Meet the CEO who hires entrepreneurs, not employees

weekend-reads-jainIf you were the founder of a $150 million revenue IT business with a cushy market position, it would be tempting to kick back and enjoy your success.


Not for Naveen Jain, founder and CEO of US firm Intelius, who is so keen on driving innovation in his business that he says he hires entrepreneurs rather than employees and lavishes money on staff who come up with the best ideas.


Jain has stumped up for a $100,000 jackpot for the best new internal innovation, naming the scheme the X Prize. He claims last year’s winner has resulted in a tenfold return on investment.


“We know that innovation indeed drives growth,” Jain told Fast Company.


“If you look at successful technology companies over time, the common denominator between them all is they continually innovate.”


If your own tech venture is failing to get investor traction in Australia, as the sad example of Shooii demonstrated this week, maybe a return to employment wouldn’t be so bad if it was under Jain.


Once you become your own boss, of course, you’ll have to deal with employees in a slightly less glamorous way.


For example, what happens if you hire a manager that everyone else hates? Sir Richard Branson has some wise words of advice on how to handle this situation.


Did you know that there are seven sins of email? No, not from just sending around inappropriate pictures at work, but being lazy about how your business should use email and becoming distracted by it. Here’s the list.


Another common tech problem faced by start-ups is the failure to “socially optimise” their websites. Sure, you may have dabbled in a bit of SEO to boost your rankings, but does your Twitter and Facebook presence do anything to connect you with new customers?


Here’s five top tips on how to better engage with potential customers via social media.


How about this for a career – Jeff Weiner founded a pioneering digital division at Warner Bros before departing when AOL bought it, then joining Yahoo and overseeing the acquisition of Flicker before becoming a venture capitalist and now, finally, CEO of LinkedIn. Here’s his career in pictures.


Finally, here’s some of the strangest things Weekend Reads has seen this week – Warren Buffett and Jon Bon Jovi singing together to the strumming of a ukulele, a new start-up that is selling sportswear to non-sport fans and a lifeguard who was fired for saving the life of a drowning man.


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