Lemon #63. Scaling a company

Lemon #63. Scaling a

While reading ‘The hard thing about hard things’ from Ben Horowitz, we learned about scaling a company: 

If you want to build an important company, then at some point you have to scale. If you want to do something that matters, then you’re going to have to learn the black art of scaling a human organization. 

First, if you don’t know anything about scaling an organization, then it’ll be very difficult for you to evaluate people for the job of scaling a company. Imagine trying to find a killer engineer if you’d never written a single program. 

The first scale technique to implement is specialization. In startups, everybody starts out as a jack-of-all-trades, but as the company grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to add new engineers, because the learning curve starts to get super-steep. Getting a new engineer up to speed starts to become more difficult than doing the work yourself. At this point, you need to specialize. 

The process of scaling a company is not unlike the process of scaling a product. Different sizes of company impose different requirements on the company’s architecture. If you address those requirements too early, your company will seem heavy and sluggish. If you address those requirements too late, your company may melt down under the pressure. 

Be mindful of your company’s true growth rate. It’s good to anticipate growth, but it’s bad to overanticipate growth. 

Ben Horowitz @ The hard thing about hard things.

Jorge Moreno

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