Like many small businesses, AAA American Flag Decorating Company, featured here, is getting blasted like never before. Just listen to company president Ian Flamm describe the economic storm: “I’ve been doing this since 1978 full-time, and we survived the recession in the early ’80s and the early ’90s. And it was bad, but I have never in my lifetime seen…Let’s put it this way: we were pretty much recession-proof in those recessions, and we did fine. But this is the first time I’ve felt so hurt by a recession.” This flag company is hanging on for dear life. Here’s hoping it doesn’t get blown away.
Retirement blues. Forget about saving for retirement. Many small businesses owners are worried about just making payroll. But this Associated Press article wonders whether business owners are doing themselves, and their employees, a disservice by cutting back on retirement contributions. After all, with the stock market so far down, isn’t this a great time for everyone to jump back into a 401k plan? And if you believe that, we’ve got some GM shares to sell you.
Who’s crying now? Former senator and subprime puppet master Phil Gramm called us a nation of whiners. Reid Hoffman, the founder of social networking site LinkedIn, would disagree heartily. If anything, he thinks we’re a nation of entrepreneurs. Appearing on the Charlie Rose show, Hoffman makes some good points: “How do you get to your next gig? How do you do your career progression? All these things now fall on the individual shoulders. And so, they’re essentially an entrepreneur.” Check out the interview and additional commentary at TechCrunch.
End of the world as we know it? First, a couple of college students started selling all 291,500 words from the Oxford English Dictionary, charging $1 per letter. Now a 28-year-old British entrepreneur is going a step further, selling the entire world, and charging $100 per block. Michael Davenport recently created www.worldforsale.com. Each digital block costs $100 and is also available for resale based on demand. That means you can purchase a major city like Chicago and then resell it to someone else for a premium. As if. With 6,800 blocks available in total, Davenport could potentially make $680,000 if he sells the entire world. We’d be amazed if he pocketed $600.