Scaling: the good, the bad, and the WTF!

There is nothing more rewarding and exciting as a professional than growing and ramping a company or division. The satisfaction that comes from building out the foundation, and then the reward that comes from seeing how the organization then begins to grow organically due to your initial work is a great feeling.

Along the way you have some pretty terrible days, weeks, and months as you realize you really don’t know everything, and are forced to make decisions where there is no winner and it’s your fault. This is the not so glamorous side of a ramping product/division or company.

When I break down my experiences, the difficulties of scaling really came from two main areas where a lack of experience or desire for speed led to stumbling blocks that may have been avoided.

1. Hiring mistakes

  • Over hiring before you’re ready to scale. It’s tough to say no when everything appears to going great, but if the jenga tower begins to wobble with the wrong people… your company may collapse.
  • Not hiring the right mid-level and executive staff early enough. Promoting from within is a good thing until you have 4 new leaders leading 20 new people.

2. Surround yourself with experts

Find people who have experience seeing around the corners you will surely approach in the coming months and years. There is no “pride” reward in doing it yourself, messing up for 6-12 months, and then realizing you got it wrong. Hire the right experts, find the right mentors, and bring them on full time when the timing is right. It is better to spend a little bit more time thinking through the right path with people who have been down these paths before moving forward. The alternative is the blind leading the blind.

Tomorrow, please join us to learn from David Blanke, EVP Global Operations at Sailthru, and Alan Federman, VP Finance at ClassPass and their struggles to scale from the executive team to the front lines. You can’t avoid mistakes if you don’t first understand what they look like and this is a very unique opportunity to learn from people who have experienced these pitfalls in multiple settings.

Get your tickets here! And use promo code “FriendsofSkaled” for a 50% discount!

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