Podcast Episode 16

Scaling and Exiting: Lessons from a 6-time Tech Serial Entrepreneur

In this dynamic episode of the Tech Business Roundtable podcast, the host engages Colin Campbell, an accomplished serial entrepreneur, in a revealing conversation about his three-decade-long tech industry journey. From founding the largest independent ISP in Canada to successfully exiting ventures, Colin shares invaluable insights on catching and riding tech waves. The discussion spotlights scaling strategies, emphasizing the pivotal role of storytelling, team building, and navigating funding landscapes. Colin’s bestselling book takes center stage, decoding the magic formula for entrepreneurial success and honing in on the crucial scaling phase. The episode wraps up with a focus on the “X factor,” urging entrepreneurs to identify and leverage their unique advantage for market dominance. Packed with practical wisdom, this episode inspires and equips listeners for their own entrepreneurial endeavors.

Listen to the Episode Now


Naren: Today. I’m excited to have Colin C Campbell with me. He’s a serial entrepreneur. He has created, scaled, and exited half a dozen tech companies. He’s originally from Canada, where I’m from and where I still live. But now he has gone to warmer pastures. He lives in Florida. He’s also writing an amazing book that’s beating all the charts, the charts about starting, scaling, and exiting. So, Colin, welcome to the Tech Business Roundtable podcast.

Colin: Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me on.

Naren: So, tell me a little bit about yourself. Who are you? We can probably spend two podcasts just talking about your career and your 30-year journey as a tech entrepreneur. But give me the Reader’s Digest version.

Colin: Absolutely. I grew up near the east side of Toronto, had a farming background, graduated from the University of Toronto, and right after graduation, we started our first company. It was an internet access company called Internet Direct. Some of your Toronto listeners may remember this story, but we actually set up a dial-up internet provider and became the largest independent ISP in Canada. We took that public in the nineties and then sold it to a company in 99.

Riding the Tech Waves

Naren: That’s brilliant. So you started riding the tech wave from the very first wave. What was the recent exit before you started helping other founders and CEOs?

Colin: Yeah, I like the way you put that. I started riding the tech wave. That’s actually something that came out of my research. After identifying patterns, I was asked to speak at MIT for the Entrepreneurs master’s program run by Vern Harnisch. And in that session, I had to reflect on what it was that I was doing over and over again to succeed. And I began to identify patterns. One of those patterns was we caught a wave, a tech wave, or regulatory change, and we were able to ride those waves and capitalize on them. You’ll appreciate this. One of the individuals we interviewed for the book was a gentleman named Geoffrey Moore who wrote Crossing the Chasm. 

Naren: That was the first tech book I ever read. And I memorized that book. I’ve probably read it five times.

Colin: Well, then, you will get a kick out of this book. Because we have a chapter in the book called Catching The Wave, and I interviewed Jeffrey Moore in the book about that. We also talk about AI and other paradigm shifts that are occurring. But there are a number of things you can do to really capitalize on the wave. I talk about making technology easy; believe it or not, too many entrepreneurs and too many companies make technology too complicated; the easier it is to make it, the better chance you have of succeeding. The second thing to do in a tech wave is really deliver the fastest; whoever delivers the fastest wins; you might appreciate this. But back in the day, when copy after copy serve had launched, there was a company called AOL. Now AOL distributed diskettes everywhere. They had those CD ROMs so much so that we would in our office, we used them as coasters. I mean, you could see them everywhere, and whoever delivers the fastest wins in that market and that particular market, AOL Trouts copy serve. Obviously, there was another paradigm shift called broadband. And that knocked out those companies as well. So you had that this internet access wave. And then, in 2000, my partners and I started a company called Hostopia. Now, these are Toronto-based companies. We had a company called Two Cows. Do you remember two cows? They’re still around. They were almost a half billion dollars before the tech wreck, and they were valued at about 25,300 million. They’re still around. And the gentleman that I hired, Elliott Noss, is still there as CEO, running that company. So we did two cows. And we were trying to take advantage of that change in software because back in the nineties, you’d have to get the software on a diskette or a CD ROM. And then you would put it into your computer, and you’d load it up. Two cows allowed you to download the software.

