June 23, 2015

The recipe for success that earned Lynda.com a $1.5 billion payday

Lynda Weinman
Lynda Weinman at the Traction conference in Vancouver (Photo by JD Lasica).

This is the second of a two-part series on the Traction conference. Also see:
• Part 1: Traction: How to spur growth for your startup

Target audience: Startup teams, entrepreneurs, small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaYesterday I highlighted some takeaways from the cool new Traction conference that debuted last Wednesday and Thursday in Vancouver. The event drew roughly 800 entrepreneurs, startup team members, marketers and angel investors.

One of the inspiring keynotes of the event came from Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which LinkedIn purchased for $1.5 billion in April. (She mentioned that she’ll be leaving LinkedIn soon to pursue another entrepreneurial opportunity.)

Lynda recounted her journey from running in-person computer training courses to the dotcom crash of 2000-2001, which forced the company to pivot to online tutorials. That early mover advantage gave Lynda.com the ability to set the pace for all the e-learning sites that followed.

A journey that started with humble beginnings

In one telling slide, Weinman traced the journey from tiny startup to a $1.5 billion exit. Her story was not only impressive but instructive: To become a successful business, you need a singular driving purpose and someone who’s relentless at the helm.

Here’s her “What I did” slide in full:

  • Believed in myself
  • Stuck my neck out
  • Proved that I had marketability
  • Tried and iterated
  • Didn’t take no for an answer
  • Followed my heart and passion
  • Thought a lot about my audience
  • Seized the opportunity
  • Listened to others and to myself

It’s as good a recipe for success as any I’ve seen.

JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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