Richard Branson: The Secret of His Success

Social media is abuzz today with Sir Richard Branson’s decision to let Virgin Group’s salaried employees take as much time off as they want. There are undoubtedly thousands of ecommerce company executives right now planning to copy Branson’s new HR policy. After all, if it works for the British billionaire, surely the policy will benefit your business too. Right? You are not Richard Branson This may be a good deal for Branson and/or his employees. That doesn’t mean it will work for your company. Richard Branson’s business is not your business…and you are not him. What might work for him doesn’t necessarily work for you and your employees. You are not Warren Buffett You see the same type of mistaken assumption when it comes to other billionaires like Warren Buffett. There are hordes of investors trying to copy Buffett’s strategies and tactics. Yet they are not Buffett and they lack […]

Avoid the Alibaba mistake when buying an Internet business

Would you buy an Internet business like Alibaba from a Nigerian spammer? Think the IPO was a good ecommerce investment for those who bought last Friday? Before you answer that question, imagine you received a Nigerian spam email that offered you equity in When you read the fine print, you discover that you would really be buying shares in a Cayman Islands’ shell corporation that has a contract to receive Konga’s net profits. Would you invest? Of course not. Even though Konga is a legitimate website, you wouldn’t be buying equity in the entity that owned Konga. The real winners in Alibaba’s initial public offering There were definite winners in Alibaba’s IPO. They include the company’s founder (Jack Ma), the Chinese government, and the usual Wall Street suspects as underwriters (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Securities, Citigroup et al.). What did people buy in the Alibaba IPO? But what […]

Privacy Policy? What website legal documents do you really need?

The number and type of website legal documents your website needs depends a lot on the site’s subject matter. For example, a website that sells toys for kids has different legal requirements than a site that sells consulting services to businesses. 1. Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Refund Policy The foundation for website legal protection consists of the site’s privacy policy, terms of use, and refund policy. The privacy policy discloses what type of data is collected and how it is used. The terms of use contains the important terms and conditions visitors must comply with as part of enjoying your website’s content. Your site’s refund policy identifies how refund requests are processed, including any limitations on such (e.g. a 30-day refund policy). If your site sells products, the refund policy also discusses how these products are to be handled as part of obtaining a refund. This can include […]