Nowadays, we’re obviously in cloud computing, and that’s what we launched in 2000. The company is called Hostopia, and it has become the largest provider of email and web hosting services globally to telecoms. We won every nine of the top 10 out of the top 10 telecoms in Canada. And then we began to win contracts in the United States. One adventure after another, we got AT&T, Vodafone, and British Telecom, and we won them all. And I attribute that to the X factor, which we can get to later. But the fact is we had this cloud computing, the rise of cloud computing. Then, in 2010, we saw the rise of e-commerce companies; might I call it the rise of micro brands? So, we went into a number of e-commerce companies.

Colin: In 2012, there was a regulatory change at icann, the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers, where they opened up to new domain extensions, and we applied for dot club. See, I was one of the founders of dot CA up in Canada. So I happened to like the right of the dot, And we applied for dot club, which is an alternative to dot net and dot org. And then we grew that to a million domain names. And your question was, what was the recent success? We sold that company to Godaddy about two years ago. And now, we run an incubator of about 10 companies here in South Florida.

Naren: That’s awesome. I want to finish this conversation about your book because I think that’ll be the icing on the cake. Because the book is going to be summarizing a lot of the things you’re going to be talking about. I know the book is doing really well, and you’re crushing it. I know you’re doing a tour all around the world, and hopefully, I’ll see you in Toronto not too long from now. So, let’s focus on this magic formula you figured out, which is starting scaling and exiting.

But given that our audiences have all started businesses and actually run successful businesses, maybe zoom in on scaling and exiting. And something you said prior to our conversation that kind of stuck with me is this idea that you have to change. People change lots of things when they go through these phases. Starting phase, scaling phase, and exiting phase. So, let’s jump into scaling. So, what is the first thing you want to tell our listeners about scaling companies?

Scaling Companies

Colin: All right. The book is broken into four sections: start, scale, exit, and repeat. And we talked about you need a great story. You need great people. You need good systems. and you need to raise enough money for your start-up. In fact, 82% of companies fail because they don’t raise enough money. All the other three components are in place. 

Naren: So you need a great story. You need great people. Do you need enough money, and you need systems when you’re starting, or do you need systems when you’re scaling?

I’m glad you brought that up. A lot of it really is based on the entrepreneur in the early days, but that has to change. Let me be clear: the vast majority of companies in Canada, the United States, and globally failed to scale. All right, because the story, people, money, and systems need to change dramatically during the scale phase, and then we’re going to change again for exit and then even repeat. so the story changes. Now you talked about people. The number one thing, in my opinion, is I don’t have a study of this one. I’ve just seen too many founders fail to scale. The number one thing holding founders back is themselves. It’s checking their ego at the door. It’s learning to delegate responsibilities, not tasks, because when you want to scale, you can’t do everything, and even emotionally, it’s very difficult. if you’re up at three o’clock in the morning, and by the way, my wife is, my wife runs a school. She’s 16 employees, and I tell her to delegate responsibilities, not tasks.

When you don’t delegate responsibilities when you’re responsible for every aspect of your business, you’re thinking of that 24/7; we’re going to wanna find leaders, hire great leaders, and we talk exactly how to do that in the book. And they’re going to want to take responsibility for different areas of the company, and we’re going also to identify our strengths and our weaknesses. what are we good at? Are we entrepreneurs who are great at sales but need an operator? Are we good at operations, or do we need to hire a salesperson? Now, I’ll tell you one thing: sales-oriented entrepreneurs tend to have the most difficulty scaling because sales are always coming back to them. They need to learn how to hire great salespeople and scale the organization like that or, even better, hire a sales manager, and then they run the salespeople and scale it, and they simply step in when they need to.

Colin: So people you talk to on scale, that’s the number one thing is the entrepreneur needs to get out of their own way. Once that happens, once that transformation takes place, then you need to think about your story. And I’d love to talk to you about this X factor the second time I brought it up, and I’d love to go into that if we’re ready to go there now.

Scaling Phase: People

Naren: Yeah, absolutely. Before we do that, I do have some follow-up questions listening to you. So let’s take it’s people enough money systems and story, right? Let’s take people. So give me a 10,000 ft view of how you think about people in a start-up phase, starting phase versus scaling phase versus exit phase. Just give me the 10,000 ft summary.

