Trade Me: The Inside Story by Michael O’ Donnell (published, 2010)
The bright yellow cover of this book caught my eye in my local library and I was glad it did, as I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book outlines Trade Me’s evolution from humble beginnings to quickly becoming a very successful online company, which was sold for $750 million to Fairfax media.
The story is fascinating. Sam Morgan, a savvy entrepreneur, obviously hit on exactly the right idea, at the right time and with the right attitude. He had a winning formula. But on top of this, Trade Me’s success also hinged on the decisions that Sam made along the way; the great team he built up around him; the way in which he developed Trade Me as an online ‘community’, as well as a business. The book highlighted the importance of staying true to yourself and your ethos, especially in the cut-throat world of business. Whilst the book is very feel-good and the author focuses less on the struggles along the way...why wouldn’t it be, when you look at the figures and the happy ending?
If you are trying to set up your own business - particularly an online business - I highly recommend that you read this book. The keys to Trade Me’s success are salient for any business: thinking about your consumers first and foremost, establishing their trust, delivering what they need, being true to your own ideals etc.
It’s a quick read and well worth it - I challenge you not to be inspired by it!