“Obama’s proposed Treasury Department budget would boost funding for the Internal Revenue Service by more than $1 billion in an attempt to improve tax enforcement and customer service. The budget also provides resources to implement the president’s health law. The vast majority of Treasury’s budget goes to the IRS, which has faced deep spending cuts the past several years. The agency’s budget has declined from $12.2 billion in 2010 to $11.3 billion in the current budget year. The IRS says budget cuts have hurt customer service so much that only 60 percent of people who call toll-free help lines reach a real person who can help them. Obama’s budget is designed to improve customer service so that 80 percent of callers get help.” [Source: The Washington Post]
“Mt. Gox may have gone bankrupt and roiled the digital currency market last week, but Overstock.com (OSTK) says Bitcoin has triggered a boost in new customers. The e-commerce giant announced Tuesday that it has sold more than $1 million in product to Bitcoin users since the site started accepting the virtually untraceable cryptocurrency on Jan. 9. What’s more, it estimates that some 60% of the 4,300 Bitcoin transactions over the last two months have been from new customers, helping to drive sales and traffic. “We did not expect to hit this milestone so quickly,” Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said in a statement. ‘Bitcoin customers are good customers, and we’re pleased to provide them this service.’ ” [Source: Fox Business]
This column is by Jordy Leiser, CEO and Co-founder of StellaService.
Starting a new company is difficult. The numbers say that 75 percent of startups fail, but that doesn’t change the fact that lots of people do it every day.
Inventing a new category, however, is downright herculean. It’s the most challenging path an entrepreneur may take, because it requires the greatest risk and elicits a tsunami of doubters.
But, when it works, it is capable of having profound impact on the world. And that’s one reason why I’m always inspired and surprised by category creators.
I often think of Henry Ford’s famous quote: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
There were dozens of other aspiring automaker-entrepreneurs in the early 20th century, but Henry Ford is the one we remember and recognize. He started mass-producing the Model A and the Model T at a time when there was no mainstream market for automobiles.
Henry Ford invented a new …
“For an old organization, Goodwill has some pretty impressive new tricks — including turning rags into riches with a thriving online retail business. Going into its seventh year, the e-commerce division of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties has grown into a $4 million endeavor that’s looking to expand. ‘It’s funny. It’s like this online startup that has really bootstrapped its way into this viable business,’ said Tim Murray, vice president of brand, marketing, and communications for Goodwill.” [Source: San Francisco Business Journal]
“Nasty Gal keeps growing up. The rapidly evolving online retailer continues to bolster its executive ranks and to add more product categories to its in-house designed collections. In another major step, the brand is planning the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store. The company, estimated to have sales close to $130 million last year, has brought on Sheree Waterson as president and chief product officer. Most recently, Waterson spent five years at Lululemon as chief product officer, a post she left shortly after the company’s high-profile recall in the spring of too-sheer yoga bottoms. At Lululemon, she spearheaded supply chain, merchandise and design during a period where the company saw significant growth.” [Source: WWD - Reg. required]