Do You Really Have to Comply With the CCPA?

Last week's column dealt with the thorny topic of whether or not a web-based business really needs to comply with the European Union's new (well, fairly new) General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

Since the GDPR was made effective in May 2018, a number of U.S. states -- most prominently California -- have adopted "mini-GDPR" laws ...Read more

Do You Really Have to Comply With GDPR?

"My partners and I launched a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application earlier this year.

"We've gotten a good response to our product. Virtually all of our customers so far are in the United States and Canada, but we've started getting inquiries from potential customers in Europe.

"We're aware (thanks to your column) that Europe has a very ...Read more

How You Should Vote This November

Here it comes ... another contentious election season.

At the top of the ticket is a choice between two presidential candidates who don't exactly inspire people or represent the best America can produce (hmmm ... call it deja vu; I seem to recall we've been in this situation before).

At the bottom of the ticket are a whole bunch of people ...Read more

On the Desecration of Public Monuments

Like many Americans, I have viewed with dismay and confusion the systematic and wanton destruction of statues and monuments honoring people I was taught in my youth to view as "great Americans."

In a city just down the road from me, a mob pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus that had stood in a vest-pocket park of the same name for ...Read more

In Praise of B.S. -- It's Not All Bad for Ya

As a longtime fan of comedian George Carlin (and, frankly, in looking for any sort of comedy to help my family through the pandemic), I was recently delighted to find a DVD online of an HBO special performance Carlin gave in Los Angeles only a few months before his death in June 2008.

The special, titled "It's Bad for Ya," was the usual blend...Read more

'The Purpose Is Profit': Not Just Another Startup Guide

If you go to your local bookstore (they still exist, don't they?) or search for "entrepreneur" or "small business" on Amazon, you will find thousands of books and e-books on how to start a business.

To paraphrase the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, of making many startup success books there is no end, including -- truth be told -- a number ...Read more

The Wrong Way to Run a Franchise

"A couple of years ago we bought a fast-casual restaurant franchise from a local company that has run several successful restaurants in our area.

"While the company knew a ton about their products -- which are excellent, by the way -- they had only just started franchising. We were only their second franchisee, and bought one of their ...Read more

What You Need to Do Today to Survive the New Normal

In last week's column, I wrote about several megatrends that I think will define the new normal for small business during the next couple of years.

Of course, the most logical response to a column like that is "great information, but what should we do about it?"

Hence this week's column.

Make no mistake about it: You likely won't be able to...Read more

Preparing Your Business for the New Normal

It's official. The coronavirus pandemic's biggest victim is the U.S. economy.

Despite some states' recent efforts to reopen their economies, periodic surges in infections and the lack of a marketable COVID-19 vaccine make it a virtual certainty that this will be a U-shaped (or perhaps a WWWWW-shaped) recession lasting at least the next two to...Read more

Getting a New Product From Patent to Market

"I am an inventor who just got a U.S. patent for a wonderful new mechanical device that will revolutionize a particular industry.

"I am in the process of forming a company with three partners to manufacture and sell this device. My first partner has a manufacturing company that is capable of producing up to 1,000 units a year. My second ...Read more

Compensation for Sweat-Equity Players

"We are starting up a technology company and want to know the right way to compensate our technicians, developers and others who will be helping us grow the business. We don't want to give them equity at this time because we don't know how committed they will be to the business going forward. But we do want them to share in the growth of the ...Read more

Making Sure a Company's Founders Are Diluted Fairly

"A couple of months ago I started a Web-based company with two college friends. We agreed that I would have 20% of the stock in this company, and that my two friends would split the remaining 80% equally (40% each). That is okay with me, because this is really going to be their company -- I'm just designing and putting together the social ...Read more

Creating a Hit Reality TV Show

"I have an idea for a terrific reality television show that would target 'tweens' -- American boys and girls who are no longer children but not quite teenagers yet. I have done some marketing research with my own tween children and their friends, and they all seem to love the idea. I haven't the foggiest idea how to start, though. I don't have...Read more



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