The IDEA behind IDEA CAFE: The Small Business Gathering Place®
Once upon a time, a long time ago (like the 1980's) it was almost impossible for an entrepreneur to get the info needed to start and run a business. Just finding what government agencies you'd have to sign up with, report to, and pay taxes to was a Sisyphean task. Today, the opposite problem confounds entrepreneurs -- there's so much info you can't even begin to digest it -- especially now with the Web. (And if you took the time to try, you wouldn't have time to run your business.)
Idea Cafe to the Rescue
Being seasoned entrepreneurs, we knew what people who run small businesses need and want. So in Summer 1995, we started dishing up flavorful business fare at www.ideacafe.com. Entrepreneurs need critical info fast, so they can take action now. They hate textbooks, they hate people who don't know what it's like trying to tell them what to do. So at Idea Cafe, we serve info fast, fresh, friendly and for real.
"A Fun Approach to Serious Business"
Yes, we firmly believe there's a clear need for some whipped cream topped with a cherry in every entrepreneur's diet! Small business owners work harder than anyone else, they seldom get any credit, so at Idea Cafe, we give them a perfectly legitimate excuse to take a well-deserved break. Here, you can solve your problems and have some fun too! And you get the chance to network with others who know exactly what you're going through.
Who's Cooking at Idea Cafe: Idea Cafe is now part of the DevStart Network. Idea Cafe takes its place at the Devstart family table along side other innovative sites: HostReview, PromotionWorld, DomainInformer, and a variety of other websites that cater to webmasters and online business owners. Since 1998, the DevStart Network has been a popular and trusted source of information and resources, as evidenced by its attracting a monthly audience of nearly one million unique visitors. Visit the DevStart Network!
Idea Cafe was founded in 1995 by Francie Marks Ward
Francie Ward is a veteran business owner who started and ran a heaping mixed salad of small businesses after graduating from Stanford. In July 2008, Francie decided she wanted to take yet another entrepreneurial leap into a new career. As she explained: "Now it's time for me to trade tech for touch. Instead of spending my work hours tapping on a computer to connect with people I don't get to meet face to face, I'll connect with people directly with my hands on their bodies... as a massage therapist! While Idea Cafe is in DevStart's good hands virtually, my hands will be working on bodies physically."
"Thanks to all of you for your humor, biz wisdom and wit that have helped the Idea Cafe Team establish Idea Cafe as THE Fun Place for Serious Business through all these years -- I'm confident it will stay that way!" To get in the spirit for her new entrepreneurial leap, Francie went skydiving. If you want to see things from a new perspective, view the video at SanDiegoSkyDive.com
Here's the brief scoop on Francie's entrepreneurial past lives:
As co-owner of Oasis Press/PSI Research, Francie (below, 2nd from left) published many of the most successful, highly-rated (and popular) titles for entrepreneurs, like:Starting and Operating a Business (the 51-state series), The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies,Start Your Business,Power Marketing,Business Owner's guide to Accounting and Bookkeeping,The Essential Corporation Handbook, and many more. At PSI, Francie also created EXECARDS® -- pioneering the concept of greeting cards for business.
Francie (at right) built her internationally recognized graphic design firm in San Francisco from scratch, and helped transform the South of Market area from industrial wasteland to hot design center.
Also, Francie launched two marketing communications firms, a fabric company, and has consulted to Fortune 500 Corporations and start-up businesses.
And she has hired over 100 employees, eight attorneys, seven accountants, numerous consultants -- and fired quite a few!
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TRADEMARKS: The following are Registered Trademarks or Servicemarks of DevStart, Inc.: Idea Cafe®, Online Coffee Break®, The Small Business Gathering Place®, Take out Info®, Biz Bar & Grill®, Complaint-O-Meter®, A Fun Approach to Serious Business, CyberSchmooz, and BizCafe.