April 15, 2021

You’re the Boss Blog: The Hidden Costs of Starting a Company

Fashioning Change

A social entrepreneur tries to change the way people shop.

I was at a StartupsUncensored event some time ago where a speaker, Jason Nazar, the founder and chief executive of Docstoc, said: “You can have your start-up and one thing. You can have your start-up and your health. You can have your start-up and your family. Or you can have your start-up and your significant other, but you can’t have multiples. If you try to have multiples, you’ll be poor at all of them.”

I had never heard someone speak so candidly about the lack of work/life balance when it comes to start-ups. As we continue to build Fashioning Change, I am often reminded of his words. Since I started the company, managing interpersonal relationships with family, friends and a significant other has been really hard.

I’ve lost friends because they thought I was crazy to try to build my own company. It took my father a very long time to understand what I was doing. In fact, it wasn’t until Fashioning Change was featured in the December issue of Entrepreneur that he really expressed acceptance of what I had dedicated my life to do. I’ve been in relationships that ended because I was told I’m “too ambitious” or because the guy would make me feel guilty when I couldn’t drop what I was working on to grab dinner — or make dinner.

I’m a Type A personality. I’m competitive and driven. Because the landscape of “shopping for good” continues to grow with inauthentic voices and so-called greenwashers, I’m driven to work harder. Still, I’ve learned that working at 110 percent seven days a week isn’t sustainable and can even compromise what I create. And I have come into a place where I’m on a personal mission to create a more normal start-up work/life balance. Over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent my first weekend in almost three years with no access to a computer or phone.

And I’ve been chatting with other start-up friends, 99.9 percent of whom are men — I do wish there were more women starting companies. None of the men I spoke with have ever been told that they are “too ambitious,” but many expressed overlapping challenges that we all know are common in the start-up world: depression, reckless partying, drug abuse, drug addiction, frustration with family members who don’t accept their work habits, compromised health and failed marriages.

I have one friend whose former wife cheated on him, and he blames himself for working too much and tearing apart his family (they have two kids together). Much of what you see in the media tends to glamorize start-up life (“The Social Network” is a great example). Until recently, the toll taken by the start-up life has gotten little attention.

A friend of mine, Bobby Matson, founded Startups Anonymous with Diego Prats. They are both entrepreneurs who persevered over the challenges of a failed start-up. Startups Anonymous is a Web site that aims to help start-up founders and employees connect anonymously with serial entrepreneurs about the real challenges they face. After being live for just a few hours, the site had received more than 40 e-mails from founders all over the world eager to connect with someone — an indication of how many isolated people there are trying to figure out the challenges that come with building a start-up.

Have you thought about this, too? What have you given up for your start-up? Do you see it as sacrifice or as just part of what has to be done? Have you learned anything about managing your work/life balance?

Adriana Herrera is chief executive of Fashioning Change. You can e-mail her at adrianah@fashioningchange.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at @Adriana_Herrera.

Article source: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/03/the-hidden-costs-of-starting-a-company/?partner=rss&emc=rss

‘Fast & Furious 6’ Opens as Huge Hit

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood expected a box-office drag race to end them all for the Memorial Day weekend, with two huge-scale sequels, both in categories most popular with younger men, opening in rare direct competition. But it turned out to be no contest at all.

“Fast Furious 6” raced to a projected $122.2 million in ticket sales for the four-day period, easily enough claiming the No. 1 spot at North American movie theaters, while “The Hangover Part III” blew a tire and overheated, taking in a disappointing $63.8 million since its arrival on Thursday. Despite the collapse of “The Hangover” — Part II took in $135 million over its first five days in 2011 — it was still a very good weekend for studios and theater owners.

Analysts projected total sales in North America of $323 million for the holiday period. That would surpass the previous high mark for the same stretch, in 2004, when “Shrek 2,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Troy” contributed to $303.1 million in total sales after adjusting for inflation, according to Hollywood.com, which compiles box-office data.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (Paramount) was projected to take third place for the weekend, with ticket sales of about $48 million, for a two-week domestic total of $156.8 million. A new animated movie, “Epic” (20th Century Fox), was expected to place fourth, taking in a solid $44 million; it cost Fox about $93 million to make. And “Iron Man 3” (Disney) is anticipated to add $24.6 million to its pockets, for a four-week total of $372.7 million.

The differing fortunes of “Fast Furious 6” (Universal) and “The Hangover Part III” (Warner Brothers) offer a window into movie franchise management in the social-media age. Ticket buyers — even the highly forgiving ones who power the summer blockbuster season — no longer appear willing to tolerate color-by-number sequels.

