Archive for July, 2008

Internet impact on consumer behavior

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The Digital Influence Index (PDF), a survey by Fleishman-Hillard and Harris Interactive, examined the impact of the internet on consumers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Some of the key findings are:

“Across all three countries addressed by the study, the Internet has roughly double the influence of the second strongest medium — television — and roughly 10 times the influence of printed media. Globally, however, online advertising captures only 7% to 8% of the total advertising market.” (2)

“As much as they value these benefits, European consumers in the U.K., France, and Germany still have strong concerns about Internet safety and about the trustworthiness of the information they find online.” (4)

“Although most survey results were consistent across all three countries studied, several interesting distinctions emerged: U.K. consumers are the most likely to have created an online profile site on a social networking page. Germany leads the three countries in Web research and Web 2.0 publishing; German Web users evidently like to express their opinions online but are careful to check their facts. French consumers are the most engaged in digital communications — two-thirds of Web users own a webcam and three-fourths use instant messaging.” (5)

Best countries for business

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Forbes ranks the best countries for business here. Denmark takes the top spot, followed by Ireland, Finland, the United States and the United Kingdom rounding out the top five.

Global Trends in Venture Capital

Friday, July 25th, 2008

A study (PDF) by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association surveying the opinions of 400 venture capitalists worldwide found that European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom are emerging as leaders in the life sciences and clean technology fields. Ranking second behind the United States are Japan in telecommunication technology, Taiwan in semi conductor innovation, and India in software development.

More entrepreneurship blogs

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Via The Wall Street Journal: a list of other entrepreneurship blogs worth checking out. Of course, that means alongside ours.

Small beginnings: Soros, Rowling, Winfrey, and others

Monday, July 21st, 2008

A recent story via tells how some of today’s self-made billionaires, such as George Soros, Sandy Weill, J. K. Rowling, and Oprah Winfrey, built their successes from very small beginnings.

Weird ideas that work

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford’s Engineering School, illustrates two “weird ideas that work”. This presentation is based on his book Weird Ideas That Work: 11 1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation, of which a preview is available here.

The fate of family businesses

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Are family businesses more or less successful in the long term? Robert Frank comments on the trials and tribulations of family businesses pointing to a U.S. Trust study of “ultra-high-net-worth” family businesses. That study finds that “[w]hile these families are highly successful in building and managing their businesses, they are often less successful when it comes to transitioning their companies from one generation to the next, with only 15 percent of family-owned companies lasting past the second generation.” The study identifies lack of succession and estate planning, and failure to implement asset protection strategies as core problems affecting family businesses’ inter-generational survival.

On the flip side, in his book Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World’s Great Family Businesses, David Landes tells the story of eleven successful family businesses and argues that “dynastic businesses offer a proven route to developing emerging markets, while companies managed by unrelated professionals and funded by public investors offer mostly bad jobs and slim profit shares to local employees” (

From photos to paintings

Monday, July 14th, 2008

A great story of international entrepreneurship: At Risky Business, Matt Bandyk writes about how one entrepreneur used his time working in China after college to establish connections with Chinese artists. Back in the United States, he founded Photolimn, a service that lets customers submit their favorite photographs online and have them transformed into paintings by Chinese artists.

Two short talks on technology

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Two terrific talks: George Dyson gives a quick and entertaining overview of the birth of the computer, and Robert Full shows how engineering can solve problems by taking inspiration from nature.

Test your entrepreneurship knowledge

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

How much do you know about entrepreneurship? Take this quiz to find out. It was developed by Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and based on his recent book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship. Shane gives a quick overview of the Top 10 myths here.