Weekend Reads

  • Nine leading businesses that started in college

    weekend-reads-def-jam-aWith a new university semester underway, it’s likely that most students will be focusing upon their studies, along with, of course, certain extracurricular activities.

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  • The Olympic haves and have-nots

    weekend-reads-torchyThe Olympics, which has rolled into London for its 2012 incarnation, may be the biggest sporting event in the world, but that doesn’t mean its participants are the richest.

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  • How a start-up got $1 million from Richard Branson via Twitter

    weekend-bransonPitching for investment can be an arduous experience. Either the potential investor isn’t right for you or they aren’t interested in your idea. It can take countless meetings to find the right backer for your venture.

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  • Meet the CEO who hires entrepreneurs, not employees

    weekend-reads-jainIf you were the founder of a $150 million revenue IT business with a cushy market position, it would be tempting to kick back and enjoy your success.

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  • Google reveals its top 10 SEO tips

    3-google-appsIt takes a lot to match Apple when it comes to high-profile tech unveilings, but Google made a good fist of it this week.

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  • Stephen Fry’s start-up Pushnote folds

    weekend-reads-stephen-fryTo his 4.5 million Twitter followers, Stephen Fry’s leap into tech entrepreneurship would’ve seemed quite logical.

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  • Sir Richard Branson on how to overcome a fear of public speaking

    weekend-bransonFor someone who has made an art of the brazen, headline-grabbing media stunt, it may surprise you to learn that Sir Richard Branson has a genuine fear of public speaking.

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  • Keeping your entrepreneurial ego in check

    weekend-reads-lionIs your entrepreneurial ego out of control? Do you think you’ve never failed to land a sale but you’ve pitched to a lot of stupid people? Do you sneer at other, inexplicably lucky, businesses?

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  • Paying the Facebook ad premium

    weekend-reads-facebook-2Facebook is held in high esteem by many start-ups not just because of its own success, but also the access it provides to potential customers.

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  • Start-up culture lessons for Goldman Sachs

    weekend-reads-goldman-sachsWho would want to work in public relations for Goldman Sachs? The opprobrium from the global financial crisis was beginning to fade a little when former employee Greg Smith went public this week with what he claims is a deeply dysfunctional and greedy culture within the company.

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  • The Smoffice

    Imagine walking down the street and seeing a start-up entrepreneur working away in a glass-encased box, like some sort of spread sheet-toting version of illusionist David Blaine.

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  • Valentine’s Day Pty. Ltd.

    This past Valentine’s Day saw countless brands jump on the romance bandwagon, despite the growing cynicism of Australian consumers.

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  • The billionaire advice service

    weekend-bransonWhile billionaires are regularly the subject of public lambasting over their tax affairs, for many start-ups, they are nothing but generous.

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  • Facebook’s $5 billion “social mission”

    Unsurprisingly, this week’s business news has been dominated by the stock market flotation of Facebook, for a slightly-lower-than-expected $5 billion.

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  • Sticking to your start-up pitching script

    As anyone has watched top-notch BBC series Dragon’s Den will know, there are some definite no-no’s when it comes to pitching your start-up idea.

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  • Will your start-up idea make the grade in 2012?

    As it’s Weekend Reads’ first digest of the year, we thought we’d provide some useful reading for those of you yearning to make 2012 the year you finally do something with that business idea of yours.
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  • Getting festive, start-up style

    As 2011 draws to a close, Weekend Reads is in a jovial mood and keen to spread some much-needed Christmas cheer.
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  • Three key business trends for 2012

    With 2011 drawing to a close, Weekend Reads is feeling rather nostalgic this week.

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  • How billionaires live it up

    The Eurozone may be in crisis, the US teetering on the brink of a double dip recession and even Australia struggling to get back to surplus, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of enormously wealthy entrepreneurs out there.

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  • Down in The Valley

    Ilya ZhitomirskiyIt sounds like your typical, syrupy American TV series. The characters include Noel, who has a “secret past and a Robin Hood complex” and Joel, a “slick Harvard MBA”.

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  • What took Branson so long?

    Richard BransonThis week’s news that Sir Richard Branson has invested in US start-up Square made headlines because, well, it’s Sir Richard Branson.

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  • The inside story of MySpace’s fall

    MyspaceWhat is the cause of MySpace’s decline? Many have ruminated on the fall of the once social media behemoth, but now the man who until August was CEO has spoken out.

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  • Graduating TechStars-style

    TechStarsWeekend Reads can hardly contain its excitement at the arrival of the TechStars model to Australia. But how have other graduates of the fabled start-up accelerator fared?

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  • Apple’s loyalist, camped-out customer

    Steve JobsWhat greater tribute is there to one of the great innovators of our time than to camp outside a store for weeks on end in anticipation of his latest product?

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  • Don’t be left listless

    40 years of Nike SwooshWho doesn’t love a good list? Weekend Reads certainly does, which is why we are encouraging you to take advantage of a recent slew of business-related countdowns.

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  • Onto the next Jobs

    Steve Jobs resigns from AppleThe business world may be awash with the news of Steve Jobs’ exit as CEO of Apple, but Weekend Reads is always looking for the next big thing rather than pondering on the past.

