Economy

Entrepreneurs love the work over the money… Tropic-proof computers… How green is your TV?

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For entrepreneurs, it’s all about being your own boss

Most entrepreneurs wouldn’t give up running their own business, even if they were able to earn more money working for someone else, according to a Discover Small Business Watch survey of 1000 US small business owners reported by Inc.com.

Just over 60% of the small-business owners surveyed said they value the independence of running their own business so much that the prospect of more dollars wouldn’t tempt them to become an employee.

In fact, just 19% of respondents said they started their own company to earn more money, compared to 46% who became an entrepreneur to have more freedom or more flexible work schedules.

The premium that SME owners place on control as opposed to wealth is also reflected in the fact that a high 70% say they do not want to grow their businesses much larger.

Still, even though running your own business may mean working when you want and on your own terms, it also often means keeping longer hours than the average American, the survey found. Close to 30% of US business owners work at least six days a week, and 52% had a week or less holiday for the year.

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Computers that don’t mind getting hot and sweaty

Given that computers often chuck a tizzy under perfectly stable office conditions, it will come as no surprise that the harsh conditions of India – at different times very hot, very humid, very dusty or very wet – can be a bit of an IT nightmare.

IT company Hewlett-Packard has moved to fix the problem with hardened computers designed specially for Indian conditions.

The computers come with a hardened chassis, tougher packaging and more durable keyboard – necessary in a country where patchy roads mean just getting computers to their destination in one piece can be a problem. To cope with the dry and dusty conditions, the computers are also equipped with upgraded dust filters.

And the problems don’t stop once the computers get to their destination. Dodgy energy infrastructure and variable weather mean the power supply delivered to houses and businesses can be highly variable. To cope with the problem, the computers have been adapted so that they can cope with swings energy at low and high voltages up to 500 volts.

*HP paid for the travel and accommodation of a SmartCompany journalist to attend an event at which this product was featured. 

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How green is my TV?

Plasma screen and LCD monitors are the fuel guzzlers of our age, and so far governments have failed to force manufacturers to label their energy efficiency.

But consumers are one step ahead, says Comparison.com.au CEO Robin Jowett. His site helps shoppers compare TVs based on their price and technical specifications, and it has added a new feature allowing users to sort TV models by their energy efficiency rating and the amount they cost to run each year.

The annual power cost savings earned by upgrading to a greener TV are rarely more than a few hundred dollars, according to the site’s measurements, but Jowett told theage.com.au that protecting the environment alone was enough of an incentive.

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