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Foodborne non-typhoidal salmonellosis causes approximately 1 million illnesses annually in the USA. In April 2015, we investigated a multistate outbreak of 65 Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections associated with frozen raw tuna imported from Indonesia, which was consumed raw in sushi. Forty-six (92%) of 50 case-patients interviewed ate sushi during the week before illness onset, and 44 (98%) of 45 who specified ate sushi containing raw tuna. Two outbreak strains were isolated from the samples of frozen raw tuna. Traceback identified a single importer as a common source of tuna consumed by case-patients; this importer issued three voluntary recalls of tuna sourced from one Indonesian processor. Four Salmonella Weltevreden infections were also linked to this outbreak. Whole-genome sequencing was useful in establishing a link between Salmonella isolated from ill people and tuna. This outbreak highlights the continuing foodborne illness risk associated with raw seafood consumption, the importance of processing seafood in a manner that minimises contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and the continuing need to ensure imported foods are safe to eat. People at higher risk for foodborne illness should not consume undercooked animal products, such as raw seafood.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Despite high levels of mental illness, Vietnamese youth have limited access to mental health care. Internet interventions, evidence-based psychotherapy treatments delivered through the internet, have the potential to increase access to mental health for youth in Vietnam. This study explored the perceptions of youths and parents toward internet interventions for youth mental health.
Four focus groups were conducted with youths (n = 20) and parents (n = 20) in Danang, Vietnam. The Technology Acceptance Model was used a framework for focus group questions. The data were analyzed using direct content analysis.
Most youths and parents agreed that the internet serves well as a care delivery model. Participants expressed that the web would be useful for psychoeducation and sharing and receiving information with others. Both groups reported lack of awareness of web-based interventions and logistical concerns regarding access as main barriers. In addition, many parents were concerned about internet addiction. Specific adaptations in Vietnam such as standalone internet service centers and partnering with local organizations may benefit uptake of internet interventions.
This study suggests that internet-based programs for youth mental health, particularly interventions incorporating psychoeducation and social networking components, will be well received in Vietnam. Barriers need to be addressed to successfully implement internet-based treatment. Future initiatives should incorporate acceptance models to improve development of internet interventions for youth.
In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.
Chester L. Karrass
You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.
J. Paul Getty
The fellow who says he’ll meet you halfway, usually thinks he’s standing on the dividing line.
Orlando A. Battista
Like it or not, you often will be negotiating something in life, and always will be negotiating something in an entrepreneurial pursuit. The negotiation could be direct or indirect, obvious or subtle, but as an entrepreneur, you always will be negotiating.
As just one example, my colleague Michael (first author of this text) shared with me a very important lesson in this regard from one of the angel investors that was his first major outside investor, Peter. Peter was seventy-one years old when he first became involved in my friend’s commercial fish farming company. He was the master at just about everything to do with starting a new business. Peter had left a Big 4 accounting firm (probably was the Big 8 back then) to launch his entrepreneurial career, when he had four children and a wife to support at the time. Among other deal points, Peter negotiated with Michael to purchase a 20% equity stake in his company in exchange for Peter’s cash investment. Michael violated a soon-to-be-learned rule, one that Peter was about to teach him the hard way. Peter had originally agreed to invest in the company for 18%, but later simply said that he’d feel a lot better if my friend could “round up” this figure to 20%. It wasn’t necessary, but it would be “nice.” Wanting to get the deal done, given that the parties were so close, and concerned he might otherwise disappoint or aggravate Peter, Michael said, “OK.” Michael didn’t ask what he would get for bumping up Peter’s equity stake or say something such as, “I’ll do that for you if you do XYZ in return.” Peter later told Michael that this was part of the negotiation, not simply a casual request.
People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.
Mary Kay Ash (1915–2001; U.S. Business Executive)
You’re making great progress. You’ve got a board, you are about to hire two key employees, and you are just about ready to start executing your company business strategy. But, you need a company structure to embody these attributes. In fact, you can’t even open a bank account without an Employer’s Identification Number (EIN). This is no simple decision. In particular, your board (typically made up of “older” types) will probably steer you in the direction of a conventional commercial corporation, aka C-Corp. Why, because they are familiar with it. People just about always think what they are familiar with is best, else why would they have been doing it all these years? I believe that a limited liability corporation (LLC) is probably your best bet at this point of your company history for a variety of reasons we discuss in this chapter. I’m not a lawyer, and this is where you should seek legal advice once you think you know what you want to do. In fact, never go to a lawyer and ask them an open-ended question such as “What should I do?” They will just about always guide you in the most conservative direction legally, and this may not be best for your company.