Colin: So, in the book, we talk a lot about profiling. I’m a very big believer in profiling. And that does take place even at the start-up phase. If you’re looking for someone to complement the skills that you need to partner with, don’t just partner with your buddy from college; you want to partner with somebody who’s got a different skill set and also a different personality profile. When you get into scaling, though, this becomes religion. You need to identify the positions you have in your company. And I want you to think about your company as 10 times its size. We call it thinking in zeros the chapter, and it’s all about adding zeros. And if you were to increase your company 10 X, what would the people look like? So we’re going to want to hire people who have runway experience and who’ve done it before. So if your business is a million dollars, we’re going to want to hire people who have built businesses up to $10 million, and they’ve already built it.

We don’t want to go too high. I’ve seen people who work for billion-dollar companies come into these early-stage start-ups that are scaling and destroying them. We really want the skill set to be someone who’s been there before, who’s, who’s, who’s launched a business, or who has worked in a start-up that’s grown to 10 million if we’re going from 1 million to 10 million, and we’re going to want to do personality profiles testing. They’re very cheap, almost free for the most part. You can do this: identify the position, identify the profile, and obviously identify the skills needed for that as well, and then assemble our team. The issue here is to really learn to delegate, though. you’re not going to scale if you have all of this great talent around you and you don’t let go. So, delegate responsibilities, not tasks.

Naren: That’s beautiful. That’s awesome. Let me ask you this. What personality test would you recommend that you use? 

Colin: So the one I use, and I describe in the book, is called DISC. And again, most entrepreneurs are DIs: I’m a DC. I don’t like selling, I hate it. I hate rejection. I hate selling. I’ll be honest with you. So I’ve always hired salespeople around me, and don’t get me wrong. I can do it right. But it takes a different personality profile to do that. So, if you are a DI, just be careful that you’re not getting in the way because the business relies solely on your sales ability. If you’re a DC, we need to find a DI to either manage a sales team or partner with for your business because that was absolutely critical when we were at Hostopia. Just after we went public, we realized that we were running our organization too much like a tech company. We are basically a tech software software as a service platform company. We had to transform into a sales organization, and that meant implementing a lot of sales systems as well. 

Scaling Phase: Money

Naren: So we talked about people; I’m taking the easy ones out first. Money. Of course, we all understand what that means. Any takeaways on money? 

Colin: So when we’re talking about scaling with money, we want to scale with the right type of funding at the right time. And that means sometimes you might not even need the money. But if things are good in the market, that’s a time to go to market. This is not a good time currently with high interest rates and an IPO market that’s pretty much been shut down, ok? So we are going to want to try to time it, and we’re going to want to get the right type of funding, the best kind of funding. And we interviewed a gentleman who wrote the book, a customer-funded start-up. John Mullins, the best type of funding is by utilizing resources within your own organization to fund. So, for instance, let me give you an example: there are many ways you can reduce costs. We’re always talking about that in the book. These are the different techniques you can use to reduce costs, but you could also get customers to pay you for your services in advance. I’m working with a company right now. Another Toronto-based company was struggling for cash. We just closed, or he just closed a $ 450,000.03-year contract paid upfront. Another company I have here in South Florida is called Paw.com. We just closed an $850,000 contract paid upfront. Literally, when you get the money, we’ve got the money for four or five months before the inventory even gets here before it’s even used.

