David Frankel relayed this quote from Regie Gibson, which was delivered at Cue Ball Capital’s annual gathering, as a reminder that capital is a constraint — though probably not the biggest constraint facing most startups. Hustle tends to be in much shorter supply. Here are a few inspiring stories of entrepreneurs illustrating the power of hustle over capital:
Wayfair: Instead of investing in costly ad campaigns in the company’s cash-strapped early days, Wayfair built 270 highly targeted websites, with ultra-specific names like “RacksAndStands.com” to game Google’s search algorithm, paving the way for what has become a $4B business.
ShutterStock, a $2B stock photo service, was started by a hacker/amateur photographer who personally built the site and launched it with 100,000 images from his photo collection.
CarGurus: Hustle doesn’t stop once you have raised venture capital. Langley Steinert raised $5M to get CarGurus started, but instead of seeking VC to hire even more engineers, he used the revenue he was generating to hire hundreds of sales reps to generate even more revenue — now the company is cruising towards an IPO.