Business.com Case Study: Ignore The Laughter Of Other People

Every entrepreneur has had some person laugh at their idea, but few have had thousands or hundreds of thousands laugh at their idea.

I personally know someone who had the chance to invest in MTV at the inception but laughed at the entrepreneur and asked him why would anyone watch music on television.

Never let the naysayers dent your resolve, just make sure you can answer their question satisfactorily for yourself, your potential staff and your potential investors, even if you are the only one in all the above.

Business.com is now the leading business search directory in the USA but it had humble beginnings. In 1999, Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton bought just the domain name for US$7.5 million, a record at the time.

They instantly became the laughing stock of the tech world.

In 1997, the domain name had sold for US$150,000, then a record as well.

They set out to build a business directory and in 2007, sold Business.com for US$345 million. Dow Jones, The New York Times, IAC/Interactive Corp. and News Corp. all attempted to buy it but the winner was R.H. Donnelley Corp., one of the largest telephone directory publishers in the US.

Jake and Sky had the last laugh.

The most important asset for an entrepreneur is not having public support, it is believing in your vision.

As Henry Ford said (and Mike Michalowicz promotes as the greatest entrepreneurship lesson in his book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur):

If you think you can, or you think you can't, then you're right
Don't get caught up with what other people think about your idea.

Focus on executing your vision.

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