The grassroots movement behind the Startup Visa Act. Without the help of lobbyists or PACs or piles of money, the Startup Visa Act is gaining ground on Capitol Hill, reports Eric Ries on Startup Lessons Learned. Follow the progress with two moving videos from the “rock stars” of the coalition, Foundry group’s Brad Feld and serial entrepreneur and angel investor Shervin Pishevar, whose parents escaped from Iran to Washington D.C. when he was a kid. Feld references companies like Google, eBay, Intel, Yahoo, that have created thousands of American jobs–and were all launched with at least one founder who was born outside the U.S. But last summer, when the Foundry Group tried to get visas for two promising companies whose founders were immigrants, he found that, “Much to our amazement, there was no way to do it.” Says Pishevar, “We’re in an arms race for the best and brightest minds around the world. We need to make it easier for them to come to this country.”
How to end a board meeting. Sure, the discussions that transpire during board meetings are important. But what comes next can be even more critical, writes VC and blogger Fred Wilson.
How to get your posts on Facebook’s News Feed. Fresh from last week’s developer conference, TheKbuzz’s Jenna Lebel has the scoop on what makes the cut on your Facebook news feed and why–direct from the mouths of the social network’s product and engineering teams. As regular users have probably gleaned, the News Feed only shows a subset of content from your “friends,” which means businesses have to try harder than ever to get exposure. Says Lebel, “News feed optimization (NFO) has arguably become the new SEO.” The formula, called EdgeRank, looks at affinity score (how often the user interacts with the page), weight (how many comments, tags a post has), and time decay.
What’s wrong with job-hoppers? Earlier this week Jason Calacanis railed against younger workers after losing an engineer in an embarrassing email episode. Then Mark Suster piled on with a blog post that advised entrepreneurs to avoid hiring “job hoppers” of all ages. Andrew Warner at Mixergy, pivots off those posts and takes the opposite position, namely that job hoppers often leave their jobs because CEOs aren’t doing theirs. “If we’re going to call out job hoppers, I think it’s only fair to also call out startup CEOs and VCs who mislead their employees,” Warner writes. He points out that CEOs often oversell the job to their new hires, promising stock options that probably wont be worth much. He adds that CEOs frequently promise to mentor younger workers, but then don’t follow through. His solution? A website that ranks companies by turnover rate.
An insider’s tip for raising capital. On his blog, A Sack of Seattle, entrepreneur and angel investor Andy Sack pulls back the curtain to reveal some inside tips about how investors decide on which companies they are going to fund. Sack explains that raising capital is very much an emotional process, not just a rational one. As he explains, “The entire process of raising capital is an exercise in managing relationships. Investors want to like the entrepreneur and feel confident in the person’s ability to execute the business.” With that in mind, Sack recommends engaging investors by asking them questions about their past investment decisions and even asking about what music they listen to and what TV shows they watch.
Threadless celebrates its 10th birthday. Threadless, the t-shirt company that was crowdsourcing before it was cool, and one of the companies that knows how to make money on Twitter, can tally its age in the double digits. PSFK sat down with VP of marketing Cam Balzer to see what the future holds for the company. Among other plans, the company is going on a summer road tour for tete-a-tetes with their fans at meet ups and music festivals. Balzer says, “as is to be expected, we’ll be letting our community tell us where they’d like our tour bus to stop.”
Rapid growth for company teaching English online to corporate customers With rising revenue overseas, GlobalEnglish is taking advantage of the need for more English-speaking employees, to the tune of $40 million in annual revenues, Venture Beat reports. “When we started, we knew there were something like 2 billion people learning English, but the transition from classrooms to online learning was just getting started,” president and CEO Deepak Desai tells Venture Beat. “We created a web service for big companies, and online learning is become more and more relevant.” The company has more than 500 customers on five continents, including Hilton, General Electric, and Volvo.
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