Colin: And so there are some techniques if you’re running a recurring revenue business,  a SaaS company, for instance, annual payments we’re going to want to encourage because cash is king now, don’t get me wrong. I do believe in investors, and I actually prefer in the United States to something called a reg D filing, in which you can get sophisticated investors in your business when we had to raise $7 million.Club because we had to win the name in an auction. We raised $7 million, and we put together a private placement memorandum and that private placement memorandum. We filed with the SEC. We did a REG D filing. I sent it to 36 of my LinkedIn contacts, and we closed 27 of them. So that, and by the why did I like this particular type of financing so much? I liked it because it had no liquidation preference. So, we’re going to talk about venture capital. Everybody talks about venture capital. But I don’t know if you heard the news today about us working. We’re close to bankruptcy, and they’re going to be filing for bankruptcy, and this is a company worth $47 billion at one time. And they caught the founder and the founders of that business, caught what I call Silicon Valley disease. Too much money was thrown at them. Oh, I know this looks like Silicon Valley is by far the VCs there have fueled more start-ups and more companies than any other group of investors on the planet. Especially tech companies. But there are the negatives, and we never talk about the negatives. We never look at the carnage on the Silicon Valley Highway, focus on just the successes while we work for $47 billion, and they got so much money thrown at them that money corrupted them. And now there’s a reason why a lot of VCs want to push acceleration of growth and be less conservative: they have something called liquidation preference, which means they get paid before the entrepreneur makes one cent on a sale. And that changes the risk profile. Now, in this particular case, the VCs are going down with the ship. But that’s not the case all the time. There are a number of situations, and I’m working with one company right now where they raised $60 million in VC funding. The entrepreneur worked for 13 and 14 years of his life. He’s been pushed out of the company, and the likelihood of his making anything on a sale transaction is nowhere near the next decade. And in fact, it’ll be, it’ll be, it’ll be, it’ll be closed out, and even the VCs will lose half their money. But guess what? The VCs lost half their money. The entrepreneur lost all his money in 15 years of his life. So, I would be very careful with liquidation preference. You know that over 90% of Inc 5000 companies do not take VC funding. So let’s not. There’s an obsession with VC funding, and I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t consider it. We’ve done VC funding. We did it with Tell Us Ventures for Hostopia, but it was strategic. They actually really did help us build the company. And so, you know, there are a lot of opportunities to do it. You should consider it if it makes sense and, in particular, if you’re in a technology where there’s a tornado, where you need to move very, quickly, like clubhouse, for instance, they had to get venture capital because they’re up against Twitter Spaces and Spotify and LinkedIn Audio and all those other ones, they needed a lot of money fast. 

Naren: They are dead. I know it was pretty popular for, like, a few months, and then I never heard of it afterward.

Collin: Yeah. No, it’s not dead. It’s still there, hopefully; actually, I hope we’re not having a conversation about the way they caught Silicon Valley disease a year from now. Let’s hope they can pull it out. But we actually have over a million members on Clubhouse in a club called Start-Up Club. And we do a weekly show. I do one every Friday at two o’clock Eastern. It’s a live show that we syndicate through our podcast network.

Scaling Phase: Story

Naren: That’s awesome. Just one last point on people before we jump into it. My favorite, of course, is the story. I come from the market. I love stories. So, on the people’s side, what would change when you are getting ready to exit? 

Colin: So what changes? Do you remember I told you about the entrepreneurs getting to check their ego at the door, but we’re going to multiply that? Once you want to reduce, you can reduce your role within the organization, which could increase the chances of a transaction occurring and give you a higher valuation. I had the opportunity to work for companies that we sold to. Unfortunately, I worked for a Fortune 500 company for three years. And we bought dozens of companies, and I was in charge of the acquisitions. So I’ve seen it from both sides here. The entrepreneurs are cooky entrepreneurs. There is not, I think, of every acquisition I’ve done in my career. We’ve got about 20 companies. Not one time did the entrepreneur stay beyond one or two years. They don’t fold into the organization. Well, there’s a lot of conflict. They don’t like the culture of large companies. Don’t treat entrepreneurs very well.

Colin: I’ll be quite frank. I hated it for three years. I did make a commitment when I sold the company, and I stuck around for three years. I ran the company for three years, and I hated it. It was, so the more we can remove ourselves, the better. Now, there’s an exception to that. If you really don’t have another company set up, and this was what we talked about repeatedly, then you might want to stick around so that you can see opportunities. Opportunities are very hard to find when you’re sitting in your basement watching Netflix seven hours a day. We want to be in the industry. We want to see the opportunities, and preferably, we even want to launch our next company before we sell this company. But we don’t want to ever deviate from the core. We want to take care of our core. Business.

Naren: Makes sense. Thank you for that. Let’s jump into the story. What do you mean by story? And also give me some examples of who gets it. And what does it look like? And does it even change as you go through these three phases?

