You are previewing Success the LOVEFiLM Way: How to Grow A Fast Growth Business in Fast Changing Times.
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Success the LOVEFiLM Way: How to Grow A Fast Growth Business in Fast Changing Times

Book Description

As you might expect from a company responsible for renting so many thrillers, there's rarely a dull moment at LOVEFiLM.

From start-up, through mergers and fast paced growth, culminating in a takeover by an internet giant, few corporate adventures encapsulate the archetypal modern business story as neatly as that of LOVEFiLM. In the 6 years from inception to the defining deal with Amazon, the company underwent a near constant process of change and evolution. They simply didn't sit still for a minute.

As the chief executive who guided LOVEFiLM through these fast-paced times, Simon Calver tells the story of how they grew the company from a series of small start-ups into a multi-million pound enterprise and well-love household name. Calver offers his personal insights and key lessons on everything from how to manage spectacular growth, to the importance of taking big risks and how small entrepreneurial companies can benefit from big companies thinking.

Success the LOVEFiLM Way is an essential read for anybody who wants to start and grow a successful business, and learn how to stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing and growing industry.

"The LOVEFiLM story offers interesting insights into the way modern businesses, and particularly those backed by venture capital, succeed. There are useful lessons for anyone looking to start or grow a business using this route. Simon Calver explains both the challenges and opportunities that VC funding raises. Calver is right to describe this as the classic modern business story."

Alex Mitchell, Head of Influencer Relations, IoD

"The LOVEFiLM story was a great read. It's honest, insightful and very entertaining. It shows most importantly the power of leadership to create an exceptional company. Frankly, everyone in the UK needs to read this book right now."

Julie Meyer, Managing Partner, ACE Fund

"I met Simon at the annual Real Business awards in 2009, and was delighted when he asked King of Shaves to become a founding member of The Consumer Forum - an association of SME's that put the customer first. The success of LOVEFiLM, and his leadership of this disrupting business, was entirely down to his 'putting customers first' - by giving them what they wanted, when they wanted it, always embracing the latest in cutting edge technology. Firstly by sending the latest film releases through the post, and now by it streaming on demand. I've been lucky enough to spend personal quality time with him, and now you can learn how he helped LOVEFiLM grow so astonishingly, in a constantly changing digital environment. If you Lovefilm, and LoveCustomers, then you'll Love this book!"

Will King, Founder, King of Shaves

"The LOVEFiLM story shows the importance of organizational agility, trust and the relentless focus of taking customers, stakeholders and employees with you on your journey. Above all it demonstrates the importance of understanding what you do and why you do it, and why it's important to have a business model that delivers for the customer and the business."

Jo Causon, CEO, Institute of Customer Service

"It took Simon's dedicated hard work bringing together a series of smaller businesses to make LOVEFiLM one of the true internet success stories. In Simon Calver's book, he shares his business philosophies that led LOVEFiLM to the successful takeover by Amazon. The book is not just a compelling narrative, but lessons that all businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit from."

Mark Florman, CEO, The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA)

