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Ryan Deluca on the founding of bodybuilding.com

Discussion in 'Lessons from Success/Failure' started by michael, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. michael
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    michael Contributor

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    This is a long 5 part story, he never got around to finishing it though but he might do that one day.

    Ryan Deluca is the CEO and founder of bodybuilding.com a business which he sold for $100million and one that is based around giving the best customer service and lowest prices in teh industry.

    Its sole revenue stream is sales of supplements and it supports one of the largest and busiest forums in the world aswell as bodybuilding shows in the USA, employs nearly 200 people and yet retains the vision its founder had when he started bb.com


    And thats where it ends

    If you want to read the story on the forums keep in mind it is in the miscellaneous section of the site so a lot of the questions asked are not on the topic of business or are crass in-jokes but he does answer a few good questions people ask in the thread

    Ask a guy that started Bodybuilding.com anything... - Bodybuilding.com Forums


    There is also an interview by members over a video site here:

    Justin.tv - BB.com owners Ryan DeLuca and Jeremy DeLuca answer your questions! - Bodybuilding.com
     
  2. michael
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    michael Contributor

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    A couple cool things in the JTV video interview:


    • He mentioned any articles and the purpose of the forums on bb.com are soely to help you get in shape, the company hopes the result will be you buying supps

    • His first job was at blockbuster and he knew from a young age he was making someone else rich in his job

    • Tips to new entrepreneurs - get out there and do it before you get old and have regret for not doing it. Don't wait for someday, do it

    • He mentioned he never started bb.com to be a $100000000 company but instead to help people get in shape and connect with other fitness enthusiasts - "Our beginning attitude was get started and learn as we go"

    • Never get complacent or too happy, read and learn from others mistakes...

    • He's never thought about selling 100% because he enjoys building the company too much, works 5 days per week couldn't retire lest regret not helping more people

    • Pulled out of early college courses but has learned so much on marketing, psychology, e commerce, teamwork, leadership, success stories through books

    • He seems to not care about the money he makes but genuinely about helping his customers and members

    • Only 10% of their orders come from international orders and they have never even marketed overseas. He wants to grow this to a larger figure

    • Wants to build a recommendation system similar to amazon to recommend programs, supps, nutrition programs etc

    • Considers the rep system of v-bulletin to be essential to encouraging participation and positive posts aswell as to differentiate good posters from trolls

    • Paid to defend a number of members against a slander/libel suit from a company which recieved widespread bad reviews on the forums rather than letting them fend for themselves


    I didn't finish watching it but I might later
     
    NickT41, exige and Jill like this.
  3. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Surprised not many commented on this ... what a treasure trove of goodness.

    Speed +++ Thanks +++

    Again, another story where hard work yields Fastlane dividends...

    Also take note, "Starting a Business is Risky!"
     
    M Power likes this.
  4. sprite
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    sprite Contributor

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    It also shows how valuable the right domain name is. Rep+=1
     
    eqttrdr likes this.
  5. LightHouse
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    LightHouse Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I remember we had a discussion on this a while back on the forum portion of him building a community around the sales process. you had linked these and i read them then. I really like the way he has built the stores out. Thank you for putting this up again Michael.
     
  6. Spazmatic
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    Spazmatic PARKED

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    Very inspirational and I can kind of relate because the internet was the first place I started earning money on my own. I've only made about $5,000 but i am constantly thinking up ways and ideas to earn money and make a living with the internet.
     
  7. TomD
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    I love this story. I had no idea Bodybuilding.com did the volume they actual do. I also never really considered how important their forum was to them.

    My business has been considering opening a forum that relates to the industry we serve. We are a VERY small niche industry where a forum with 60k members is considered huge. Having read this story I now see how much we would benefit from a thriving forum. Our idea was to make it on a completely separate domain with no obvious ties to our company, but I now see that as a mistake....huge mistake. The branding and credibility would be huge by directly tying it into our existing website.

    My main question for all you guys is where can I hire an offsite tech savvy forum manager? Where would I find someone like this? We have no time or staff to setup and manage a forum in house, so I would like to hire someone to setup/run on a part time paid basis. Any ideas where I could post a job like this and find qualified applicants?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  8. kansascity
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    great story, i couldnt read it fast enough.
     
  9. Gymjunkie
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    Gymjunkie Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    How cool! I needed this type of article! Will read soon and hopefully it will help my idea :)

    Didn't know they sold for 100 mil!!! Wow...

    Speed+
     
  10. Lathan
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    Lathan Silver Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Wow, I was hooked from beginning to end of that story. Awesome! Really enjoyed it!
     
  11. Determined2012
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    Determined2012 Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    From Wikipedia: In May 2012, Bodybuilding.com and its CEO Jeremy Deluca were formally charged with introducing misbranded drugs. Bodybuilding.com was fined US $7 million and the CEO personally fined $600,000.

    Does this mean that they knowingly or purposely had misbranded supplements and sold them? Or did they get charged because the supplements were misbranded (regardless of if they knew that they were or not)?

    Very inspiring story.
     
  12. passion518
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    passion518 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I was always a customer of bodybuilding.com. This story was great and very inspirational!
     
  13. SerpKing
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    SerpKing Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    It's all about the process! Great story. Thanks for the share
     
  14. RHL
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    RHL The coaching was a joke guys. Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    BB.com is like 4Chan and Reddit in some ways; as it evolved, it became its own nexus of internet culture, where people could rabbit trail and talk about a variety of things. It was that level of community depth and engagement, I would guess, that lead to the staggering valuation.
     
  15. harerace
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    harerace Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    wow I did a google search on how bodybuilding.com got started and this forum popped up. Awesome.
     
  16. ShadowX
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    ShadowX Be Grateful Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Excellent post, that rare domain must of helped him a lot.
     
  17. harerace
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    harerace Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Maybe. Maybe not.
     

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