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Business Unusual: Take One Website, Add Stroke of Genius

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs are tapping into the mad enthusiasm of home cooks.

This story appears in the November 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Business Unusual: Take One Website, Add Stroke of Genius

Say you started a food website. Nothing radical there. Say you started a food website that held weekly recipe contests, like a global county-fair cook-off. Say you raised the stakes and told the cooks that winners would have the glory of being published in your next cookbook. Say all of that provided enough buzz that suddenly, you had a two-cookbook deal with a major publisher, 4,000 registered users on your website, a corporate sponsor, an online store in the works--and you didn't even have to write a recipe.

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