’s Investors Service to one level above junk in a reaction to the Italian government’s decision to accept higher budget deficits in coming years.
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10 hours ago by satoyuta
A Harvest That Requires Flooding, Floating and Pumping - The New York Times
Growing cranberries involves techniques that aren’t common on other American farms. In Wisconsin, the year-round work culminates in waterlogged weeks of autumn. John Moss, 33, is a grower at Elm Lake Cranberry in Cranmoor, Wis.
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10 hours ago by satoyuta
Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45

Among the top 0.1% of startups based on growth in their first five years, we find that the founders started their companies, on average, when they were 45 years old. These highest-performing firms were identified based on employment growth. The age finding is similar using firms with the fastest sales growth instead, and founder age is similarly high for those startups that successfully exit through an IPO or acquisition. In other words, when you look at most successful firms, the average founder age goes up, not down. Overall, the empirical evidence shows that successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged, not young.

Why do VC’s prefer younger founders?

In light of this evidence, why do some VCs persist in betting on young founders? We cannot definitively answer this question with the data at our disposal, but we believe that two mechanisms could be at play. First, many VCs may operate under a mistaken belief that youth is the elixir of successful entrepreneurship — in other words, VCs are simply wrong. Though it is tempting to see age bias as the leading explanation for the divergence between our findings and investor behavior, there is a more benign possibility: VCs are not simply looking to identify the firms with the highest growth potential. Rather, they may seek investments that will yield the highest returns, and it is possible that young founders are more financially constrained than more experienced ones, leading them to cede upside to investors at a lower price. In other words, younger entrepreneurs may be a better “deal” for investors than more experienced founders.
startups  entrepreneurship  business  research  vc 
15 hours ago by jefframnani
So You Want to Open a Small Press Bookstore/Artist-Run Space? A Cautionary Tale by Noel Black | Poetry Foundation
A couple years ago, a poet friend asked me for advice on opening a non-profit small press bookstore and arts space. My wife, visual artist Marina Eckler, had recently opened Mountain Fold Books here in Colorado Springs. We’d been open for about two years at the time, and thriving. We had just put in a café and hired an employee. We had regular, well-attended events with amazing artists and writers both from here in town and from around the world. We managed to raise a really decent amount of money, and we managed to do it in a socially and politically conservative mid-size city that just about no one thinks of when they think of the arts. Advice being cheap, I gave it freely. Then, not six months later, and two months before the Ghost Ship fire, we closed. I’m now more qualified to give advice about closing a small press bookstore (or not opening one in the first place) and would like to offer a few thoughts for those poets and artists thinking about starting poet- or artist-run spaces.

The fantasies are great! A brick-and-mortar space where like-minded friends can gather IRL for readings, happenings, art openings, workshops, etc. It sounds great, and it is! In fact, we were already doing it. We’d been doing a great reading series in our back yard with a couple of friends for two summers running at no cost, other than food and drinks. House readings have an intimacy that you don’t get when there’s a lectern involved. It was always potluck, the readings were fantastic, and everyone had a great time. What was wrong with that? Nothing! OK, sure, we wanted to have an art space, and wanted to be able to bring in amazing small-press art and poetry books that you’d almost never have a chance to look at in person otherwise.... Books that (we didn’t realize then) we wouldn’t have time to look at or read once we opened the store! Remember that great back yard reading series?

Unless you’re “independently wealthy,” you probably don’t have enough money to open a small press bookstore or artist-run space, which means you’ll probably have to be a non-profit, which is almost guaranteed to be a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Sure, people will get excited at first and want to give you their tax-deductible dollars. Or maybe you’ll win some big prize to help you get started. We did. We won a $10,000 community art grant. But unless that prize is north of $100,000, you probably still won’t have nearly enough money to a) rent a space, b) build out the space properly, c) buy the inventory you’ll need/want, and d) hire people with the actual experience you’ll need and/or pay yourself enough money to make it through the harrowing first years. And so, unless you have that kind of money, most of your time (or someone’s time—in our case, a lot of my time) will be spent raising money to feed the mouth of the baby that is your new non-profit small press bookstore and/or art space. If you’re smart, and you don’t mind the prospect of a) having to constantly raise smaller amounts of money, b) having no employees, and c) never actually operating as a store or being consistently open to the public, you can probably manage a space that is open for events only where people can gather for readings, openings, etc. Except why not just do that in your back yard or your garage? Remember that great back yard reading series?

But let’s face it: You’re going to do it anyway. We did. And because you aren’t independently wealthy and/or don’t have a spouse who makes six figures, you’re probably going to be non-profit. Maybe there’s a community foundation that will be your fiscal sponsor for a 5-10% fee on all your donations. If you’re smart, and can afford it, you should avoid this trap and hire a lawyer right away to file your 501c3 application with the IRS before you get started. Fun? Not so much. Remember that great backyard reading series?

