My current book that I am reading is causing a shift and opening my eyes to other ways that building a business can be done.
The book is called Blitzscaling and covers a concept that initially made me squirm. The idea is to prioritize speed and aggressive growth of the business versus a slower, methodical build-out. At first glance, the concept seemed on the side of slightly irresponsible. Of course, this is the self-proclaimed perfectionist in me.
However, the further you read, you understand the concept behind the message. Some of you may recognize the name of the author Reid Hoffman as he is the co-founder of LinkedIn and a partner at Greylock Partners.
The book opens with the story of the Airbnb founders. Many of us know that entrepreneurial story well. The story of their scrappy start-up with a blow-up airbed they rented out. And now, to their current domination in the world of room and home rentals. However, I never knew the story behind one of the biggest threats to their business. A copycat.
The threat came in the form of three brothers from Cologne Germany. Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer. These brothers had become billionaires by analyzing successful US businesses and then creating a mirror counterpart in the European market. The speed in which they would build out these companies was staggering.
The Samwer brothers built out a company by the name of Wimdu. They received 90 million for this start-up from a Swedish investment company. This new company’s business model and website looked eerily similar to Airbnb. Within a matter of weeks the company had hired 400 employees and opened 20 offices across Europe. LIke I said, the rapid rate of their build-out was staggering.
The Airbnb founders knew that if Wimdu captured the European market that it could mean the potential fall of their company. The Samwer brothers then took their next step, which was their negotiation with the Airbnb founders. They offered to give Wimddu to Airbnb, for a 25% stake in the Airbnb company.
So what did they do?
If you want the quick answer of what happened, you can ask me.
If you want a good read and potential mind-shift on how to build a business, you may want to read up yourself.
I hope you are all having a wonderful Wednesday, and let me know if you have read this book and your thoughts. Even better, let me know if it has changed how you have grown your business.