Late in the summer of 2001 I was seriously frustrated. After raising money from a professor, hiring several friends as programming interns, and taking a leave of absence from college, we had built a good product, but only had two customers. Eagerly, I reached out to a mentor of mine I met earlier that year when he was on sabbatical from Microsoft.
As he was back in Seattle, we scheduled a time to talk. Even today, I clearly remember that I was standing on a campus tennis court using my cell phone (a flip phone!) for the conversation. After sharing our progress, and my frustrations, he quickly diagnosed my problem: I needed to learn how to sell. Everything I did was focused on building the product, and not on acquiring customers. It was time for a change.
Most entrepreneurs are in love with their product. Unfortunately, most products don’t sell on their own…
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Jean-Marie Eveillard “started his career in 1962 with Societe Generale until relocating to the United States in 1968. Two years later, Mr. Eveillard began as an analyst with the SoGen International Fund. In 1979, he was appointed as the portfolio manager of the Fund, later named the First Eagle Global Fund. He then went on to manage the First Eagle Overseas and First Eagle Gold Funds at their inception in 1993 as well as the First Eagle U.S. Value Fund in September 2001. After managing the Funds for over 30 years, Mr. Eveillard now serves as Senior Adviser and Board Trustee to First Eagle Funds and as a Senior Vice President of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers, LLC.”
1. “Benjamin Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor has three lessons. The first is humility, that the future is uncertain. There are people on Wall Street who will predict the Dow will be…
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This morning, AOL announced it was being purchased by Verizon for $4.4 billion in cash, and starting a new, wireless-provider-subsidiary chapter in its 30-year life.
AOL still has more than two million dial-up subscribers, but its days as an Internet portal are long gone. As Peter Kafka of Re/code explains, today’s AOL is “part ad tech operation, part publisher.” It owns content businesses like the Huffington Post and TechCrunch, but it has also gotten into the business of building automated ad sales platforms for other publishers — a business that has become its fastest-growing segment, and is reportedly much of the reason Verizon wanted to acquire it.
Although AOL has gone through a lot of changes over the years, we still remember it as the 1990s gateway to the World Wide Web — the one that mailed out “100 Free Hours!” CDs and disconnected us when our parents picked…
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