7 Counterintuitive Rules for Growing Your Business Super-Fast

To achieve ‘blitzscaling,’ you have to go against common sense

Reid Hoffman
Marker
Published in
11 min readOct 17, 2018

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Credit: z_wei/iStock/Getty Images Plus

WWhen it comes to startups, there’s growth, and then there’s ultra-rapid growth—what I like to call “blitzscaling.” Blitzscaling a company isn’t easy; if it were, everyone would do it. Like most things of value in this world, blitzscaling is contrarian. To succeed, you’ll have to violate many of the management “rules” that are designed for efficiency and risk minimization. In fact, to achieve your aggressive growth goals in the face of uncertainty and change, you need to follow a new set of rules that fly in the face of what is taught in business schools and are completely counterintuitive to accepted “best practices” of either early stage startups or classic corporate management.

Rule #1: Embrace Chaos

Annual plans. Revenue guidance. Traditional business strives for order and regularity in management, operations, and financial results. This desire for order and regularity makes sense, because it allows companies to fine-tune their approach to be as efficient as possible and gives shareholders a pleasing sense of stability. But when you’re blitzscaling, you’re explicitly choosing to sacrifice efficiency for speed, which means the traditional focus on order and regularity needs to be replaced with a unique willingness to embrace a level of chaos that would horrify most Harvard MBAs and their professors.

Yet simply throwing up your hands is unlikely to bring success; passively succumbing to chaos is not a winning strategy. Embracing chaos, on the other hand, means accepting that uncertainty exists and, therefore, taking steps to manage it. If you know you’ll make mistakes, the answer isn’t to sit back and wait for answers to find you, nor is it to charge ahead without preparation or forethought. You can still make smart decisions based on your estimate of the probabilities, even without certainty. And, perhaps most important, you can make sure that you have the ability to correct your mistakes.

Rule #2: Hire Ms. Right Now, Not Ms. Right

For most of Silicon Valley’s history, the conventional wisdom on hiring executives into a startup was to quickly bring…

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