Six Links to Inspire Growing Businesses

Last Updated Mar 15, 2010 9:28 AM EDT

Spring is in the air, or there's no explaining my inbox contents, full of ebullience and releases about music festivals (we're talking work email here).

Not surprisingly, other people are in 'going for growth' mood (to steal the OECD's report title) so I've read a lot of inspiring posts today. Here are six:

1. Stickybits -- founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein have created an easy way to stick videos and pdfs and other goodies to 'real-world' objects. So you can include a mountain of information on a stickybits barcode that sticks to your, say, business card. A 'stickywiki' includes some of less obvious ways businesses or individuals can use it, too -- like putting warnings on medical instruments that a nurse can access. Or a Barcode Art Exhibition where visitors read the barcodes that will reveal the artworks to them.

2. 37Signals' 13 Simple Rules for Success in Business -- with illustrations by Mark Rohde. Abide by these and you shouldn't go too far wrong in leading others.

3. BNETUK blogger Yann Gourvennec's interview at the recent LikeMinds 2010 gathering in Exeter and his change management tips

4. A free e-book from The Social Customer to help you learn how to make more of tools such as Twitter and Facebook, and how to engage with customers rather than just push information at them. UK readers, it's US-centric, but plenty of little ideas that are universal. Here's one: Cisco's Linksys cut back on around 120,000 calls because its online community stepped in to solve caller problems faster.

5. Seven ideas for securing stellar advisors or board members for your start-up from Mashable's Ben Parr. A sample: bring on people who will challenge your strategic plans, because it's unlikely that your employees will have the nerve to question the emperor's new clothes.

6. Reuben Power's global ambition. UK companies are often accused of thinking too small, but founder Reuben Vurdien's company was set up with the aim of becoming "a world leader in electric vehicle charging" and making the UK the electric car capital of Europe.