You've heard the story before. Someone stumbles upon a novel idea, drops out of school, recruits their friends, rents some co-working space, raises money from investors, and, just like that, the world changes. The story itself is inspiring, but also misleading. In reality, starting the company is only half the story. What happens when your company begins to succeed, but quickly has more customers than it can sustainably support? At that point, what does successful growth look like?
), which is a handbook for anyone who wants to build their business to a multibillion-dollar market leader in a short number of years. Now I'm writing this post for anyone who finds themselves at this crossroads now, as a way to turn the blizscaling framework into something actionable.
What is blitzscaling?
Blitzscaling: the framework and techniques that allow companies to achieve massive scale at incredible speed.
When you're moving at the speed of light, your decisions require commitment, even if your confidence is trailing somewhere behind you. Blitzscaling requires you to accept the risk in every decision you make. And that means exchanging careful planning with rapid guesstimates, investing inefficiently instead of cautiously, and letting some fires burn. These risks and costs are acceptable because the risk and cost of being too slow is even greater.
Don't be fooled; blitzscaling isn't a scheme to "get big fast" to win the market. And it's not just about growth. Blitzscaling prioritizes speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty. Entrepreneurs who choose to blitzscale must be hyper-focused on the risks and how to mitigate them, understanding that every single choice drives success... or failure. And when something doesn't go your way? Be prepared to rally with even more effort than before.
So, why would anyone volunteer to use such a strategy? Well, if the prize is big enough, and the market is competitive enough, blitzscaling is actually the best option. The real risk is actually in growing your business too slowly and in an unsustainable way. The world—and the market—are changing faster and faster. Entrepreneurs need to accept the inevitability of change. If you're willing to take and navigate those risks when those around you aren't, you'll move faster than your competition.
Put the blitzscaling framework into action with this Coda doc.
Whether you are a small startup or an established Fortune 100 company, you're probably asking if blitzscaling is right for your company. The answer comes down to this (from the Blitzscaling chapter on Strategy Innovation):
The only time that it makes sense to blitzscale is when (whether for offensive or defensive reasons) you have determined that speed into the market is the critical strategy to achieve massive outcomes.
While that requirement may seem straightforward, I've seen many companies struggle to blitzscale. Using the book as a primer, the purpose of this companion guide is to explore and methodically decide—as a team—if your company should blitzscale.
This doc contains three discussion-forward sections:
: In the first section of this guide, your team will establish common ground by gaining context around blitzscaling. With pre-reading out of the way, reflect on what blitzscaling means to each stakeholder. Use your discussion of blitzscaling takeaways as a catalyst for the next section—deciding if blitzscaling is right for your company.
: The best business models for blitzscaling maximize four key growth factors and minimize two key growth limiters. Let your team identify which factors and limiters apply to your company's current state and then prioritize in a group discussion.
: You're ready to blitzscale—but what's next? Your team needs an action plan. Using what you learned and prioritized in your growth factors and limiters discussion, use the nine counterintuitive rules to blitzscaling to map the next steps of your journey.
My goal with this doc is to enable teams to have a thoughtful 3-step discussion and make an informed and ready commitment to blitzscale (or not!).