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Table of contents: VOL. 16, NO. 4 - May 1, 2006
COVER STORY
A new study shows that companies that spurt from saplings to giants tend to share the same seven traits. How does your business stack up? (more)

Features
Last year clients including Crest, Home Depot, and MTV hired Respond2, which boasted billings of $200 million in 2005. (more)
Curtiss-Wright's history stretches back to the Wright brothers and Kitty Hawk. (more)
Six fast-growing companies may have what it takes to break the billion-dollar sales barrier. (more)
A script coach provides mentorship and hope for would-be scribes with Tinseltown dreams. (more)
Think of it as a kind of TiVo for electricity: A device lets you buy energy when it's cheapest and store it for later use. (more)
Some succeed in sports. Others succeed in business. And then there are the lucky few who can do both. (more)
Laurus Funds puts its investors' money on fast-growth microcaps - and minimizes volatility. (more)
How artificial intelligence keeps a truck business on track. (more)
Testing two new ways to go wireless on the road. (more)
Data-escrow firms keep your company's code under lock and key - and give you access when you need to make fixes. (more)
A new auction site helps companies sell damaged goods. (more)
A medical office finds new life with help from FSB. (more)
FSB checks in on a cowboy whose ranch needed branding. (more)
off hours
Best instruments from small businesses. (more)
Meet a few entrepreneurs who skip the weekend jog and instead compete in ultramarathons across deserts in China, Argentina, Chile, and Antarctica. (more)
Allowing employees to bring newborns to the office may sound crazy, but it helped my business thrive. (more)
The brawny new Chevy Tahoe offers a lot to like - and is priced accordingly. (more)
startup
An ice-sculpting company thrives in humid Houston. (more)

After hitting some snags, I found that buying materials overseas pays off. (more)
A startup helps families keep elderly relatives safe by placing sensors in the home. (more)
An entrepreneur bets his future on colored soap bubbles. (more)
Arkansas invites small employers to sign up their uninsured workers for no-frills health care at an affordable price. (more)
Small businesses face an unjust disadvantage when it comes to providing health care. Here's a bold proposal for change. (more)
Internet tools chip away at agents' value to home buyers. (more)

RECENT ISSUES
FEATURES
Entrepreneurs are finding that creating eco-friendly offices costs a bit more up front but can deliver lasting benefits. |more|
More cities are requiring restaurants to tell customers how much fat is in that burger. Smart business owners are embracing the trend. |more|
At the Bitter End, some of the world's best sailors take amateurs - including many entrepreneurs - on a wild ride. |more|
FSB's makeover squad helps a shoemaking couple chart a growth plan. |more|
Facing a dwindling supply of American tech workers, employers struggle to hire skilled foreigners. |more|