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June 10, 2007

Churchill Club Panel: No Plan, No Capital, No Model…No Problem: Companies that Defied What VCs Will Tell You

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I’m moderating a Churchill Club event this Thursday called “No Plan, No Capital, No Model…No Problem: Companies that Defied What VCs Will Tell You.” Here’s a decription of the event:

Conventional wisdom says listen to the venture capitalists. They know what works. They know how to successfully build a startup. But Silicon Valley wasn’t built on convention, and this program moderated by Club favorite Guy Kawasaki presents company founders who have defied the conventional wisdom and built emerging companies.

The panelists are:

Ann Crady, Founder, MayasMom.com
Markus Frind, Founder, PlentyofFish.com
James Hong, Co-Founder, HotorNot.com
David Lu, CEO and Co-Founder, Fanpop.com
Karen Northup, CEO and Founder, CoreFino

The logistical information is:

Date: Thursday June 14th, 2007
Registration: 6:00 p.m.
Buffett: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 7:00 p.m
Location: Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054

My friends and associates can save $20 off the non-member rate of $73 by using the discount code gGTV614 when registering in advance for this event. After entering your name badge information, you will be shown a payment screen where you will enter the discount code.

I hope to see you there!


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Hi Guy!

That sounds very intersting and I would also love to see the video. Please put it online!

Thanks in advance,


I was there. It was fun. Here are some highlights off the top of my head:

• all speakers started their business with 100K or less
• one makes over 5M a year and he is the only employee
• another makes $10M and they have 5 employees
• another is outsourcing work to india, saving 84% in labor costs
• another serves 1 BILLION page hits a month with a single server
• none had business plans, nor do they recommend writing one
• all recommend against taking venture capital for social/consumer web businesses
• all encouraged paying yourself a modest salary when possible

It was being videotaped, but I don't know anything beyond that.

I'd just love to see or even hear this! A video or podcast would be great for those of us that live across the country.

I second the video post ... would love to see it.

Hello Guy,

Should we anticipate very similar "stories" with the ones presented at a recent panel that you also moderated (see link below)?


Funny, this DOT.COMesque trend of "if we built it, they will come" was so much on my mind this morning- I would absolutely love to see a video of this.

I was reading the gloto.com FAQ & check this out...
Q. How do you make money?
A. At this writing, we don't. We are evaluating various business models that include advertising, glip sponsorships and holding up convenience stores. Our current model is to buy lottery tickets. Our belief is that with an increased user base a revenue model will emerge that will keep Gloto free to the user.

Sounds like a mini Community Next with Noah Kagan. ;)

Ditto on the video. I really enjoyed that last panel you moderated with Frind and Hong. Hilarious stuff... I can imagine this one will be great. :)

@Jon: Hong especially should, since HotOrNot was a Facebook platform launch app (I think).

Please post a video of this event if you can once you are finished... I find these rather fascinating! I noticed two of the panelists where on the previous video you released... hopefully they have something new to say as to what has happened to their businesses since the last conference (by another name).

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