SouthCombinator’s Blog

Entrepreneur Journeys: Preliminar Review y una buena anécdota :)

Posted in Info, Software by Juan on 18/09/2009

Como contaba en el post anterior, estoy leyendo entre otros libros, Entrepreneur Journeys  – Bootstrapping:  Weapon of Mass Reconstruction, de Sramana Mitra.

El libro tiene principalmente entrevistas a emprendedores, como 13, divididas en 4 capítulos: “Doing More with Less”, “Getting Started with Little or no Capital”, “Validating the Market – on the cheap”, y “Resurrecting The Dead”, y siempre la idea principal se basa en  dos preguntas, difíciles de responder:

  • Why don’t more businesses get off the ground?
  • And, once up, why do so many fail?

Y su respuesta: Not just entrepreneurship, but bootstrapped entrepreneurship is the true weapon of mass reconstruction.

Bueno, no quiero adelantarme y contar mucho más porque todavía me falta para terminarlo, así que les dejo una anécdota que me hizo reir como loco.  :)

La entrevista es a Greg Gianforte, quien fundó RightNow en 1997 y aun es el CEO. La compañía desarrolla un CRM y hoy cotiza en NASDAQ. Luego de hablar acerca de su background y Brightwork , otra compañia que había co-fundado (antes que RightNow) y que terminaron vendiendo a McAfee por 10 millones, le tira esta otra pregunta:

SM: The network market was chaotic at that time. How did you break through as a bootstrapped company?

GG: We had a good product for Novell Netware environments. But sales were terrible. We didn’t have a reputation, so nobody would talk to us. We knew we had to leverage somebody else’s credibility to break into the market, we just weren’t sure how.

Since Novell was the dominant player in the market, and our product focused on the Netware environment, we figured with their endorsement we could get a solid foothold. Since we didn’t know how to get their attention, we decided to buy a 48-foot-long billboard across from their corporate headquarters. Novell was headquartered in Provo, Utah, and billboards there didn’t cost too much. I think it was $200 a month, including lights.

The billboard had eight-foot-high letters that read, “Don’t just network, Brightwork.” The very next day we received a phone call from the senior vice president of communications at Novell asking for our PR department. My partner had answered the phone, so he put his hand over the receiver and asked if I wanted to be the PR department. He passed the phone over, and I picked it up and said, “PR department.”

I asked what prompted the call and the reply was, “A billboard you have in front of our building. We’re trying to figure out who you guys are.” To which I replied, “Where are you located?” The answer, of course, was Provo, Utah. I said, “You mean those marketing people put one in Provo, too?” We ended up flying out to meet with Novell, and we left with a distribution deal. All of this occurred in just six weeks.

We shipped $100,000 worth of our product to them, which they put in their warehouses. Two months later they tried to return it; fortunately our contract did not allow them to do so. From that point on we were able to use the fact that Novell was distributing our product as a point of credibility when calling banks and larger corporations around the country. It gave us the start we were hoping for.

jaaaaaaaaaaa, la vuelvo a leer y me sigo riendo, simplemente brillante.