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30_Yelp

For being the local leader.

"Hey, Yelp: Your review algorithm is genius stuff. I see you filtering out shills and inexperienced critics. I know your star ratings are all mathified. Some reviewers probably don't mind, but I do. Yeah! Keep it up!!!!"

"Our business school study finds that a one-star improvement in Yelp ratings is associated with a 5% to 9% revenue boost."

"The first time Yelp's salespeople called my shop—yeah, they have a big sales team—I was skeptical. Ads? Facebook charges like $1 per 1,000 impressions. Yelp is around $500. I was like, no WAY. But my paid subscription lets me promote good reviews and tweak my page. And I'm not alone, cuz Yelp's paying clients doubled last year, to 35,000+."

Bought Yelp stock bc a banker buddy suggested it (he'd had a few, so, you know). Warning: It isn't a high riser. But in 2012, revenue was projected at more than $130 million—up more than 50% from a year ago, so booyah. A web IPO that holds its own. I likey.

Illustration by Owen Gildersleeve, Photograph by Victoria Ling

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