Underestimating performance can give competitive edge

Sixty percent of small-business owners believe their revenue growth is not as strong as their competitors' -- and, mathematically speaking, at least 10% of them are wrong, according to a recent Kabbage poll of 620 companies. That disconnect can be a plus, however, says Kabbage co-founder Kathryn Petralia: "This seeming lack of confidence surprised me. ... [But] part of being competitive is thinking you're not good enough."

Income-share agreements on the rise

Income-share agreements are gaining traction in the US, with more than five dozen universities and coding schools offering the arrangement to help students cover college costs. Proponents of ISAs say the approach gives students a safety net and gives colleges an incentive to help students succeed, but critics say ISAs are simply a new form of debt that can have questionable contract terms.

Morgan Stanley acquires E*Trade for $13 billion

The landscape for the online brokerage industry continues to shift as this all-stock deal follows in the footsteps of Charles Schwab's acquisition of TD Ameritrade in the fourth quarter of last year.

Cheesecake Factory ends no-reservations policy

The Cheesecake Factory now accepts reservations at all 206 of its restaurants as part of an effort to ease frustration over wait times, new owner Fox Restaurant Concepts said. Each eatery is setting aside a limited number of tables that customers are able to reserve in advance.

Rapid spread of flawed coronavirus info causes concern

At least 153 studies on COVID-19 have been published or posted since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease, many of which have not been peer reviewed and some of which have been retracted. The Lancet Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton says he has a team reviewing 30 to 40 submissions a day, and some of the papers posted on preprint servers have contributed to public concerns.

Report: High-growth businesses believe in social media

Close to 100% of executives say social media helps with brand building and 84% say it's a viable tool for generating leads and sales, according to analysis of the top 500 companies on Inc.'s 2019 5000 list and individual interviews conducted by The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. LinkedIn is the most preferred platform followed by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and while return on investment is a primary concern at 44%, that number is down from 59% in 2016.

New owners to keep Forever 21 stores open

Forever 21's new owners plan to keep the fashion retailer's stores up and running and will focus on growing its presence in international markets. Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners and Authentic Brands Group teamed up to acquire Forever 21, which currently operates 593 stores including 448 in the US.

About that "1 1" message on Samsung phones ...

The cryptic "1 1" message that popped up on Samsung Galaxy phones around the world was a glitch related to internal testing, the company says. The fact that it came from the preinstalled Find My Mobile app, which allows remote locking of phones, made some Galaxy owners anxious, but other than possible battery drain, the notification had no effect.

J&J's Janssen unit faces pharma kickback allegations

A newly unsealed whistleblower lawsuit accuses Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit of offering "free business operations and practice management services" such as assistance in setting up high-volume infusion suites to doctors to prompt prescribing of the company's immunology drugs Remicade and Simponi Aria. A J&J spokesperson said the case has no merit.

Greenblatt offers vision for HBO Max

HBO Max will complement sister service HBO when the streaming service launches, WarnerMedia's Robert Greenblatt explains in an interview where he expounds on the company's strategy for HBO Max for its May debut. "We're trying really hard to assign the same quality level and curated feeling that HBO has. It'll never be 50,000 hours of programming," he says.

Nikkei teardown finds Tesla far ahead of competition

Japanese business publication Nikkei recently tore down a Tesla Model 3, revealing mostly Tesla-made components, including a computer that the publication said "could end the auto industry supply chain as we know it." Experts doubt that comparable technology will be available to competitors from standard suppliers before 2025, and one engineer cited the large choice of supply chains as a reason other vehicle-makers won't even attempt to catch up to Tesla.

Very thin substances could be the future of manufacturing

Extremely thin two-dimensional materials such as molybdenum disulfide and graphene hold promise for the manufacturing of phones, headphones, solar cells and more. They can also be combined into three-dimensional blocks and deposited on silicon wafers for experiments.

Neb. airports receive $10M for improvements

About 18 Nebraska airports will receive $10.7 million in federal grants as a part of the Airport Improvement Program infrastructure grants. Among the grants is $750,000 to Blair Municipal Airport to build an access road and to fund parking lot improvements.

6 hotels added to AAA's Five Diamond listings

AAA's 2020 Five Diamond designation has been bestowed on six new hotels in Boston; Los Angeles; Mexico; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Five diamonds indicate properties that "consistently exceed expectations by providing their guests highly personalized, memorable experiences," AAA's Stacy Barber says.