You can’t do all the work in a startup yourself. So you have to scale. Here are four ways to scale:
- People. Hire people to help you. This will be your first instinct but it should really be your last resort.
- Product. Build product to do the work for you. Every single product in the world is a type of scale. Facebook has taken this to the extreme through automation.
- Capital. This is what VCs do. They raise billions of dollars, invest it, let their CEOs manage it, and hopefully profit.
- Community. This isn’t a recent innovation but it might seem that way. Communities have been banding together for a long time to form countries, topple dictators, knit, save the environment and so on. But now they’re forming quicker than ever and building products like Wikipedia.
Which kinds of scale are you using and why?
Note: I prefer the word leverage to scale because it implies that there is a goal and that one should not scale for its own sake.