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Epigraph
  3. Title page
  4. Copyright page
  5. Dedication
  6. Introduction
  7. PART ONE: Pre-Production
    1. CHAPTER 1: Open All Hours
      1. A Philosophy for Business
      2. What’s the Point of Education?
      3. Innovate or Die
      4. Nature, Nurture or a Bit of Both?
      5. Lessons in Life
      6. The Third Great University
      7. Variety of Interests
      8. The World of Work Calls
    2. CHAPTER 2: Learning the Multinational Way
    3. CHAPTER 3: Becoming a Dell Boy
  8. PART TWO: The LOVEFiLM Years
    1. CHAPTER 4: 2003-4: Three Men and a Baby: Why success has many fathers but failure is an orphan
      1. The One Per Cent Rule
      2. Let Battle Commence
      3. Why Business Is about More Than Good Ideas
      4. It’s the People, Stupid
      5. Why Board Structure Matters, Even Early on
      6. Why Size Matters
      7. The Ups (And Downs) of Having Strong Founders
      8. We’re All in This Together, Except You
      9. Why Business Might Be More Complex Than You Think
      10. The Importance of Saying “Yes” to Meetings
    2. CHAPTER 5: 2005: Towering Inferno: How to stop your business going up in smoke
      1. The Power of Positive Action
      2. It’s All in the Plan, So be Prepared to Change It
      3. The Power of a Positive Cash Flow
      4. It’s Good to Talk
      5. If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get
      6. Keep Your Competition Close
    3. CHAPTER 6: 2006: Sleeping with the Enemy: How to keep your friends close and merge with your enemies
      1. The PR Wars
      2. Let the Merger Begin
      3. Be Prepared to Work Hard to Secure the Deal
      4. “You Want Me to Work with Them?”
      5. The Business of Integration
      6. Build Values with Your Customers in Mind
      7. Focus on the Survivors
    4. CHAPTER 7: 2007: Braveheart: Bet big or go home
      1. Emptying the Bank to Bet Big
      2. Take Small, Survivable Risks
      3. The Power of Creative Thinking
      4. A Pain in the Nordics
      5. Alternative Approaches to Finance
    5. CHAPTER 8: 2008: The Godfather: Kissing frogs and kicking tyres
      1. Allowing Managers to Manage
      2. More Pain in the Nordics
      3. Kicking the Tyres
      4. Amazon Comes Calling
      5. Organic Growth and Acquisitions
      6. Making a Digital Move
      7. Switching Horses Mid-Race
      8. Tapping the Financial Markets As a Crisis Looms
    6. CHAPTER 9: 2009: Groundhog Day: Why there’s no substitute for hard graft
      1. Reaching the Growth Tipping Point
      2. The Entrepreneur’s Sell-by Date
      3. The Power of Performance Management
      4. Getting Digital Right
    7. CHAPTER 10: 2010: Sleepless in Seattle: How to make sure you get what you want from a deal
      1. Always Looking for the Exit
      2. Is There a Right Time to Sell?
      3. What’s the Big Deal?
      4. Jolly Hockey Sticks
    8. CHAPTER 11: 2011: Jerry MaGuire: How much work it takes before you see the money
      1. The Importance of Board Alignment
      2. Picking the Right Advisors
      3. A Champagne Moment for the UK?
      4. Opinions are Like Noses
      5. Growing Up and Getting On
    9. CHAPTER 12: The LOVEFiLM Years Post-Production
      1. A Numbers Game
      2. Planning Succession is Planning Success
      3. The Dawning of a New Era
  9. PART THREE: Lessons from LOVEFiLM
    1. CHAPTER 13: The Role of Technology
      1. Start With the Customer
      2. A Seamless Customer Experience
      3. Scale for Success
      4. New Products are Always Technology Dependent
      5. Growing Up with Technology
      6. Is Your Business Model Still Up to the Job?
    2. CHAPTER 14: The Role of Performance Management
      1. If It Moves, Measure It
      2. Give Every Metric an Owner
      3. Measure People as Well
      4. Team Goals Matter, Too
      5. Customer Focus Has to be Central to Management Thinking
    3. CHAPTER 15: The Role of Recruitment and Culture
      1. Invest Time and Energy to Get the Right People
      2. The Others are Watching
      3. Defining Organizational Culture
      4. Communicating Culture
      5. What’s in an Office?
      6. Finding a Common Enemy
    4. CHAPTER 16: How to Select and Manage Investors
      1. Enter the Dragon’s Den
      2. Four’s Company
      3. A Common Purpose
      4. Different Types of Investment
      5. If You Need It, Call for Help
      6. Looking for the Exit
      7. Why Amazon?
    5. CHAPTER 17: The Closing Credits
  10. 77 Lessons and Learnings from Life and LOVEFiLM
    1. PART ONE – Pre-Production
    2. PART TWO – The LOVEFiLM Years
  11. About the Author
  12. Acknowledgements
  13. Index