Who needs investors?More than two generations ago, the venture capital community - VCs, business angels, incubators and others - convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans and raising venture capital constituted the twin centerpieces of entrepreneurial endeavor. They did so for good reasons: the sometimes astonishing returns they've delivered to their investors and the astonishingly large companies that their ecosystem has created. But the vast majority of fast-growing companies never take any venture capital. So where does the money come from to start and grow their companies? From a much more agreeable and hospitable source: their customers. That's exactly what Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Banana Republic's Mel and Patricia Ziegler did to get their companies up and running and turn them into iconic brands. In The Customer Funded Business, best-selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative 21st-century entrepreneurs working in companies large and small have ingeniously adapted from their predecessors like Dell, Gates, and the Zieglers.
©2014 John Mullins, PhD (P)2014 Audible Inc.
This book wants to be good, but in my opinion: it isn't.
It's structured like this: a major chapter devoted to each customer-funded model, ending with a chapter that's supposed to be practical – but isn't. And the preceding chapters are made up of run-of-the-mill "AirBnB did this... AirBnB did that... blah blah blah" – highlighting companies that model has worked for.
Such case stories are always irrelevant and useless to 99.9% of everyone else, since AirBnB, Apple, Instagram et al, are all outliers. No one knows for sure WHICH magic bullet led them to their success – and more than likely: it was a whole box of silver bullets, the biggest of which is great leadership, the next being chance (aka: "luck") etc.
Which other book will I recommend you get instead? The Automatic Customer is much more practical and useful. If you're into membership websites and such: go get that one!
A must-read for every startup or business angel. Raising large amounts of capital before validating the ability to generate cashflow from customers could simply delay the doomsday.
"Great case studies well commented"
Great case studies well commented.
The question list at the end of each chapter is paticularly useful.
Extremely informative, clear, a great guide to know how to grow your business with and for your customers.
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