“The Hangover Part II” received poor reviews and word of mouth, but most critics truly hated Part III, as evidenced by its positive score of only 21 percent on the review-aggregation site RottenTomatoes.com. “Fast Five,” meanwhile, delighted a majority of critics and generated positive chatter on Twitter and Facebook; “Fast Furious 6” kept the quality going, receiving a 72 percent positive rating on RottenTomatoes.

“You cannot take anything for granted anymore,” said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s president for distribution about “Fast Furious 6.” “We never let up on this movie for one minute.”

Universal and a financing partner spent about $160 million to make “Fast Furious 6” and at least another $100 million to market it. The movie, which has a multiracial cast led by Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Dwayne Johnson, was a smash among minority audiences; 32 percent of ticket buyers were Hispanic. Overseas, it was No. 1 in 59 countries, taking in $158 million, for a global total of $280.2 million.

“The Hangover Part III,” which cost Warner and Legendary Pictures about $103 million to make and was backed by a similarly costly marketing campaign, opened in three foreign countries over the weekend, taking in about $19.2 million. “The Hangover Part II” took in a total of $332.3 million overseas — an astounding amount for an R-rated comedy — and international ticket sales for “Part III” are also expected to be strong.

A Warner spokeswoman did not have an immediate comment about the movie’s North American performance.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/movies/fast-furious-6-opens-as-huge-hit.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

With Little to Cheer, 3 Major Indexes End Week Lower

All three of the major stock indexes on Friday posted their first down week since mid-April, held back by lingering concern that the Federal Reserve might scale back the economic stimulus measures that have also propelled the markets’ rally.

Still, the indexes closed well off their lows in sparse trading Friday ahead of the three-day Memorial Day weekend. The Dow Jones industrial average ended slightly higher, buoyed by a 4 percent gain in Procter Gamble shares; the Standard Poor’s 500-stock index and the Nasdaq composite index both finished a shade lower.

On Friday, the Dow gained 8.60 points, or 0.06 percent, to 15,303.10. The S. P. 500 edged down only 0.91 of a point, or 0.06 percent, to close at 1,649.60. The Nasdaq dipped 0.27 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 3,459.14. For the week, the S. P. and the Nasdaq were down 1.1 percent, and the Dow was off 0.3 percent.

A 3.3 percent jump in April orders for long-lasting manufactured goods, like refrigerators and toasters, showed that the economy might be stronger than some had thought.

“A day like today is clear evidence that there is still money on the sideline to get into equities,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Investors, he said, are “looking for almost any excuse to get in.” Over all, the market’s declines have been short and shallow since November.

“Investors are taking advantage of down days to put more cash to work,” Mr. Ghriskey said, “especially when the decline is not based on something fundamental.”

Trading has been choppy since Wednesday as investors here and abroad grappled with the Fed’s evolving stance on stimulus. The markets have been focused on the possibility that the $85 billion a month in bond purchases made by the Fed will be scaled back later this year, after recent Congressional testimony by the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting.

The minutes showed some disagreement among the policy-setting committee’s members “in terms of the approach moving forward, specifically the time frame” of the unwinding of the Fed’s stimulus efforts, said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Knight Capital in Jersey City, N.J.

The measures have been instrumental in a rally that has driven stocks to record highs, not counting inflation. Even as there is some fear that the Fed will exit too soon, many analysts say the eventual reduction of the bond-buying will come with an expansion of the economy and corporate earnings, which would continue to support equities.

Joe Bell, a senior equity analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati, said many people had credited the Fed for the recent rally without considering improvement in the job market or the housing sector. “The economy in general has been on a lot better footing than perhaps people have given it credit for,” he said.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note barely moved on Friday, adding 1/32 to trade at 97 21/32, as its yield slipped to 2.01 percent, from 2.02 percent late Thursday evening.

Procter Gamble shares rose 4 percent, to close at $81.88, after the company, the world’s largest maker of household products, brought back A.G. Lafley as its chief executive on Thursday in the midst of a major revamping.

Tesla Motors rose to a 52-week high on Friday as bets against the stock decreased, suggesting another bout of short-covering in the electric carmaker’s shares. Tesla stock jumped 4.7 percent, to $97.08, after rising as high as $97.95.

Abercrombie Fitch was among the S. P. 500’s biggest losers after the retailer cut its profit forecast and said quarterly comparable sales fell 15 percent. Its stock lost 8 percent, to close at $50.02.

Shares of Sears Holdings plummeted 13.6 percent, to $50.25, after the retailer reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/25/business/daily-stock-market-activity.html?partner=rss&emc=rss