Colin: it absolutely changes. We go through this in detail in the book, and I know we have limited time. So, when you first start a business, it’s about solving a problem. Do you need to have a purpose or a why? You need to love that idea because it’s a roller coaster, and you’re going to have those hard times. And if you want, if the only way you’ll stick through it is if you love your idea, getting into scale, here’s the number one thing that businesses can do to scale figure out their XX factor. Think Domino’s Pizza, 30 minutes are free in Toronto. You’re too young to remember this. But pizza became the dominant company. They did. 30 minutes are free. At the time, my family owned a pizza restaurant east of Toronto. And we said, oh, it’s impossible. They’re going to go bankrupt. But you know what? They became the largest pizza company in Toronto. Domino’s became the largest pizza company in the United States through national car rental. You just show up and get in your car. They solved a bottleneck. A true bottleneck was the time it takes to check out a vehicle, and you’re a business traveler. So you want to be able to land at the airport, go right to the car, and leave. And by the way, they’re number one, the company’s number one car rental company. And remember Hertz, I mean, they took them down. There’s a company in, I think, Austin, Texas called Cookie Delivery. You know, they were a bakery that would deliver cookies like every other bakery. But they figured, what if we actually built a truck where we can cook the cookies on the way to the customer? So when they open them up, they’re steaming hot. They even got the domain name Cookie.Deliver.com as well.

Colin: So this is what I’m talking about. I’m talking about finding a bottleneck in your industry. Something you have that no one else had back in 2006. we were told a day before that we were going to lose the Earthlink contract. The CTO and I flew to Atlanta, and we took the mid-level executive out to lunch, or he took us out to lunch. And actually, it was funny because he only had a two-seater we go. It was a, we go was an electric car. So I climbed into the trunk, and I’m lying in the trunk all curled up. I told you we’re a sales-driven organization, and we’ll do whatever it takes to get the deal. And then we drove to the restaurant; we got to the restaurant, and he told us that, look, he doesn’t want to lose his job. And we said, well, we have a solution for you. We’re going to give you a 100% migration guarantee. No, we said we’ll pay you $350 at the time. That was the fair market value for every website we lost. And they had 80,000 websites and maybe a million email addresses. I can’t remember exactly the number. This won us the contract, and let me tell you this: it wasn’t easy. We had to re-engineer our entire organization. We had 200 people in Ukraine who were checking every single website. We both wrote the best heuristics software in the industry to migrate websites. See, the number one thing we found out from our buyers is they just didn’t want to get fired because when migrations occur in big companies, people get fired, and things go wrong. So we became the best in the world at it. And then, we came up with a nearly unbearable brand promise, which is a 100% migration guarantee. Guess what? Once we did that, we won that Earthlink contract with AT&T, Vodafone, and British Telecom. We won every single telecom in the marketplace. It was like clearing a deck. We wiped out our competitors, and we were up against Verio, which was a $5 billion company that was bought by NTT at the time. It was unbelievable when you came up with that. Now, it took us seven years to come up with that X factor. But when you come up with it, the impact on your business can be huge.

Naren: Yeah, I would love to brainstorm about what my X factor should be anyway. I mean, you have to buy the book. I’ll read the book. You, it looks like it’s definitely going to be a treasure. So I mean, it’s just talking to you, and this is not just some pundit who just read a book, I mean, wrote a book. This is somebody who has been through the experience and who has the lessons to back up what he says and why he says it. So that’s awesome. That’s what entrepreneurs love, right? So thank you for what you’re doing.

Exit Strategies

Colin: It’s time for a good lesson on exit.

Naren: Oh, let’s focus on exit because a lot of people are thinking about exit. So yeah, I would love that. Let’s jump in. It’s back to Toronto. It’s a Toronto story. We were running a publicly traded ISP, the one I mentioned to you that we spent 10 years building, but with 200 employees, we decided to merge it with a cable company. We then applied for a license from the federal government, which we won for free. We won half the license for all fixed internet in Canada. The stock went to over a billion dollars. Now, I’m 28 years old, and 13% of the company’s stock goes to over a billion dollars. Now, when we did the merger, we agreed to an 18-month lock-up. Nothing could go wrong. This internet was crazy. Everybody loves it. Do you remember what happened in March of 2000? 

