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Best of the Web: September 3, 2010
The fastest growing company ever; Rules for collecting late payments; If you want to be the boss, don’t act like the secretary; The sexiest, most controversial magazine covers Of 2010.
September 3, 2010 11:17 by kippreport
Well, at least that’s what the headline says. Read a little further and you find Groupon.com described as “the fastest-growing company in Web history.” Whether or not that makes it the fastest growing ever is up for discussion, but either way this is one of the most meteoric success stories of the modern business age. Groupon (a mash-up of the words “group” and “coupon”) is the trailblazer for Gonabit, the recently launched UAE discount website. Essentially members of the site sign up to discount offers, and when enough people join the offer becomes “live” for a short time. It’s a novel way for businesses to attract new customers and to ensure that a promotion is guaranteed to attract participants. This article is the story of Groupon, and how it came to be the biggest and best in its field – 13 million members, and potential revenues of $500 million this year. Its only problem, apparently, is copycat sites, and given the cash involved, Kipp is suddenly to be found reading a web programming book.
If you’re in business, you’ll know that cash flow is everything. And we mean EVERYTHING. You can be the most profitable organization on the planet, but if you get the cash flow wrong, you will fail, no ifs and no buts. This article might be a help, then; a quick set of rules for ensuring your late paying customers and clients cough up what they owe. The main points? Have a very specific payment procedure and credit policy. Make contact early, and don’t be afraid to hire a lawyer or collections agency – after all this is cash that could be vital for your business.
One for the girls. According to Forbes Woman, a recent group of Georgetown MBA students researched the roles women assume in the MBA environment, and found a disconcerting difference between men and women. Women are five times more likely to fall into a compiler role in group projects, a position which the researchers defined as “the person responsible for assembling others’ work into the final deliverable, whose tasks may include formatting, writing or editing.” The problem? The compiler role is the most undervalued in the group by everyone. “We encourage women at all levels of business to break away from the compiler role,” say the authors, “even if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone in order to showcase their value to co-workers and peers.”
Kipp loves a good slideshow, especially when it’s preceded by the words “sexiest” or “most controversial.” This Business Insider show features no fewer than 72 of the world’s best magazine covers of the year so far, everything from a chastened Tiger Woods to a naked Sacha Baron Cohen. The weird thing for Kipp was how many of the covers we recognized, despite not having read the magazine. We suppose that is the mark of a truly great magazine cover – to seep into the public sub-conscious. See how many you recognize yourself.
When Kipp was younger it had an aunt who had a tendency to crash her cars. Eventually Kipp’s uncle would only permit her to drive a Volvo, since that manufacturer has long been regarded as the safest in the business. If she was going to crash, better to do it in a Volvo than in any other car. Well now, according to the Telegraph, Volvo is at the cutting edge of safety once again. Although this time, our aunt won’t even have the chance to crash. The car company is developing technology that will create a smart car, aware of hazards and other vehicles and capable of making decisions that will make almost any collision impossible. And what’s more, they want to do it within the decade.