The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your

The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your 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 createdBut 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 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 brandsIn The Customer Funded Business, best selling author John Mullins uncovers five novel approaches that scrappy and innovative st century entrepreneurs working in companies large and small have 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 inspiring companies from around the world, Mullins brings to life the five models and identifies the questions that angel or other investors will and should ask of entrepreneurs or corporate innovators seeking to apply them Drawing on in depth interviews with entrepreneurs and investors who have actually put these models to use, Mullins goes on to address the key implementation issues that characterize each of the models when to apply them, how best to apply them, and the pitfalls to watch out forWhether you re an aspiring entrepreneur lacking the start up capital you need, an early stage entrepreneur trying to get your cash starved venture into take off mode, an intrapreneur seeking funding within an established company, or an angel investor or mentor who supports high potential ventures, this book offers the most sure footed path to starting, financing, or growing your ventureJohn Mullins is the author of The New Business Road Test and, with Randy Komisar, the widely acclaimed Getting to Plan B

10 thoughts on “The Customer-Funded Business: Start, Finance, or Grow Your Company with Your Customers' Cash

  1. Susan Ali Susan Ali says:

    I have come across a review on this book says that all what the author should have said was to get your customer to pay you in advance Dear reviewer, are you truly an entrepreneur You would then know that the most difficult part of every product service lifecycle is selling it.This book gives you something that no other book ever managed to provide out th

  2. Muhammad Muhammad says:

    Great book on various possible models to pick if you don t have access to funding right away which is the case in Pakistan It talks about 5 possible business models that can work in this mode which are not capital intensive for example, you can t make a power plant like this, you need lots of capex upfront Some key models discussed were marketplaces a la Airb

  3. Murat Eskiyerli Murat Eskiyerli says:

    Unlike what he recommends in his book, the author could never decide for whom the book was written for entrepreneurs or angel investors The book also suffers from the fact that there are very long descriptions of cases, but not enough of author s own insight.

  4. Daria Zheglo Daria Zheglo says:

    The book is full of insights on how to establish a customer funded business All is good, but it is too repetitive and there are no enough examples from different business areas Basically each model gives you two three success stories This is not sufficient Not enough pros cons.

  5. Jono Jono says:


  6. Marijan Lesko Marijan Lesko says:

    Excellent read for any entrepreneur Instead of selling yourself to VCs or selling your soul to banks, use this idea.Trust me, it works big time

  7. Pronam Chatterjee Pronam Chatterjee says:


  8. Arif Arif says:

    This book talks a type of business financing model versus venture capital based financing that using customers cash as fuel to drive further growth of their business They charge customer early, making a good margin from that, sells just enough services products that customer needs, then use the flow of cash to make improvement of their offering, or expanding its business Good exampl

  9. Kelly Kelly says:

    This is a good way of reframing the lean scrappy startup concept through five models of funding your business through revenues Matchmaker two sided market i.e AirBnB , Pay in advance i.e Threadless , Subscription i.e Costco, TutorVista , Scarcity Zara, flash sales, Vente Privee , Service to product GoViral

  10. Thomas Umstattd Jr. Thomas Umstattd Jr. says:

    This book is excellent overall Unfortunately, they dismiss reward based crowdfunding which undermines their credibility If you realize that they totally missed the crowdfunding boat, the rest of the book is very useful I would love to see a second edition in a few years with a chapter added on Kickstarter with case studies from Pebble and Exploding Kittens.

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