Whether you get a fiscal sponsor or form your own 501c3, you’re going to have to have a board of some kind. And guess who’s going to want to serve on your board? Most likely: your friends! Your well-meaning poet and artist friends who know as little, or less, than you do about serving on a board or running a non-profit. Guess who’s probably not going to want to serve on your board? People with money! They see you coming, poet/artist-type. Sure, they’ll probably give you some money in the form of a low-interest loan or a nice gift at first. It’s exciting to be part of a new arts venture, especially in a culturally starved, mid-size, middle-American city. But they know your chances of survival are about the same as any new small business: low to none. Still, they support you and your efforts in the community. So you form a board with your friends who are eager to help. They’ll help you fundraise the first time around, and will sit through some difficult meetings with Robert’s Rules close at hand. Some are very young and will have lots of ideas but no time to enact them. They’ll still have lots to say about everything—choice of chairs, the design of the logo, etcetera. Taking credit and getting thanked will quickly become a form of dark, inscrutable currency. You’ll never figure out the exchange rate. But one thing is clear: none of the board members are going to put their names on the lease or on the bank account. This was your idea, and it’s your legal liability. Remember that great back yard reading series?

Still, your friends help. They, too, have had fantasies of opening a bookstore and/or art space, or they’re glad it now exists and glad you did it. And they want to share those fantasies about paint colors and décor, which books you should carry, who should read, and which artists you should show. They’ll help staff events, clean, and fold chairs. You have no money, so you’re grateful for all the volunteer help offered. But when it comes to the the seemingly endless barrage of other backend minutiae and myriad piles of paperwork required to lease and build out a legal space—the accounting, design, promotion, interfacing with the fiscal sponsor, working out issues of legal liability, buying insurance, talking to major donors, paying bills, calling in favors, making sure you have payroll (later), meeting with contractors, lawyers, architects, plumbers, electricians, etc.—this was your idea. Remember the back yard?

With everyone’s help, you raise almost enough money and manage to wade through (most of) the city’s bureaucracy to put in a café so you can have a revenue stream and be open to the public on a regular basis. What you don’t raise, you’ll borrow from your own life savings. You’ll furnish the shop with as many of your own things as you can. And, finally, you obtain a business license and hire someone to keep your bookstore/arts space open full-time. You’ll pay them a living wage plus tips and creative freedom, straight out of college. It’s not lost on them that you’ve taken a significant personal financial risk to make this happen (or is it?). They see your vision (or do they?), and add theirs, bring their friends in, and have lots of great ideas about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with the space, much of which you let them do because they have initiative. Volunteers continue to help organize and promote events. Everyone is pitching in. You continue to do the invisible backend crap. You even get up at 5 a.m. to bake bread for the coffee shop every other morning. But it’s an amazing community effort and your vision has become a reality. Everyone loves the space and the events and all the exciting energy it’s bringing. Who cares about the back yard!?

There’s only one problem: You’ll be so tired from doing all the backend, invisible work (while working your full-time job and raising your kids, if you have kids, which we do) that you no longer have the time or energy to go to the events or hang out in and enjoy the amazing space you and your friends helped create. Don’t we have a back yard?

The employee, though originally grateful for the opportunity to be the only paid person working for the bookstore, will start to feel like you’re not managing the store enough and giving them too much freedom and/or that you’re managing it too much and not giving them enough freedom. The café and the space are great, but something’s missing—something you can barely remember now.... Oh, right! It’s you. You are missing. This amazing space that everyone in the community holds so dear is for everyone but you. You’re so exhausted and falling so far behind in the backend minutiae and fundraising and dealing with the landlord while not getting paid and working your full-time job and raising your kids that you can’t remember anything, especially why you did it in the first place. Why aren’t you ever there? You must not be doing anything. You must be sitting at home relaxing while the one employee and all the volunteers do all the work while you’re just sitting around cashing in on all the credit. You start hearing whispers. Whatever. Maybe it is time for you to step aside and let others take over. Honestly, you’re so exhausted that you don’t even care what they’re saying, and they’re probably right. You should just step aside and peacefully transfer the giant, steaming heap of horseshit you’ve been shoveling for the past two years because, honestly, you just want to be able to go to an event at the space you envisioned and enjoy it for once. There’s only one problem: No one wants to sign their name on the lease or the bank account. Remember the what?

And then a series of problems arise like a great wave: You’re having some personal problems (in no small part due to the bookstore/art space) and need to lean on your employee and one of the friends/volunteers for a while to hold down the fort; you owe two months taxes in the same month. Your fiscal sponsor organization kicks you out with almost no warning, so you have to immediately file for … [more]
art  business  advice 
15 hours ago by tomshen

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