MFG.com’s CEO, Mitch Free is interviewed for The Startup Playbook
January 10, 2013
With unprecedented access, New York Times best-selling author, David Kidder, shares the experiences of some of the world's most influential entrepreneurs in his latest book, The Startup Playbook. Kidder pulls from 41 face-to-face interviews with top pioneers to provide insight into what it took to build companies like PayPal, LinkedIn, 1-800-Flowers.com, AOL, Flickr and Spanx into household names. The founder and CEO of MFG.com, Mitch Free, is among this exclusive group.
When Mitch founded MFG.com in 2000, his vision was to bring together designers and manufacturers so that designers could request multiple quotes for made-to-order parts and the system would automatically match them with manufacturers that had the necessary capabilities. Free did just that.
“The niche that MFG.com serves is one of the largest in the world: the manufacturing industry,” said Kidder. “Within that sector, MFG’s online marketplace has the unimaginable dominance of an eBay. It’s hard to imagine competitors making significant inroads into their business. That said, I expect that Mitch will continue to compete, very rigorously, against himself.”
The book includes topics ranging from how to make the tough decisions, to finding funding and overcoming the inevitable obstacles. The challenges, setbacks, risks, and uncertainties each entrepreneur faces in their journey, reveals key lessons learned from their own experience. It is Kidder’s hope that the next pioneers will be able to make their own mistakes, instead of the ones that have already been made.
“Failure is extremely important. If you don’t fail, then you’re probably not trying enough new things,” Free said. “You’re not pushing the edge far enough. If you’re not pushing the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”
Kidder is the creator and co-author of the New York Times best-selling five book series, The Intellectual Devotional. He is an entrepreneur himself and has co-founded four companies, with his most recent being the enterprise social innovation platform, Bionic.
In an economy that demands constant change, The Startup Playbook is the go-to for entrepreneurs both big and small.