Our “zero billion dollar business”

October 23, 2006

Today I got a call from D&B (Dun & Bradstreet), asking me to confirm our company’s details which they hold in a database. They asked for our company and trading name, mailing and physical address, phone and fax number, number of employees, a primary contact’s name and if that contact reports to a board. When I asked why they wanted this information she stressed that she was not asking for financial or confidential information.

She finished the call by talking about a service D&B are offering called “D&B ImageScope (TM) Plus”. For the low low price of $297.50 we could use this service to compare ourselves to others in our industry.

Hmm, I thought to myself, that sounds mightily similar to the (free) service FreshBooks is going to start offering, described by Mike in a recent blog post, and reported on by Zoli from the Office 2.0 conference.

Fred Wilson calls this phenomenon the “zero billion dollar business“:

“It describes a business, like Craigslist or Digg, that enters a market, like classifieds or news, and by virtue of the amazing efficiency of its operation can rely on a fraction of the revenue that the market leaders need to operate profitably. These zero billion dollar businesses are highly disruptive and change the economics of their industries over time.”

about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.