Naren: Oh, I know what happened. I mean, the whole thing crashed, right? The dot com crash. 

Colin: Well, bad things can happen, and we were locked up in that stock that traded at $19 a share. I ended up selling at six cents a share. The company had pulled its offering, went insolvent, and filed for bankruptcy protection. 8 – 12  months later, that’s how fast, by the way, that same company, the one that we ran that ISP, we were the number one fastest growing company in Canada on the front page of profit magazine. We went from number one to last place finish and not, and I didn’t just lose all the money. A lot of people around me did. So, two lessons we learned from that one is bad things can happen. Do you think bad things can happen? Look at last year when we had the tech wreck. We had the crypto crash, we had a war, we had a hurricane; bad things can happen to your business. So, getting out of your business could make a lot of sense. The second thing I learned is liquidity or control. And I believe in that mantra: I am not going to do a deal ever again unless I’m in control of the company. So liquidity or control, and I know there might be some exceptions where you can see some roll-ups and whatnot. But I knew I would never go down that path. Never, never again. Now let me give you some reasons why exit might be better than start scale.

Colin: Keep one of them, which is tax. Please check with your accountant on this. But the fact is capital gains, in countries, most countries around the world, are taxed at a much lower rate at hostopia. We were paying 40% federal and 15% dividend tax. So, about 55% of the profits of the company were being taxed. We sold that company, and by the way, this time, we sold it for all cash. It was publicly traded as well. We did an IPO in 2006. We sold it in 2008. And we paid 15% tax. It would have taken 30 years to make that kind of money. Had we paid the 55% tax on it? So you can see that tax does play a little bit of a role in the argument that you should start scale exit. But that’s not the main argument.

AI and Paradigm Shifts

Colin: The main argument is bad. Things can happen. Technology can shift, and technology can change. With AI, we’re going to see a dramatic change in the world. Some are going to lose, some are going to win, and some are going to win very big. Yeah, we’ve invested in here at the incubator. It’s called Pixilla. We’ve been working on it for over a year. It’s just coming out now, and it is basically wiped out. I know you’re marketing. I know, but it essentially wipes out the marketing executives. It’s your AI marketing team, and I’m phenomenal at what it does now. It’s designed for e-commerce companies. And what it can do is just unbelievable. I was absolutely amazed when we did the book; we submitted it last November. We talk a lot about AI in the book, chat GPT, and whatnot. And we made some predictions. One, we believe that it is the most historic change in our lifetime. It will be how dial-up was, how connecting to the internet was in the nineties, how broadband was in the two thousand, and how social media and e-commerce were in 2010. This will be the decade of AI; we think it’s going to be transformative, a paradigm shift. There will be more millionaires minted because of AI than any other tech technology; shift over the last three or four decades, this is it, this is the big one. I’m so excited to be part of this now. And I don’t mean your business has to be an AI company. I’m also suggesting that you want to use AI to accelerate your start-up.

Colin: Let me just confess here in the book. We never used AI one bit, but in February, Forbes asked me to write the inside cover for the book. I literally took the introduction of the book, fed it into chat GPT, and it came back with AI; I said, please write the inside cover of a best-selling book, and didn’t know it was going to be best-selling, but it turned out to be best selling, but please write an inside cover. It wrote the inside cover. I submitted it. They even used that for the Amazon listing. And about three months ago, I said, well, guys, why haven’t you changed anything? You’re the experts? And they said, no, it’s perfect. So, you can use AI to help you with your marketing. Even at the start-up club, we had a marketing executive, and she did a challenge. We said to come up with a tagline for the start-up club, and she came out with a long sort of community of people that come together. And then I said to AI, give me five taglines for the start-up club, and one of them popped out was Fuel your Start-Up journey. And that’s it. I think chatGPT did a better job. Look, I even did a live interview on Clubhouse last Friday, and you know who interviewed me, Chat GPT. It’s hilarious. She gave 13 questions. I told her in advance to a 30-minute interview. Two minutes. Summation. Look, we’re using AI for customer service. And what I like about it is that we’re not only just using it because we have a lot of offshore labor in the Philippines.

