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Letter from Japan: Why Japan is a paradise for entrepreneurs

Doing business in Japan has often presented cultural difficulties for westerners. However, as our expat entrepreneur living in Tokyo Jon Sparks reveals in this new series, Japan might be in the shadow of the emerging markets of China and India, but is still one of the best places in Asia for entrepreneurs to operate.

The next person who says the R word is getting slapped

This is the greatest time in history and a large portion of the business world seems to be off somewhere missing it, with their heads in the sand. Stop it. Get on board, embrace the economic climate and celebrate the opportunities around you!

Is Ricky Nixon a victim of reputational terrorism? (What Kim Duthie can teach your...

Vilified footy entrepreneur Ricky Nixon's latest, most abortive attempt at PR redemption this weekend provided several clear lessons about the new art of war on the PR and reputation battleground. The most instructive lesson from the interview was when Nixon sulked that he was being unfairly outfoxed and out-PR'ed by a teenager.

International prosperity index sees Australia plummet to #15 for entrepreneurship and innovation

The Prosperity Index, dubbed the world’s only global assessment of wealth and wellbeing, ranked Australia in the top 10 for categories including economic fundamentals, democratic institutions, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, governance and social. However, Australia fell to 15th place for entrepreneurship and innovation (page 26 of the report). Despite recent economic woes, the US and UK took the top two spots in that category.

Seven steps to unlock your personal X-factor (It’s more than je ne sais quoi)

Can you imagine the kind of influence you could have on others simply by decoding your own ‘X-factor’? After considering over fifty scientific studies around the world on human behaviour, Ben Angel has broken down ‘X-factor’ appeal into seven main areas.

Can Australia really claim to be a nation of innovators?

Is innovation a driver of economic development down-under? The simple answer is, yes. But is it a core driver – part of our national psyche, supported by government policy? I personally don’t think that it is. I’m not so sure that ‘necessity’ is a part of life for most Australians. I don’t think that the ‘tyranny of distance’ still forces us to work smarter, not harder. In fact, the only cultural description I believe worth citing as part of this innovation debate is Australia’s reputation as a ‘lucky country’.

Employees as dogs: The right breed for the job

There are as many different types of digital roles as there are breeds – and personalities – of dogs. Which personalities are best suited to which jobs? Here are my thoughts on eight match-ups: Jack Russell: Bold, alert and lively – big dog personality in a small dog’s body. Works well with early training and socialisation. This personality is suited for telesales.

Why we started a blog before we launched our start-up and, why you should...

Why did we start a blog long before we launched our startup? Well, it certainly wasn’t because we needed something to do until our...

Our debut on Tim Burrowes’ Mumbo Report

I had the pleasure of participating in Burrowes' latest product extension, the Mumbo Report, when in Sydney last Friday. It was in many ways flattering to be interviewed from the same seat recently occupied by media doyen Harold Mitchell and SMH editor Peter Fray. However, I'm still undecided about whether I should have had that third espresso before stepping before the camera. (I'll let you be the judge.)

Anthill dropped its knickers last week. With your help, we’re hoping to get a...

Thanks to your passion for Anthill, your hard work spruiking the virtues of Anthill to your personal networks, we debuted as one of the Top 50 Business & Finance sites in Australia, according to Nielsen's Business & Finance Index. This is very pleasing news indeed.

Spreets sold to Yahoo!7 for $40 million: What does this mean for online retail...

This morning, it was confirmed that Yahoo!7 has acquired Australian group-buying business Spreets for $40 million. The deal is the first of what is expected to become a consolidation of the Australian group-buying market. However, what's truly remarkable about this announcement is the short time-frame between Spreets' launch and its sale, after only 10 months on the Australian market.

If you’re not a cloud business, you’re doomed.

Zach Nelson is CEO of NetSuite. He was named one of the 10 Visionary CEOs of 2008 by, after guiding the company through its 2007 IPO. He helmed it from startup to one of the world's leading cloud computing companies. So, it's not surprisingly that he should hold this view. Yes, he is biased. But is he wrong?

Solving the puzzle of Google’s social networking strategy

Google’s acquisition of SocialDeck at the end of August made it the 11th social media-related company Google has snapped up so far this year – five of them in August alone. The buying spree raises questions as to where the company is heading with its much-anticipated play in social networking. What Google needs, and what is not yet evident, is a coherent strategy for social networking that pulls together the disjointed pieces of its growing social media portfolio.

What an MBA program SHOULD teach

MBAs are wonderful things. They educate you in Mergers and Acquisitions, Finance, Remedial Accounting and a whole lot of other stuff. Sadly, they don’t teach you the two most critical theories in business, maybe because it would put all those revenue-generating MBA programmes out of business.

The case for the socially responsible corporation

Authenticity and trust will be two of the key cornerstones for corporate reputations in this Era of Responsibility. This will come not only from your policies and public pronouncements, but from the actions and beliefs of your employees.

Our first social media ‘experiment’ for online marketing month. Do you want to be...

The 'zing' factor that social media brings to any marketing campaign is the potential it provides for exponential growth. If one person likes the offer and is compelled to invite their friends to also register for the offer, and if their friends, in turn, feel compelled to register and invite their friends to register for the offer, then you suddenly have on your hands a campaign with significant reach, far beyond anything that traditional media can provide.

Entrepreneurship motivates staff. Not carrots or sticks.

The role of entrepreneurship in corporate strategy goes far beyond trying to get innovative products to market or gaining an edge over your competitors. It helps to set the culture of an organisation that affects staff retention, engagement and productivity. So how do we motivate our employees into adopting this new culture?

Read the most important books of the year in less than 30 seconds each

"Book Rapper was born out of the idea of earning money from doing the things that I love. I love reading books so I asked myself, how can I get paid to read books? I knew I didn't just want to do reviews because I think what a book is about is almost like the booby prize. I want to know what the big ideas are but more importantly I want to know how to apply them."

The 10 best strategic business slides of all time: #2 — Six buying roles

Nigel Malone keeps his favourite ten keynote slides related to strategic business development – his “Ten Commandments” – close to his chest at all times. Okay, sometimes he puts them down to bathe, but they are never far from his thinking. His favourite slide number 2 is Wind and Webster’s ‘Six buying roles’ model. Developed initially in the 1970s, it was designed to explain the many buying roles within a large organisation, but is equally applicable to a family unit facing the challenge of deciding upon what to eat for dinner.

Work ON and not IN your business… Thanks heaps for the advice.

I’ve heard it a hundred times. Entrepreneurs need to work on their business as opposed to in their business. However, getting stuck in the day-to-day happens to most of us, and the obvious question is ‘why?’ Especially when we know it is not in the best interests of our company. Are we just inherently forgetful, or is something else in play?


Inbound Marketing Reloaded with James Tuckerman [FREE REPORT]

Leads always must come before sales. Then, it’s your job to build trust, educate, create rapport and demonstrate why your product and service is better than the alternatives. However, the tools at your disposal to achieve these outcomes -- to connect with strangers, to convert them to suspects, then prospects, then customers -- are constantly changing. That’s why we created this cheat sheet. To re-visit traditional inbound marketing strategies, and offer some helpful tactics to help ‘old school’ organisations embrace ‘new world’ tactics and strategies.



New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...