When your company hits strong product market fit, your company will be sucked into a vortex of customer demand and experience a Cambrian explosion of internal org complexity simultaneously. Things will initially seem to just truck along as usual, and then suddenly everything at the company will break at once. Most. but not all, of this breakage is avoidable, but most first-time (at scaling) founders screw it up. The key to avoiding a melt-down is to hire key executives or functional leaders early.
During break-out growth the following things start to happen:
- “The More More Moment”: the pace of everything at the company accelerates. More customers, more support, more interest, more partnership offers – more more more more.
- Complexity goes up dramatically. You need to manage an ever expanding org with many new functions, geographies, products etc.
- You need to hire, retain, and communicate with more multiples of people. Going from 5 to 15 people feels like roughly the same company. Going from 15 to 30 means a new layer of management but still doesn’t feel like *that* big of a shift. However going from 15 to 100 means three or 4 more new organizational layers. How you communicate, recruit (internal recruiter now needed as well as paid executive search) and retain people shifts.
- Bottle-necks & breaks emerge everywhere. Things will start breaking all at once – your backend servers will melt down, your managers’ capabilities will hit their limits, your customer NPS will drop, your ability to be (Read more…)