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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This book wants to be good

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!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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startups/investors/incubators need to hear this

great book for accelerators, incubators, investors,Angel's and most of all entrepreneurs. they all need to read this

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much repitition

Content was good it had too much repitition.
Use cases and examples were up to date and relevant.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the Best business book I've come across

This book is full of great examples and advice. It keeps you engaged until the end

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must have for lean startups

This is a monster book. A must read before wasting time and money. The case studies insight and validation was well worth the money.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not convincing

Failed to see the correlation between the claim and the evidence author tried to present

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I didn't learn nothing

I didn't learn nothing from listening to this book. I should of purchase a better book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Famiii
  • 02-26-17

alternative to VC centric startup narrative

great and more balanced alternative to VC centric startup narrative. important reading for anyone on the entrepreneurial journey

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 08-26-16

Great case studies well commented

Great case studies well commented.
The question list at the end of each chapter is paticularly useful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Georgina
  • 05-06-16

Fantastic book

Extremely informative, clear, a great guide to know how to grow your business with and for your customers.