A start-up NSW media company has bowed to pressure to change its name from US company The Business Insider, which claimed that it was deceiving visitors to its website by using a similar brand. Business Insider Pty Ltd, located on the NSW Central Coast, has switched its brand to Business Ink following legal action lodged by New York-based The Business Insider Inc in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia earlier this year. Mark Cleary, co-founder of the Australian site, tells StartupSmart the name Business Ink was chosen as a way to “thumb our nose” to its American adversary. Cleary founded the Australian version of Business Insider with Bob Fitzgerald and Dean Collin in 2011, with the site providing information to companies in regional NSW. By contrast, New York-based The Business Insider, created in 2009 by entrepreneur Henry Blodget, has 23 million unique visitors a month and now has substantial interests in Australia. Allure Media, a subsidiary of Fairfax Media, recently won the right to publish a local version The Business Insider. However, Fairfax wasn’t part of the legal proceedings to force the name change. Business Ink initially hauled down its URL businessinsider.net in order to emphasise its local, rather than international, focus, but has now gone further by completely rebranding. “If we had a lazy $250,000, we would’ve carried on, but we made a decision to not risk it,” Cleary says. “Our legal advice was that it would be an ‘interesting’ test case. (Business Insider) beat us to the internet by 10 months and in that time they say they’d established a presence in Australia through the number of hits they were getting here.” “We got early advice saying to just rename ourselves and that has proved good advice. They could’ve bitten us when it was much tougher to rename.” Cleary says that one of the most damaging aspects of the episode is that the business’ entire online archive has been wiped by the rebrand. “The Google history we’ve created has just evaporated,” he says. Cleary adds that start-ups need to be increasingly careful when choosing a business name. “We talk about world shrinking, but it has already shrunk,” he says. “Your search for a name needs to be global and you need to avoid similar names, because it’s just too hard to compete when it comes to hard cash.” “We could argue that does anyone really care in New York, Rome or Paris about the laying of new sewerage pipes in The Entrance on Central Coast? But that doesn’t matter – we were in their space.” “You’ve got to be unique. That’s the challenge. Google or Amazon don’t have names that relate to what they do, but they have a strong brand name. Choose a name that you can really own.”
Local retail design firm Red Design Group has unveiled a range of new in-store technologies for retailers, after partnering with AOPEN to launch the Retail Evolution Lab in Melbourne.
US-based daily deals giant LivingSocial has raised another $US110 million from investors, with an industry expert predicting a trickle-down effect for smaller players.
Cashed-up online fashion retailer The Iconic has come under fire after it was revealed the company has been outsourcing jobs to India, with a retail expert suggesting the start-up is preparing to sell.
I was privileged to go on a tour of the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas last May 2012. You can check out the official tour here.
The 2013 International CES, the largest in the tech show’s 45-year history, has wrapped up, with start-ups ranging from the Pebble ‘smartwatch’ to a device that informs people if they haven’t taken prescribed medication grabbing attendees’ attention.
We know that starting an online business can allow for a faster launch than traditional bricks and mortar businesses.
A phone “airbag” could mean never breaking another mobile, which, for some people, would be a dream come true.
Queensland-based firm AMMA Private Equity has launched a $1.5 million capital raising to fund a start-up that offers a voice and texting service to smartphone users who are out of credit.
Australian entrepreneur Simon Walker has made a documentary called the Leaap Project, which saw him visit 10 US cities in 20 days to gain insight into America’s complex start-up scene.
US President Barack Obama might be the world’s most powerful person, according to Forbes, but there’s a handful of entrepreneurs on this year’s list for start-ups to draw inspiration from.
Start-ups should respond to skepticism systematically and be prepared for a fight from the very beginning, says Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has shared his thoughts on entrepreneurship.
A week after the Click Frenzy debacle in Australia, Americans have started Cyber Monday – the yearly sale that inspired the local version.
The Australian general manager of US-based car service Uber has offered start-ups some advice after spending five years in Silicon Valley, as the business gears up for its Australian launch. Uber, based in San Francisco, is an on-demand car service where drivers pick up users based on iPhone, Android, SMS and web-based requests. Last month, Uber confirmed its intention to launch in Australia, posting job descriptions for an operations manager and a community manager, having already hired a general manager. That person is David Rohrsheim, who is heading up Uber’s expansion to Sydney after spending five years in Silicon Valley, where he not only worked but attended Stanford Business School. Ahead of Uber’s Sydney launch next week, Rohrsheim shares his insights about start-ups: Never stop moving “I was a bit of an IT geek as a kid. I studied engineering at uni but was encouraged to do a double degree in finance, so I would understand more than just engineering,” Rohrsheim says. “I spent a few years working with [global management consulting firm] Bain and then was introduced to a VC firm in San Francisco, Draper Fisher Jurvetson.” “I worked for them for two-and-a-half years… It was an ideal way to meet a lot of people in a short period of time. I was welcomed into the valley.” “I then applied to Stanford Business School, which was just down the road… Almost half of the people in venture capital [in Silicon Valley] have a Stanford MBA.” “I decided it would just be a fun experience. I thought of it as a gift I gave myself.” Be driven by the cause, not the title “The biggest change in my mindset over the last five years is to actively pursue projects I’m passionate about… It’s important to solve a problem that matters to you.” “I do think too many people start businesses – and this is all around the world – because they think it’s sexy or they want the CEO title.” “Start-ups are such hard work that if it isn’t your main reason for being alive, eventually you will give up on one of the down days.” Silicon Valley is hard work “You’re encouraged to get on the plane and go to Silicon Valley, where it will all work out.” “I think sometimes people are expecting too much. They expect to arrive and for it to just start happening… Get as much of [your] story together before you arrive over there.” “There’s a lot of magic there but you’ve got to get some runs on the board first.” Don’t be afraid to come home “It was a tough choice to come back… I had many more friends in San Francisco than anywhere else in the world.” “I wanted to work for a disruptive consumer technology company, and there’s lots of them there, but in the back of my mind I knew I would come home one day.” “I didn’t think it would be so soon, but the Uber opportunity was one of the most interesting jobs I could imagine back in Australia.” Get frustrated “I am personally frustrated by how long we have to wait for innovative services in Silicon Valley to move down to Australia.” “Every day I am longing for Amazon Prime and Turntable.fm. I am highly motivated to shorten that gap, and Uber is just my first project.” “Australians are tech-savvy, wealthy and share a common language, so we deserve to have the latest from Silicon Valley earlier.”
Sensis is to roll out a fresh ‘hackathon’ in Melbourne this weekend, including an impressive list of mentors such as Lonely Planet’s Gus Balbontin and Scott Rogers from Seek.
A growing number of start-ups are claiming co-working spaces to be their secret weapon, giving them a competitive edge in their quest for world domination.
There are increasing opportunities for aspiring app developers in the Android ecosystem, new research suggests, as the wide range of brands and price points continues to win over consumers.
Until now, entrepreneurs had two broad category choices when it came to mobile devices – smartphones and tablets.
App developers should be able to quickly get to grips with the newly released iPad mini, and will also be presented with several opportunities, including the creation of location-based apps, according to an industry expert.
Many of the marketers and entrepreneurs I most admire still favour email marketing. And I do too. If I could only do one type of marketing, it’s what I’d do.