Slack Is Raising Another Round At Up To A $1B Valuation

Slack, the enterprise collaboration platform co-founded by Stewart Butterfield of Flickr fame, continues to defy its namesake: we have heard from sources that the company is raising a new round of funding at a valuation of between $800 million and $1 billion, just six months after raising nearly $43 million.

The total raise is said to be eight figures, and Sequoia and KPCB are participating, our sources tell us, although the company has been talking to multiple other VCs. The Information has also reported the rumors.

Asked for confirmation on the funding, Butterfield would not comment directly except to say that 2014 has been “crazy,” and that it would be very likely that his company would raise money some time “in the next six years.”

(Butterfield is known for his sometimes colorful ways with words.)

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The Surprising New Math of Startups

There were some revelations lurking in the data generated by the Kauffman Foundation’s Firm Survey, one of the longest and largest studies ever of privately owned startups. Three researchers, Carmen Cotei and Susan Coleman of the University of Hartford and Joseph Farhat of Central Connecticut State University, parsed the rich data to see what effect things like age, gender, and amount of startup capital had on company outcomes after five years.

They were a little amazed at what they learned. For instance, intellectual property had no significant effect on survival or closure. And they found no statistical difference in the survival or closure rates between male- and female-led companies. “This really surprised us,” said Farhat. “We haven’t been able to establish that definitively before.” Time to check a few assumptions at the door when predicting startup winners and losers.

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105 Service Businesses to Start Today

105 Service Businesses to Start Today
At your service: Convenience-craving consumers are always looking for a way to do things better, faster and cheaper. Often, that means turning to a specialty-services entrepreneur who knows how to get the job done right. Here, we provide some inspiration for aspiring service providers-from adventure-tour leaders to window washers. With 105 ideas to choose from, you have no excuse not to get started today with your own service business.

Once you’ve scrolled through our ideas and gotten a taste of what’s out there, read “How to Start a Service Business” to learn how to get started.

Personal Services
Mobile Pet Grooming
Snip, clip and brush your way to success as a mobile pet groomer. Fido and his owner will both appreciate the convenience of a “doorstep” doggie-grooming service. With the proper training and experience, a van and some grooming tools, start barking up the right tree by marketing your business in your neighborhood and others.

Collectibles Search
Collectibles searchers, who carefully canvas swap meets, thrift stores and garage sales, can collect a bundle locating objets d’art for clients. Once you’ve found your niche–be it antique lunch boxes, dolls or grandfather clocks–advertise your services in hobbyist publications, at collectibles stores, in specialty forums on the internet, or on eBay. Soon you’ll be taking up a collection of your own.

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Who’s the Richest Person in Your State? Chances Are, It’s an Entrepreneur.

Keeping up with the Joneses much? If you are wondering who the richest person in your state is, start with the entrepreneurs.

Of the 50 people in the U.S. who rank as the wealthiest individuals in their state, 35 are entrepreneurs, according to a report released today by Wealth-X, a Singapore-based firm that compiles research on the ultra wealthy, and financial services giant UBS. In other words, more than two-thirds of some of the country’s richest people made their own fortunes.

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Twitter Launches Mobile Payments Before Facebook (but Apple May Have the Last Laugh)

Twitter may be much smaller than Facebook, but its ability to innovate in payments is allowing it to outgun its much larger competitor, at least for the time being.

Both Twitter and Facebook are competing with other tech giants, including Apple, Google, PayPal and the leading credit card companies to own the emerging mobile payment sector, which is immensely popular with consumers and has proven fertile territory for startups. More specifically, the leading technology companies are seeking an advantage in so-called peer-to-peer payments, which are typically smaller payments sent from one person to another. Individuals could use such payments, for example, when they are splitting a bill or to wire money.

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How to Think Like the Best Entrepreneurs Do

If you take a quick look at the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, you’d probably conclude there isn’t much to be learned from studying them. The paths they took to become Amancio Ortega (Zara), Larry Page (Google), and Oprah Winfrey (Harpo) are as unique as they are.

But–and it’s a huge but–while their behavior is idiosyncratic, their thinking is not.

A study by Saras D. Sarasvathy of the University of Virginia’s business school shows that serial entrepreneurs–people who have successfully started two or more companies–typically follow the same approach. And if it has worked for them, it may very well work for you.

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Why Your Boss Wants You to Make Friends at Work (Infographic)

Strong office friendships don’t just create a more enjoyable work environment. They also pay dividends in the form of higher productivity.

Employees with a best friend at work have a higher commitment to quality and are more likely to say they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day, according to Gallup Business Journal.

The infographic below from OfficeVibe shares 11 reasons why office friendships help build better businesses.

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