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The case for bootstrapping

ben_chestnut

You can bootstrap your business to scale, but you’ll have to make your own luck. Nobody knows this better than Mailchimp’s Ben Chestnut. He used a DIY ethos to grow a $600M company without ever raising a dollar of outside funding. The Mailchimp story is the exception to Reid’s rule (Generally: Raise more money than you think you need!). The episode explores a range of options for those who don’t fit the VC-funding mold for any set of reasons. Cameo appearances: LeVar Burton (Star Trek, Reading Rainbow, LeVar Burton Reads), Don MacKinnon (Milq), Karen Cahn (iFundWomen).

“I wanted to build something that would empower small businesses.”

— Ben Chestnut
About the guest:
ben_chestnut

Ben Chestnut is the CEO and co-founder of Mailchimp, the email marketing company with 15 million users and nearly 1,000 employees. In 2017, Mailchimp was named Company of the Year by Inc. Magazine and recognized as one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company.

About the host:
reid_hoffman

Reid Hoffman is the host of Masters of Scale. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor, he’s known for his spot-on insights on how to scale a startup. He’s a partner at Greylock and co-founder of LinkedIn, and co-author of the best-selling Blitzscaling and The Startup of You.

Also featured in this episode:

LeVar Burton is a legendary star of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and the kids’ show, “Reading Rainbow.” Over the years, Burton has emerged…

Karen Cahn is Founder & CEO at IFundWomen, a crowd-funding platform for female entrepreneurs. She was an early Google hire and spent 3 years…

Don MacKinnon is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded HEAR Music (acquired by Starbucks); helped build the nonprofit Product (RED) with Bono; was co-founder/ CEO…

You can bootstrap your way to scale, but you’ll have to catch the crest of multiple waves of good fortune.

Transcript of Masters of Scale: The case for bootstrapping
Masters of Scale’s mission is to democratize entrepreneurship. Launched in 2017 as a weekly podcast featuring Reid Hoffman, we’re now two weekly podcasts — Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, and Masters of Scale: Rapid Response, hosted by Bob Safian — as well as an award-winning daily learning app, a best-selling book, virtual and live events, and more, serving a global community of founders, funders, and leaders looking to innovate at scale.
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