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Quiet Time

During my days in the Korean War, the "loose lips sink ships" motto was so accurate, because any excessive talk to the wrong person could easily land upon the ears of the enemy.

I'm glad Brian Sommer takes the motto seriously ("Cutting Edge," April). Keeping a company in stealth mode at least six months is necessary if you want to keep new knowledge from competitors. There are lots of hungry sharks vying for your business, no matter what your business is.

If I have a new program in teaching Gung Fu to children, it's best not to talk about it, or my competitors could beat me to the punch. Sommer has the right attitude-it's best to get his technology perfected and patented.

Jose Causing
Causing Gung Fu School
of Martial Arts
Vallejo, California

Head of the Class

I just read "Gotta Have It!" ("Net Profits," April), and I felt compelled to write to you. The piece was very well-written, and it gave me a lot of ideas for my small business-a company that will sell birth announcements and gift baskets through the Net. I'm a new mom myself and am really trying to get this company off the ground.

I've been working on my Web site in a class I'm attending at Westchester Community College. Because it's a Web design class, it doesn't focus on the marketing aspects of starting a business. I learned more from your article than I've learned from my instructor and through other reading. Thank you again for your great work.

Brigitte Baer
Via e-mail

We Will Survive

Thank you for the write-up (in April's "Quick Guide to Business Travel") on the Executive Workout travel handbook. I'd also like your readers to know that I have a Web site, www.executiveworkout.com, that's geared toward the business traveler. Yes, while other dotcoms are going under, I'm still marching like a true entrepreneur. I won't give up!

George Bosolet
Executive Workout
New York City

Clothes Make the Employee

As a new subscriber to Entrepreneur, I'm like a child in a toy store with unlimited funds. This is a great magazine, and every issue teaches me something new that I can use in my business.

While I was reading "Dressed for Distress" ("Pulse," March), I questioned the comment that "experts also point out that most of casual's critics come from the retail clothing industry-the same people who profit when people buy business suits," because that isn't always the case. In fact, time and time again my customers make comments about my employees being a positive representation of my business and me.

For women, casual dressing means donning a neat skirt and blouse or dress slacks and a blouse or sweater, not necessarily a dress and heels. For guys, wearing a sportshirt and nice slacks (not droopy-drawers and sneakers) not only presents the image of working for a paycheck, but also demonstrates pride in being associated with one's business.

If employees don't have any pride in their personal attire and appearance, how can you expect them to have any pride in being associated with the company that employs them?

Victoria C. Amidon
Garden Grove, California

Kudos for Cults

I enjoyed "Develop Your Own Cult Following" in March BizStartUps.com. I enjoy most of the stuff you do. But this article forced me to write, because it truly made me think. Rare. The entire site is a superior effort, and I'm using it to inspire creative thinking as I cultivate future business partners in Beijing.

Warren Currier
Via e-mail

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This article was originally published in the June 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Feedback.

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Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill

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