In 2009, Sawyer Sparks turned down a $300,000 Shark Tank deal for his gluten-free
modeling-clay startup, Soy-Yer Dough. Kevin O’Leary, in a very Mr. Wonderful move,
had insisted Sparks move production to China. That would have killed Sparks’s dream of
creating jobs in his hometown of Bloomfield, Indiana. Nine years later, Soy-Yer Dough
is still a small company, with just eight employees. Sparks says he has enough business to
employ 20 but can’t find enough good people locally. If he buys new equipment, that’s
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• What’s real and what’s hype in tech PG. 18
• Should the U.S. issue more H-1B visas? PG. 20
IS IT YOUR JOB TO CREATE JOBS?
Why founders embrace running lean.
Even if they’d rather not.
By Leigh Buchanan