The dangers of scaling

Experiencing growth is an intoxicating feeling. Your clients are loving you, interest in your services is expanding exponentially and the cash is starting to come flooding in. You are attracting investment and you are obviously doing something right; your idea is working!

Except now there is too much work for the die hards who started the ball rolling, too much for the founding patriots who have gone above and beyond to make it all happen, who have got up each morning simply for the love of what they do. There just is too much work.

So you yell “Expand the team!”; “Find the new hero’s”. And luckily enough due to your popularity there are a whole lot of eager new tribe members eager to dine at the table of fame and/or fortune. So you invite them in, welcome them with pool tables, culture coffee and a fantastic on-boarding vibe. You direct them to their new “working pod”, equip them with a Mac, T-shirt and tatoo the company values on their chest (ok that may be a bit extreme).

Except you have paid no attention to WHY they are joining or what they should actually be doing. You simply need more “eager beavers”. And thats were two fatal mistakes have just been made.



Are they joining to sacrifice or to dine? You see it is extremely unlikely that in an expansion phase of a business you will find people willing to sacrifice, after all, they would have been there in the founding phase if that was their pleasure. No, you have people who want to dine on your success; they are there for the pleasure and comfort. After all, is that not what you promised them?

There is nothing wrong with these people, they get the job done but they do want what you promised them. And to do that you had better be very organised because they like structure, clarity, feedback, career paths, rewards and a salary and they really don’t like change, feeling used, work for no pay and a  manager who is vague, dictatorial or disinterested in them.

Scale quickly at your own peril. The honeymoon only lasts for so long.



by | Sep 28, 2018 | Startups