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  • Value of winning the White House? $0

    Weekend ReadsHe was hailed as the “kid who made Obama President”. But now Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has had to give his venture up for nothing.

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  • Stardust-sprinkled start-ups

    Lady GagaWhen pitching your idea to a potential investor, you will probably be addressing a soberly-suited man or woman who appears to be bred for the cut and thrust world of business.

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  • Replicating the Zuckerberg effect

    Randi ZuckerbergDoes the entrepreneurial Midas touch run in the genes? Randi Zuckerberg certainly thinks so, judging by her exit from Facebook this week.

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  • Airbnb’s trashed PR strategy

    PR LoudspeakerThe problem with making a lot of noise about your start-up is that if the PR backfires, you’re in more serious trouble than if you’d slid under the radar.

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  • Mapping the Eureka moment

    Apple products treeWhere do good ideas come from? Many entrepreneurs vaguely cite flashes of inspiration for their businesses, but it is possible to identify a process to idea generation.

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  • Reaching out to the techless generation

    SmartphonesIn this world of iPads and memes it’s easy to forget that there are people out there who have never used a computer.
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  • How to avoid MySpace-style stagnation

    Myspace soldFailure is weighing heavily on Weekend Reads’ mind, especially given the huge haircut Rupert has just had to take on MySpace.

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  • The world’s super rich as you’ve never seen them before

    Top 10 Highest Paid Aussie CEOsIf you are part of the world’s super rich, you have little chance of being an eccentric, unknown recluse these days. Endless rich lists and the celebritification of the wealthy ensure your finances and personal life will be dissected by the media.

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  • The rise of the New York tech scene and terrible VC meetings

    Weekend ReadsWant to make it big in New York with your web start-up? Well, according to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, now is the time to do it.

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  • TechCrunch Disrupt, infographic mania and the world’s top SME sites

    Weekend ReadsNot for the first time, Weekend Reads has been left green with envy at the backing given to entrepreneurs overseas, while Australian start-ups are left pressing their noses up against their bank managers’ windows, akin to a huddle of penniless street urchins.

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  • Futuristic ideas, email mistakes and Ashton Kutcher talks Twitter

    Ashton KutcherIs your foray into entrepreneurship bafflingly misunderstood by your friends and family? Do potential investors wince and scurry away when you mention your idea (which no doubt involves the words “integrated” and “in the cloud”) to them?

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The harsh franchise reality check

Franchisees with unrealistic expectations can quickly find themselves dealing with a nasty surprise. If you’re looking at becoming a franchisee, here are some key points you must be aware of. BY ALEXANDRA CAIN.


Green about the time and cost of starting up

Tony Hall and Nicholas Bernhardt were a little green about their environmental certification vision concept. Here's what they learned about the harsh reality of starting up. BY MICHELLE HAMMOND.


Five ways to stay ahead of the copycats

Cheap imitations are as common as Elvis impersonators. Here are five ways to beat rivals that want to crowd you out of the market by fair means or foul. BY OLIVER MILMAN.


How to avoid a start-up information overload

There’s a lot of great information out there for start-ups, but don’t let it distract you from the primary task at hand. Here are five top tips on not getting overwhelmed. BY MARC PESKETT.


The rise of school-aged soloists

Is there such a thing as too young to become a successful soloist? If there is, someone forgot to tell these young entrepreneurs they “weren’t ready” to make it in business. BY MICHELLE HAMMOND.

Women in Business

Video Interview: Catriona Pollard, CP Communications
Catriona Pollard is founder and director of PR and social media agency CP Communications, as well as the co-founder of Social Media Women.

Start-up Profiles

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Business finance gets the comparison treatment

Financial comparison services are already popular in the residential market. Now Finnovate founder Chris Beath wants to extend the trend to the business sector.

Start-up Idea

News image

Businesses set to tuck into smart foods

Scientists at the University of Copenhagen are developing “smart foods” that can trick us into feeling full after just a few bites.


A leadership program for SME owners has received a funding boost from the Federal Government.
The building and telecommunications industries are expected to pick up in the next few years as the mining sector slows, although other businesses are set to struggle, according to a new report.
Samsung has said that it will appeal a US court ruling that it stole patented designs from Apple to make its smartphone and tablet products.
Australian start-ups looking for inspiration are being encouraged to study the 2012 Inc. 5000 list, which features the fastest-growing companies in the United States.
Global tech giant Microsoft has updated its logo after 25 years in a bid to reflect the company’s ever-growing product portfolio, highlighting several logo lessons for start-ups to take note of.


Find a way to make your workplace more inviting
Here are some quick things you could do to improve the feel of your workplace.

Tech Tricks

Browse for Google Chrome extensions
Extensions for Google Chrome allow you to customise your web browsing experience. Here’s how to find them.


Martin Nally

How do I sort out a dispute that’s gotten hand of hand between two of my employees?

The moment you employ staff, you are obliged to manage them. After all, the behaviour you accept is the behaviour you approve.


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Startup TV

watch and learn

Pollenizer’s two days of business brainstorming

Sydney start-up incubator Pollenizer works hard for its decent investment success rate. This time-lapse video shows two days of start-up hothousing prior to launch compressed into under two minutes.


Pollenizer’s two days of business brainstorming

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