Who Really Invented the Lightbulb? Really?

Did you know that Thomas Edison did NOT invent the light bulb? Really, he was just the first to successfully bring it to market and raise awareness of it.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t focus on the fear of someone stealing their idea (especially if you have a patent). They focus on executing on the opportunity by bringing their idea to market.

This is what the 22 inventors of the incandescent light bulb before Thomas Edison FAILED to do.

That’s right. Twenty-two inventors had the idea before Edison, and Edison didn’t necessarily steal their idea. He just did a better job of taking it to market, and this is where the value is.

If you have an idea, protect it, and then you can just focus on executing and bringing your product or service to market successfully.

Did you know that 40Billion provides an informative business startup guide for protecting your ideas and intellectual property through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and NDA’s?

Download the short MP3’s and listen to them on your computer or in your iPod, while at home, in the office, or on-the-go. Then, download the easy-to-use templates that come with each startup guide.

Go to http://www.40billion.com/startupguides/ today.

Is the “American dream” dead?

Is the idea of achieving the “American dream” a dying fantasy that is becoming impossible for more and more people? Yes, unfortunately, it is true. There is no doubt that the economy is suffering, and suffering with it is the American dream.

Entrepreneurs can’t afford to start businesses, families can’t afford to buy homes, and students can’t afford to go to college. Banks don’t seem to care, and the government seems to be paralyzed from the waist down.

But the fact is you don’t need a bank loan in order to build and grow a successful business, just like you don’t need an Ivy League college degree in order to be a successful entrepreneur and businessperson (though, it can help). We have to help ourselves and save our own economy, our own businesses, our American dream.

Raise money. Build dreams. 40Billion.com … Let’s start here!

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5 tips for approaching friends and family about your business

At 40billion.com, we provide online tools to help small-business and startup entrepreneurs increase access to funding and resources by leveraging their social networks, including friends and family. Here are 5 tips that we give to entrepreneurs to help them approach friends and relatives about their business:

1.  ASK FOR ADVICE & REFERRALS, NOT HANDOUTS

When you approach friends and family about your business, just share your idea in a conversational manner, and ask them for their advice, feedback, or referral. People are usually glad to give you their point-of-view if they think their advice or feedback may be helpful. And, if they really believe in you, they will either offer to help or they’ll be willing to refer you to someone who can help.

2.  FORMALIZE A LOAN OR DISCOUNT

Businesses often get started with a loan from the entrepreneur’s friend or relative, but it can be difficult to manage the relationship, especially if the loan is not formalized with a written agreement. Create a formal loan agreement with details of the loan, including what is owed, when payments are due, and any consequences for missing payments. Even if you’ve promised a discount to your friend or relative in exchange for a loan or referral, put it in writing and provide a discount coupon that can be redeemed. This may significantly reduce the risk of ruining your personal relationship over business.

3.  GIVE A PRESENTATION

Are you serious about your business? Then give a business plan presentation to your friends and family, and show them. This is your chance to display your professionalism and passion, while getting free advice and feedback from people you know. The result could get you closer to the funding, resources, and customers you need to get your business up and running.

4.  POST ON SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Add a description of your business to social networking websites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This easily allows your friends and family to read about what you’re doing and spread the word to other people they know. So, instead of you going to them, they will come to you and ask about your new business.

5.  KEEP IN TOUCH

Be sure to thank your friends and family who supported you or helped you spread the word. Then, be sure to keep the lines of communication open by sending them regular company updates to let them know that their support has been put to good use, and you’re achieving those milestones that you set in your business plan. These communications will go a long way toward maintaining good relationships with your friends-and-family supporters, and they will be more likely to support you again as customers, investors, advisors and advocates.

40Billion.com Launches Funding Probability for Small Business Entrepreneurs

Tool uses algorithm to estimate likelihood that friends and family will invest in a business

40Billion.com, the leading professional social funding platform, has launched a beta version of its Funding Probability tool to help users determine who in their social networks are most likely to provide funding for their business ventures.

It is estimated that over 50% of new businesses generate funds from friends and family of the entrepreneurs. However, for many entrepreneurs, the main challenge that they face is locating the right people who are most willing and able to fund their ventures. Recognizing this common problem, 40Billion.com has created a unique solution called Funding Probability.

As the name suggests, the Funding Probability tool helps users estimate the probability that each person in their social network will become a funder or investor. The tool is based on a proprietary algorithm, which ranks each of the user’s contacts and indicates funding probability with an easy scale of High, Medium, and Low. The “High” probability contacts are those individuals who are most likely to provide funding to a particular business venture, and the “Low” probability contacts are individuals who are least likely to fund it. Based on this scale, the system is able to match the user’s venture with the most promising funding sources in their social networks.

Since launching a prototype of the Funding Probability tool in April, the company has seen promising results as 9 out of 10 actual funders in the entrepreneur’s social network on 40Billion were ranked either High or Medium on the funding probability scale.

The Funding Probability feature saves entrepreneurs time and resources that they often spend chasing unlikely funding sources. Fundraisers can access the tool by clicking Invite Your Friends on their business fundraising profile page, and 40Billion takes much of the guess work out of raising money. Step by step, the online company is working to make social funding easier for U.S. small businesses to raise money than traditional funding methods.

About 40Billion.com

40Billion.com is the social funding network for small businesses and startup entrepreneurs. 40Billion.com, Inc. is the first Internet-based microfinance company serving American small businesses. 40Billion.com’s scalable platform helps entrepreneurs raise funding more affordably through friends and family than through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Using proprietary online tools, entrepreneurs build social networks – including friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and other contacts – and use these connections to raise capital through small business loans and gifts. Entrepreneurs create fundraising profiles and invite their connections to offer funding in exchange for discounts or potential returns. In business since 2008, the company aims to address a $40 billion funding gap. 40Billion.com, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

Want to know which of your friends are most likely to invest in your business (or someone else’s business)?

Ever wondered which of your friends is most likely to invest in your business? Want to know which potential funders you should pursue and invite to participate in your Raise?

Use our amazing new Funding Probability BETA feature to find out the likelihood that each of your contacts will fund your Raise (or even someone else’s Raise).  Just click the “Invite Your Friends” button at the top of any Raise to find out more and make your social network start working for you!

 Add contacts to your network and find out which ones are most likely to fund your business.

Grab a widget! Add a custom widget on your website or blog for easier access to your business fundraising profile.

It’s easier than ever before to share and access Raises (business fundraising profiles) all over the Web. Just add a 40billion widget to your own website or blog. Simply copy the embed code and paste it into your website’s code wherever you want the widget to appear.
 
You can grab a widget for any Raise that you have access to on 40billion.com. Just click “Widgets” at the bottom of the page.
 
Want to try out an example? Visit our sample Raise and then click the Widgets link at the bottom of the page. Copy the code in the box for the widget that you want to use, and paste the code into your website or blog.
It’s just as simple as adding a YouTube video to your website or blog, and it’s FREE.
 
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