Types of Ownership Structures
Before you can decide on an ownership structure for your business, you should learn a little bit about how each structure works. As a good reference on deciding which ownership structure is most suitable for your business, read “Choosing the Best Ownership Structure for Your Business” (go to www.nolo.com/lawcenter).
I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.
It seems as if addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division should be fairly simple. It is, until you want to apply it to accounting and do your tax calculations! There are many ramifications resulting from your choice of corporate structure on how you end up paying taxes. For example, who in their right mind would choose to pay taxes twice on profits you make from your company? Well, if you choose a C-Corp for your company structure, that’s just what you’ll be doing! But sometimes a C-Corp is the best choice, and you might ask why. I think my accountant was probably the key professional with whom I interacted with during the early days of my start-up. I recommend seeking an accountant’s advice early, before you create your company structure.
At this point in the text, we’ve covered the basic steps of defining your business, developing a marketing strategy, and differentiating your business from the competition. In this chapter, we cover the creation and use of financial accounting statements in the typical business plan, including depreciation and taxation issues. We stress the importance of creating these financial statements from the top down versus the bottom up by basing the figures on details from the demand side of the equation, that is, sales and the costs of production.
If you ask a group of engineers, most of them would probably tell you that they have thought about starting a business. Most did nothing. Some others did some research and preliminary planning. Some of these then invested some personal funds in creating the shell of a company in some legal format. A rare few took their companies forward to the point that they became operational businesses.
Most of us will see opportunities to start a business. This book is for those among us who are contemplating the start of a business and those that may have already taken that big first step. As teachers and successful entrepreneurs, our goal in writing this book is to help you the reader maximize your chances of entrepreneurial success. You will find guidance, instruction, and practical lessons that will assist you, the prospective entrepreneur, with your first steps toward realizing a dream.
I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.
I teach a course on entrepreneurship, and I always invite numerous successful entrepreneurs to give guest lectures on the subject. One of my favorite speakers is Greg (PhD from Cornell). Greg was raising money for his start-up venture about the same time I was raising money to start my fish business. Greg is now worth millions of dollars (that is another story), but he retains a casual attitude toward his success. When Greg comes to lecture, he typically wears jeans and a knit sport shirt with a fleece jacket. Greg describes the early beginnings of his company and how he hated big-company corporate structure. You know ... having to report to so-and-so ... following this and that procedure ... properly documenting this and that. Greg started his own company so he wouldn’t have to follow all those rules and do a lockstep with corporate ways of doing things. Well, initially, this approach worked okay for Greg. But, then as his company went from 3 employees to 20, to 100, to 300, he found that he had to follow many of those same corporate rules that he hated before. He was having trouble managing under this new structure. It wasn’t as much fun as it used to be. I asked Greg if it had to be this way. He responded with a slouch to his shoulders and a roll of his eyes.
The majority of this chapter was written by my oldest brother James. He was always to me the smartest person I have ever known. It seems appropriate he would author this chapter on management. Enjoy the chapter; I think it has lots of nuggets of wisdom that you will find helpful sometime in your entrepreneurial career. And thanks, Jim, for sharing your management knowledge.
Raising money is hard work. You have to be prepared. Anytime a potential investor senses that you have not properly prepared for a meeting, you instantly will have lost any chance of landing this person as an investor. When I was raising some stage 2 financing for Fingerlakes Aquaculture, I had a meeting with a group of potential investors in Boston, friends and acquaintances of my angel investor, Peter (I think I’ve mentioned him before). We met in the high-rent financial district. Big buildings … marble hallways … all that type of stuff. I had spent many hours refining my presentation down to about twenty minutes to cover selected details so they would ask for more information that I could tell them was covered in the full business plan and that I had copies with me for them if interested. Part of my presentation was to actually prepare some tilapia fillets from my farm so the guests could really “get a taste of what it was all about.” (This was back in 1999, when most people had no idea what a tilapia fillet tasted like or even what a tilapia was!) The meeting was to start at 11:00 a.m. I was getting ready to start my presentation, including the cooking arrangements for the fillets. The invitees (there were five in total) got there about ten to fifteen minutes early and started chatting with my angel investor Peter. It didn’t take long before they became so curious about the product and what it tasted like that I had no choice (in my opinion) but to go ahead with that segment of the presentation, even though it was supposed to be at the end of my planned presentation right about lunch time (I thought this would be perfect timing). They all loved the product. Two of the people in attendance became investors in my company. I never did get to show them my PowerPoint presentation. But if I had, it was a good one. I was prepared.
