More than two generations ago, the venture capital community- VCs, business angels, incubators and others -convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans andraising venture capital constituted the twin centerpieces ofentrepreneurial endeavor.Read more...
More than two generations ago, the venture capital community- VCs, business angels, incubators and others -convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans andraising venture capital constituted the twin centerpieces ofentrepreneurial endeavor. They did so for good reasons: thesometimes astonishing returns they've delivered to their investorsand the astonishingly large companies that their ecosystem hascreated.
But the vast majority of fast-growing companies never takeany venture capital. So where does the money come from to startand grow their companies? From a much more agreeable and hospitablesource, their customers. That's exactly what Michael Dell, BillGates and Banana Republic's Mel and Patricia Ziegler did to gettheir companies up and running and turn them into iconicbrands.
In The Customer Funded Business, best-selling author JohnMullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative21st century entrepreneurs working in companies large and smallhave ingeniously adapted from their predecessors like Dell, Gates, and the Zieglers:
- Matchmaker models (Airbnb)
- Pay-in-advance models (Threadless)
- Subscription models (TutorVista)
- Scarcity models (Vente Privee)
- Service-to-product models (GoViral)
Through the captivating stories of these and other inspiringcompanies from around the world, Mullins brings to life the fivemodels and identifies the questions that angel or other investorswill - and should - ask of entrepreneurs or corporateinnovators seeking to apply them. Drawing on in-depth interviewswith entrepreneurs and investors who have actually put these modelsto use, Mullins goes on to address the key implementation issuesthat characterize each of the models: when to apply them, how bestto apply them, and the pitfalls to watch out for.
Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur lacking the start-upcapital you need, an early-stage entrepreneur trying to get yourcash-starved venture into take-off mode, an intrapreneur seekingfunding within an established company, or an angel investor ormentor who supports high-potential ventures, this book offers themost sure-footed path to starting, financing, or growingyour venture.
John Mullins is the author of The New Business Road Testand, with Randy Komisar, the widely acclaimed Getting to PlanB.
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