When building a startup, there are terms that get thrown around. “Scale,” “Fundraise,” “Partner,” “Term Sheets,” and I always think the words that EVERYONE uses are the most interesting words, because I generally find people using them in different ways to mean different things.
A friend of mine, who runs a startup that generates tens of millions in revenue, gave me the best definition of “Scale”:
“When I started XYZ Company, I thought SCALE, just meant MORE! More customers, more money, more products.
What I realize now, is that scale means you have to re-invent your company every 18-24 months to where the market is.”
I’m not saying that “Scale” doesn’t mean “More.” And neither is my friend.
But what Scale truly means is “How does our organization need to change and evolve to deliver the best product to the current market of customers.”
How do we hire the best faster than anyone else? How do we win customers and make sure those customers are happy?
Boost VC focuses on supporting three pieces of scale transitions: From Zero to product, product to customers, to driving hard consistent growth.
Even in each of these three states, the organization needs to shift it’s focus from R&D to sales, to scaleable sales, to sales success all the while developing the product. These transitions all require careful decision making and movement for the team. The team has to evolve with the product. The CEO has to evolve with the team.
Scale is about ‘more’, but it’s also the difference between the experience of selling one hot dog in one hot dog cart, and controlling the experience for the entire fleet of hot dog carts across a city. The governance and teams required to deliver the highest level service have to adapt.
The questions you ask at the stage of selling one hot dog from one hot dog cart are different than the questions you ask when you are monitoring 100, 1000.
I’m not sure why I used the hot dog cart as the way of explaining this, but it fits right now.
“If Bill had started a hot dog stand, he would have become the hot dog king of the world,” - Warren Buffett, talking about Bill Gates.