Richard Raines - President, CARFAX, Inc.
"Successful entrepreneurs figure out how to hack the world to create seemingly "unfair" advantages that propel their companies to greatness; as an entrepreneur and investor I'm constantly working with my teams towards this goal. The Sumo Advantage is the unfair advantage we look for, outlined by one of the true masters of BD - thank you Bernie for sharing this with us."
Joe Lonsdale - Founder of Palantir and Addepar, Partner, Formation 8
"One of the most important ways a startup can get momentum, can breakout, and can thrive is through superior business development. Applied correctly, it is a strategic weapon that greatly increases the odds of success in startup. Great startups borrow credibility in the market from more established players, and this is done through top notch biz dev. In my view, every venture-backed start-up should have Bernie come in and mentor their executives. Follow his lessons and you'll double your valuation within 12 months."
Jim Armstrong - General Partner, Clearstone Venture Partners
"I've worked with hundreds of advisors as an entrepreneur and as an investor, and Bernie was easily the most valuable. He passionately evangelized the product and lined up key partnerships that we had thought were impossible. Bernie is the best at what he does."
Naval Ravikant - CEO, AngelList, Founding CEO, Epinions,Inc., Co-author, Venture Hacks
"Business Development is an art. It creates a vision of how the partners can effectively work together and then commits that vision to the canvas of successful implementation and enduring partnership. In my experience there is no better and no more prolific artist than Bernie."
Victor Doolan - Former CEO BMW USA
From the Inside Flap
Entrepreneurs and business owners alike constantly seek advantage over the competition. For most, "winning" means gaining market dominance, product superiority or increased sales. The stated goal is often to land "the 800-pound gorilla," the implication being that such a coup would alter the company's future. But is a gorilla the right target? Maybe not.
A gorilla provides power but has no "X factor" to accelerate market dominance. Instead, consider pursuing a "sumo," who is always focused on beating the competition and who leverages his enormous weight and muscle to force competitors out of the ring. The gorilla is raw muscle and can exert enormous strength but is not at all strategic. It is instinctive and lacks self-awareness, imagination, and independent will. The sumo, on the other hand, is interested in out positioning, outsmarting and even out psyching the competition, using all means available.
The Sumo Advantage provides the strategies and tactics to help you find and partner with sumos. If you are unaware of the distinctions between sales and BD, then your sales-only focus may be what is holding you back. Once you understand and really believe that sales and business development are very different functions, the sky's the limit on growth.