We’re not only using it to improve language skills; we’re saying make the responses positive. So we’re institutionalizing positivity in the responses for customers. I’ve written two contracts with A I again to get legal advice, please. I’m not giving legal advice here, but I’ve written two employee contracts. These aren’t critical contracts, and I’m like, they’re just really a meeting of minds. But you know what if I went to a law firm and paid $1000 to write those contracts, or can I spend 60 seconds, not even 30 seconds, typing out a prompt on chatGPt to find ways to utilize a? I just think about it. Think about how AI can change or help you accelerate growth or reduce costs for your business.

Book Details

Naren: Thank you so much. Before we sum up, I just wanted to ask about your book. What is it called? Where can I get it? Do you have an audio version? Just give us fill in the blanks. 

Colin: So it’s everywhere on every channel. Audible will come out this week or next week.

Naren: What is the name again? Just so that our listeners know, the name of the book is 

Colin: Start Scale Exit Repeat. Serial entrepreneur, secrets revealed. But just remember, start the scale, exit it, and repeat it. If you type that in anywhere on Google, you’ll have a ton of listings that will link you to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I know Indigo chapters in Canada. And you can also get the audiobook for Apple’s already out, and the audible is coming out. It’s we submitted it over six weeks ago, and they say it’s between six and eight weeks, and we’re at week almost seven now. So it’ll be out probably by the time this show airs. So just go to audible and search for start scale exit repeat.

Naren: Thank you so much. You said when the audible is coming out.

Collin: I’m going to get the audible, but I’m just literally looking at it. It’s already available in audiobooks. The audible will be out next week.

Naren: Oh, perfect. So I should be able to buy it today, or do you think it’ll be on?

Colin: No, they don’t do presales on audio. But we really tried to make reading a physical book fun again. It’s also designed for ADHD entrepreneurs. There are 58 chapters, 200 call-outs, and dozens of illustrations. Remember I talked to you about making it simple. That’s absolutely critical. And sometimes, these concepts can be a little bit complicated, especially when I was interviewing Jeffrey Moore. If you’ve ever read Crossing the Chasm, it can be a little bit complicated, but we sort of simplified it. And we did nice charts and graphs. I did a really nice chart of his technology adoption, not a chart. So, a graphic illustration of his technology adoption curve, for instance, and you can really see it visually. So, if there’s one book to pick up, this would be the one. Even if you have the audible, you might want to use it as a reference. Well, I’m looking to sell my company. Well, I’m looking at scaling. I’m looking at starting a new company. So, it’s a collection of dozens and dozens of stories we interviewed over 200 people, 50 in the book. One of my favorite chapters is the one on Joe Foster, who founded Reebok in 1979 and took his business from $9 million to $900 million in four years in four years. And by the way, he found his X factor. It was aerobics, and Jane Fonda wore his shoes on national television. He got reviews from Runners World. What’s old again is new, reviews influencers. I did ask him, by the way, did you pay Jane Fonda to wear those shoes? And he said, no, she paid for her own shoes. 


Naren: That’s brilliant. Thank you so much. We’re going to include a link to your book. And do you want us to include a link to your website as well? Which websites do you want us to link to a start-up club? It’s a really start-up club. 

Colin: And we announce speakers in the Start-Up club every week who are coming out. We have seven or eight speakers lined up, phenomenal authors, experts, and serial entrepreneurs. And if you want to know who they are, just sign up for that email list on Start Up dot Club.

Naren: Perfect. We’ll do that. It’s such a pleasure to work with you, and I hope to have you back. So, thank you. Thank you very much for all your insights. You’re just a wealth of knowledge. And I think our community would really love having someone like you in our corner. So thank you for everything. And I also want to take a minute to thank our listeners till we meet again. Have a wonderful rest of the week.

About Our Host and Guest

Director of Marketing – Ekwa.Tech & Ekwa Marketing
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“That has to change. Ok, let me be clear. The vast majority of companies in Canada, the United States, and globally failed to scale. All right, because the story, people, money, and systems need to change dramatically during the scale phase.”

– Colin Campbell –