Archive for category Mixergy
Andrew Warner of Mi just interview the most amazing e-commerce entrepreneur that you have never heard of…
Anthony Bucci is one of the founders of RevZilla and Andrew gets him to tell the story of how he and his cofounders built the most successful e-commerce company that you have never heard of. RevZilla is a $50 million company that was built over the last 4 years with no outside money.
There are too many lessons to take away from this interview to list them all here so I will just mention one. Anthony talked about all the ways that they listened to their customers to learn why they came to the site, what got them to buy and in some cases why they didn’t buy.
A great interview for anyone hoping to start an e-commerce company.
Great Quote from Rene Lacerte founder of Bill.com on Mixergy.com. “You can’t do market research to find out what customers want. Customers don’t know what they want”
The interview captures the iterative process for a start up. Rene speaks very clearly about creating a “Push Cart” in a very challenging industry (software) where you wouldn’t think it was possible.
I love to hear stories about Entrepreneurs and their journey with their business. The best ones are the ones where the entrepreneur is honest and takes you through the process that they went through. Where the idea came from, how they researched it, how they got started and setbacks that came along the way.
I just listened to one such interview. Andrew Warner from Mixergy.com interviewed the founder of Gotham Dream Cars. It was a fantastic interview for any budding entrepreneur. I guarantee that everyone will get something out of it.
Kyle Weins is someone that I would love to have speak to class. He started “I Fix It” from his dorm room. He started out selling parts for MacBooks to make some money to buy a projector. While doing that he listened to his customers who were telling him that they needed manuals, so he and his partner wrote the service manuals. But a funny thing happened, even though his customers said they wanted them only 45 bought them. You see the customers didn’t think that they should have to pay for them. So Kyle made them PDF’s and put them online for free. He then got over 10,000 hits over a few days and business took off.
He realized that he couldn’t afford to write manuals for every product so they developed a Wiki tool that would allow their users to create and edit the manuals. This is an extremely elegant solution that they stumbled on accidentally. The internet is littered with companies that tried to create Wikis but no one ever came to them. I Fix It primed the pump by creating the first manuals and then as customers came to the site to buy parts they were able to enhance the Wikis, which makes them more valuable and gets more people to come to the site.
They have been in business about 8 years and are now doing over $4 million in sales. Andrew Walker, the host and founder of Mixergy, was asking Kyle in the interview about the early days and he used the phrase “Invent the life that you love” about Kyle and I Fix It. It resonated with me as it is what most Entrepreneurs are trying to do. It was inspiring to hear someone talk passionately about doing it.
I listened to a great interview on Mixergy with a serial Entrepreneur, Paul Berberian. Paul is on his 7th company – Orbotix (you need to check out Sphero – I have 3, one for me and one for each of my daughters).
Anyway, the main point of the interview was about how one of his earlier businesses went through a whole series of iterations. Each were drastic changes and allowed the company to live another day and then eventually sell for over $100,000,000.
First they tried to become a better TV Ratings system to compete with Nielson. Next they tried doing closed caption creation which then lead to Video Streaming over the internet. This is where they first started getting revenue distributing training content for companies. Finally they iterated to doing conference calls over the web. This is the company that was sold. Believe it or not each business built on the work done at previous steps. When you hear Paul describe it, it actually makes sense.
As Nemo would say “Just keep swimming”. If you keep listening to what the customer wants, you never know what might happen.
I just listened to an interview with Dustin Maher on Mixergy. Dustin has done a great job creating a business from scratch. He has created a business that is doing over $500,000 in sales with profit margins in excess of 50% by creating a business that caters to the fitness needs of moms. He has done it brick by brick by totally focusing on his customers. By delivering exceptional customer service he has created a passionate following. Mom’s tell other mom’s, he has a blog, and does public speaking all focused on mom’s. Everytime he meets someone he asks if he can add them to his email list and he now has over 5,000 people on it. These are the people that buy his DVD’s.
The incredible thing is that he isn’t a mom (obviously) or a dad, he is a single guy but he has done such a good job empathizing with his customer that he has created an incredible connection. It is a very inspiring story.