I recently was involved in raising capital for starting an indoor shrimp farm. Just about everyone likes to eat shrimp. Interestingly, just about all of our shrimp (90%) is imported, creating a fairly obvious market opportunity. So, several years back, we put some seed money together and started working on the constraints that prevented someone from successfully raising shrimp indoors and making a profit. Well, after three years of research and demonstrating a prototype production system, we were ready for our next round of financing (we needed about $500,000). We prepared a presentation and invited a group of high-net-worth individuals. We presented in one of the high-rent office buildings in the financial district of Atlanta. You know, people do like shrimp, but they also like to have a sense of confidence about the people they are dealing with. My cousin John, a businessman in the Atlanta area, brought that credibility to the table. Our challenge was to present the opportunity to the individuals in the room in a form they could understand. We had all the necessary legal documents with us. We knew the rules and followed them. We were successful that night and raised most of the equity capital we needed. The investors all seemed to like and respect my cousin. And they all ate a lot of shrimp that night, too!
Starting a new business happily taps into our spirit as well, because the process enlivens our heart and fuels our imagination – the linchpins of our existence. As an entrepreneur, your work is an expression of yourself. Without your ideas, beliefs, fortitude, skills and sense of adventure, your business cannot succeed.
Most games are not won because one of the players knows the rules better than the others. Most of us will soon know the rules of the entrepreneurship game (especially after you finish reading this text), but only a few of us who want to be successful entrepreneurs will become one. Why is it that some coaches seem to be consistent winners, even though the talent pool available is fairly similar? I think it is mostly doing your homework. That’s what this chapter is about – doing the necessary preparation before launching your business. This is not fun, this is work.
Understanding your market, and therein recognizing whether you have a winning product, is probably the key aspect to creating a successful company. Your market analysis will be a key part of your business plan. But how do you analyze a market that does not exist? Markets always exist; they may be untapped, but they do exist or are ready to be created. Henry Ford could not analyze the market for automobiles when he was ready to start cranking out those Model Ts, but Ford knew quite well that there were markets for horses, carriages, trains, and other forms of transportation that he was going to try to capture. You will often have to use your imagination in trying to define and analyze your market.
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.
Launching your business beyond the friends and family stage will require you to rewrite your business plan, probably for the umpteenth time! I will guarantee you one thing: the circle of professional acquaintances that you had thought might invest in your company … well, most won’t … and the ones who do invest, will have a lot of advice for you, and probably more than you want! Advice can be a good thing, but when one investor says, “Go right,” and the next investor says, “Go left,” you’ll likely find yourself wondering which direction is correct. But, you must do something!
I have been pretty successful in raising capital for my start-ups. My business plans were a critical component of my successful fundraising. Were they perfect? No, but these plans raised money! In fact, one of the VC investors said several times that she thought my business plan for my aquaculture tilapia start-up was one of the best business plans she had ever read. Her VC firm required a supporting partner (a proponent was required before this venture firm would make an investment) to make a personal investment in any company that is submitted to the VC group for consideration. After the initial acceptance, the tilapia business several years later ended up under new management and despite the earlier VC’s praise for the original plan, one of the first objectives of the new management team was to write a “really good” business plan. My “best she’d read” plan got tossed out the window. What does this tell you?
Authors, educators and successful entrepreneurs wrote this textbook with the primary goal of maximising your chance of entrepreneurial success. It is designed to encourage those wanting to start a business and those who have already begun. It includes guidance, instruction and practical lessons for the prospective entrepreneur. The book focuses on early stage financing of a start-up company, beginning with an emphasis on constructing an effective business plan, including writing techniques to help convey your message, and preparing solid financial statements. This 'why' and 'how' of writing a business plan is followed by recommendations on raising outside capital. Important topics include developing your marketing strategy, recruiting and managing creatives and managers, and retaining effective employees. Legal structures, negotiation strategies, and economic evaluation of opportunities are also discussed. The book concludes with a chapter on project management. It includes many engineering economy topics, sufficient for those taking the FE exam.
Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.
I was getting pretty close to starting my fish business; I was concluding some final negotiations to secure the capital I needed to implement the business plan strategy (I needed $500,000). As you get involved in this entrepreneurship arena, you’ll quickly discover that there is a lot of parallel processing going on. You will need to juggle several activities concurrently in order to pull this business launch off successfully. My situation was that I knew I was going to need a general manager (GM) about the same day I broke ground on the fish production building. So, about three months before I thought I needed my GM, I initiated a concerted effort to find a competent GM, who would be my first paid employee. I spread the word through my contact list and a national online site for aquaculture. I also received a call from Dr. Tom Fields, a colleague at a private fish farm near Saratoga Springs, New York, with whom we (Cornell University) had done business with over the years.