Welcome to the first edition of a series of self help successes and failures. As you all have likely read, I am not a big fan of “copy me and you’ll be successful too” books, but I am a big fan of books that place the emphasis on the reader being themselves and using what the author experienced or passed on through the book.
I sent out some querries and got quite an amazing response on successes. My cynical side was really hoping for many failures. But then again, who wants to admit they failed at something (well besides me). This first story that caught my attention based on its honesty of failure first, listening, and then succeeding.
David Mullings writes: The first time around my brother and I started our venture, an integrated media and entertainment company focusing on Caribbean entertainment, the core of which was a website with one of the largest collections of Caribbean entertainment videos on the web, we failed a few years later even though the traffic had grown tremendously. We were so fixated on the dot-com model of raising venture capital instead of focusing on making do with what we had, building a great business and then looking to outside investors. We were so busy trying to raise money that we neglected cash flow and the business.
• David and his brother then read Guy Kawasaki’s “Art of the Start” and took the very same business plan that they failed at and applied what they learned from Guy.
David writes: The second time around, we read ‘The Art of the Start’ and with the same business plan, embarked on the venture with a different mindset. We relaunched in May 2007 and within 2 months, our company was approached by Imeem.com, the 3rd largest social networking site in the USA, with over 22 million users, and now the #1 streaming music site in the US (ahead of Yahoo). We secured a content distribution and revenue share deal with them, becoming their first Caribbean media partner, putting us in the company of Showtime and other major companies.
One year later, in July 2008, we signed a deal with YouTube.com to become their first official Caribbean media partner and now have a channel. We are the only Caribbean-focused entertainment company with a YouTube revenue share deal even though we are still a small startup. That deal has now allowed us to raise capital from an angel investor at a nice valuation.
• When I wrote “How to be a creative genius (in five minutes or less)” I wanted it to come across as reader centered, not just to blow my own horn. The book just came out so I don’t get to hear the stories yet about successes just yet, but David Mullings actually applying Guy Kawasaki’s advice gives me hope. My take on how to be creative is not as straight forward as a business book would be, but I show you the absurd in order for readers to answer the questions themselves.
If you’d like to get more info on David’s story you can check him out here:
And Guy if you read this, I’m on LinkedIn.