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Old May 11, 2011, 05:29 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is offline
Onwards and upwards!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,710
Default Thanks, a brilliant post! Here are some other examples of this...

Hi Ankesh,

First, thank you for writing this post... It's an amazing and fantastic post!

This post is a real eye-opener - for those who want to see how some of the "big players" really make things happen, even when they have few material assets of their own to fall back on!

I've been meaning to reply to this for a while, so sorry it's taken me a while to do it (I've been a little bit ill recently)...

Your post reminded me of what I read in Bob Reiss's book, "Low Risk, High Reward." One of the main lessons in his book is that you don't need to take big risks to be an entrepreneur... Thinking you have to do so is a bit of a fallacy. I've come across this lesson again and again...

You can read more about how Bob Reiss put together his TV-Guide-based trivia game, with little risk, here... (It's a PDF file.)

The important part is from "The Trivia Pursuit Bonanza" on page 6 onwards...

He gives you the details of how he put everything together. He found a creative person to create the game (with successful experience in making such games), did a deal with TV Guide to use their name in return for paying them royalties, found someone to put in money for part-ownership of the business, found an inexpensive factory to make the game, etc.

More details on this and his other businesses can also be found here...

In the end, he and his partner made about $7 million bucks profit from the venture...

I could go on and on about this, as similar lessons crop up again and again...

You have to figure out who are the key players you need. Find out more about them, and what is it they really care about. How do you bring them to the table? Not everyone's main concern out of the venture is necessarily money (though of course they don't expect to lose money)...

For example, director/producer Sam Raimi got investors to fund his first full-length film, "The Evil Dead." Most people funding it of course would have liked to get their money back - which he did apparently promise to them - though I read somewhere that one of their main motivations was to get a credit in the movie... Which was a bit of "glamour" and "movie excitement" in their lives! So you have to get to know people's deeper motivations...

This initial success led to further entries in the "Evil Dead" series of movies... He then went on to direct many big budget movies, like all three "Spider-Man" movies...

As Bob Reiss himself asks, why did TV Guide agree to do a deal with him to create the TV Guide trivia game? One reason was they had no risk. But another reason was because people get bored... and creating a game had a "fun factor." So money was most likely not their only motivation...

Other people are deeply motivated by other concerns in addition to money... Everyone usually wants to make money too (so that element has to be there), but if you can include other motivations too it's like "icing on the cake"...

Lots of very important lessons in Felix Dennis's experiences (as related by Ankesh)...

Thanks Ankesh! Brilliant post!

Best wishes,


Originally Posted by Ankesh View Post
So I just finished reading How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis. And it has this one story of how Felix starts his own comic magazine without much money - which is truly inspirational.

1. With his chutzpah, Felix convinces Bernie Simons - a young lawyer, to create a limited liability company for next to nothing. A grand sum of 20.

2. He then persuades his friend Dick Pountain to come on board as a co-director and production manager - for a very meager salary.

3. He then "liberates" 2 typewriters, some office furniture and a floor camera from the offices of OZ magazine - which was then winding down. He and Dick had met at the OZ magazine too.

4. Felix then sells one of the type writers to pay rent at a dump of a place for office space.

5. He then persuades his friend Richard Adams to design the letterheads for free - in the hopes that he would get more work if Felix succeeds.

6. A contact from OZ magazine agrees to print the letterheads for deferred payment.

7. Barclay's bank opens a company bank a/c for a deposit of 50.

8. Another contact from the OZ magazine - a distributor - Moore Harness - agrees to distribute the magazine - without even seeing it in print (how persuasive must Felix be to get them to agree to distribute without seeing the product?)

9. The content is not a problem as many comic illustrators don't expect to be paid right away - if at all.

10. The biggest stumbling block is who would print the comic magazines? Because Felix sure doesn't have the money to pay the printers a few thousand pounds. Here is where you can see Felix's creative genius at work. Felix persuades the distributor - Moore Harness - to write a letter to a particular printer. While the letter does not make an outright promise that the printers would be paid, it does promise that the printer would be the first one to be paid when the comic comes out. And Felix and his company would not see a dime until all of the printers dues are paid in full.

And that is how Felix Dennis hustled his way and published Cozmic Comics. Which led to creating a multi million dollar magazine empire.

The book review overall: its a good book. But the best part is his autobiographical stories. Lot of fun and truly inspirational. The how-to part is a bit long winded in some places. Good read over a weekend none-the-less. 7.5/10.

Last edited by Dien Rice : May 11, 2011 at 08:29 AM.
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