Originally created 07/05/99

Briefcase



Yahoo! founders finddropping out can pay off

Entrepreneur magazine reports that David Filo and Jerry Yang, founders of the Internet company Yahoo!, have a net worth of $3 billion each today. If both men had not dropped out of Stanford University's Ph.D. program, they might have gone on to earn a starting salary of $57,000 to $110,000 a year, Entrepreneur says.

Poll: Americans upbeatabout their future

A survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Co. found that 92 percent of respondents were upbeat about the future, up from 89 percent in a survey a year ago.

But 35 percent of the respondents said they're concerned that their household's primary wage earner could lose his or her job in the next three years, compared to 31 percent with that concern last year. In the latest survey, 20 percent said they're planning a big splurge; that's down from 23 percent last year.

Gap between business,leisure air fares widens

The gap between the air fare that most tourists pay and the fare that a typical business traveler pays continues to widen.

American Express says that when it studied fares on 215 U.S. routes in March, it found that the average lowest discount fare, the kind usually paid by tourists was $133, while refundable tickets with three-day advance purchase requirements -- those usually chosen by business travelers -- averaged $476.

The difference between the two fares came to $343, up from a $317 gap in March 1998.

Expert warns againsttaking wrong first job

People just graduating from college are often so anxious to get that first job that they may make some big mistakes and land in the wrong one.

Some advice from Peter Pfister, an executive with Adecco, an employment service: Don't take a job only for what it pays.

Mr. Pfister says new jobs should also give recent grads new skills and help them build careers. Mr. Pfister also suggests not taking the first job that comes along. And when graduates get the jobs they want, they should remember that they need to work hard in order to move up.

Top hotels offer priceymini toiletry ensembles

Those little bottles of shampoo and body lotion that you find in your hotel room (and probably stash away in your suitcase to take home), can be pretty pricey if you're staying in a top-of-the-line establishment, reports Travel Holiday magazine.

Travel Holiday says the assortment of Bulgari products, such as shower gel, soaps, shampoo and conditioner, placed in bathrooms at the Four Seasons in Berlin are valued at $150. At the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, some of the rooms supply Nina Ricci shampoo, bubble bath, body lotion and talc in classy bottles, worth about $75.

Caring for parentsbecoming larger burden

Caring for elderly parents is increasingly becoming an issue in the work place, reports the employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Quoting from a survey of more than 1,400 senior citizens who averaged 82 years old, Challenger Gray reported that 40 percent rely on a working-age daughter or son for caregiving.

Challenger Gray says employers who offer financial or other assistance to these workers will find that the extra costs will be offset by more productive workers.

Dell marks anniversarywith comparison of PCs

Dell Computer Corp., observing the 25th anniversary of the personal computer, notes that the first PC was an Altair computer that sold for $400, operated at 2 MHz and contained 256 bytes of RAM, the computer's primary work space.

Today's newest PCs run at 500 MHz and have 3 million times as much RAM. Looking back even further, the first electronic computer was called the ENIAC (for Electronic Numeral Integrator and Computer). Built in 1946, the ENIAC weighed more than 30 tons and filled a room the size of a tennis court.

Auto dealer offerski-lodge atmosphere

When Mike Hale decided to build a new home for his auto dealership in Park City, Utah, he shied away from the usual steel and glass and went instead for stone fireplaces, wood beams and animal heads mounted on the walls.

Mr. Hale chose the ski lodge look to fit in with his Northern Utah locale. Mr. Hale is also catering to his customers, who tend to be affluent and, he says, looking for high standard of service. So, when they're buying a pickup truck or SUV, they can sign the papers while sitting in rocking chairs set by the fire.

Low-end computers lackbasic features, service

Prices for personal computers continue to drop, and some companies are advertising machines as low as $299. But FamilyPC magazine, which looked at some of the low-end computers, found they lack some basic features -- including a monitor, CD-ROM and floppy drives and speakers. Adding those pieces of hardware brings the cost of the PC up to more than $500, the magazine reports.

Also, the rock-bottom price may not include free technical support, which means every time buyers have to call the manufacturer for help, it will cost them even more.

Survey: Most executiveswork while on vacation

If you hate the idea of having to work while on vacation, at least you have lots of company in your misery.

In a survey of 5,000 executives conducted by the search firm Management Recruiters International, 82 percent said they mix business with pleasure. Of those who work on vacation, 28 percent said they stay in touch with the office by phone, and 13 percent send work-related e-mail. Another 13 percent have cut their vacations short because of work.

Expert: Office politics

can be advantageous

Mention office politics, and many people will roll their eyes and think, "Ugh." Get used to it, according to Michael Frisch, a consultant with the human resources firm Personnel Decisions International.

"Every office has office politics," Mr. Frisch says. "It's a fact of life -- like the weather. And like the weather, it can be good or bad."

He suggests that taking part in office politics is a good opportunity to share ideas with co-workers and bosses. And not taking part may make people think you don't have any opinions at all.