There are lots of myths about Yelp, the popular website where users get to review small businesses. One such myth is that Yelp was created to allow whining and complaining about businesses. Okay, that not really a myth. But no matter how many nasty comments we post, the service still sucks at our local watering hole. Boy, are those guys lazy and stupid. Another myth is that business owners have no voice on Yelp. Actually, as of last week, small businesses have a louder voice the ever. That’s because Yelp is finally allowing them to publicly respond to negative reviews, reports the New York Times. Does this mean the local pub gets to call customers like us lazy and stupid too?
Cry us a river. “We’re so alone.” “Nobody understands us.” “We’re in absolute hell.” No, we’re not channeling Lindsay Lohan after her traumatic split from Samantha Ronson. These are the sentiments expressed by a majority of “business owners” about the Obama administration. A recent survey conducted by City Business Journals Network found that nearly 60 percent of small business owners feel the president is not in touch with their needs. Aww. Does someone need a hug? What’s more, some 40 percent of survey respondents said they are less optimistic about the national economy than they were when President Obama took office. Forty-two percent identified themselves as Republicans, while only 16 percent said they were Democrats. ‘Nuff said.
Virgin inventors? Our dear friend Simon Hartley in England is a true entrepreneur. We profiled his cool invention, the Drink Bouncer, last year. He was a great sport about it, despite our crass jokes. Hartley is back in action with a new website (The Inventors Site) designed for inventors who want to display their creations without having to spend a ton of money on trade shows. Hartley said he shelled about $1,500 to display Drink Bouncer at an inventors show in London last October, but not a single marketing company was in attendance. Hartley’s inventor site is free to join, and users are encouraged to upload photos and videos of their inventions. “If it becomes popular, people will then hopefully have some luck with their inventions,” says Hartley. “Maybe the Richard Bransons of the world will also browse the site to look for investment opportunities.”
A lemonade stand on every corner? What’s the best way for students to avoid getting a summer job? Start a business. At least, that’s what we did when we were in high school. We didn’t make more than a couple hundred bucks all summer, but it sure kept the parental units off our back. Today, with the economy in tatters, entrepreneurship may be the only viable option for summer job seekers, according to this Wall Street Journal article. Employment among 16- to 19-year-olds is expected to sink to an all-time low of 31% or 32% this summer. So what does the mean for the rest of us? It means our once-respectable neighborhoods brought to ruin by the scourge of rock-hard brownies and sickly sweet lemonade.