What I Learned This Week: Thinking Big

Back in October I started working at an early stage startup and said to myself… “Self, you should write a blog post about what you learn each week.”  Well, I have been negligent to this point but now I’m ready.  Here we go!

Most startups I know take immense pride in “bootstrapping” and doing just enough to get investors and potential users excited.  We’re taking a very different tact and building for scale from day 1.  That means being extremely thorough in our product design, buying third party tools that will last, and hiring people who can execute in pre-launch, post-launch, and scaling worlds.   (LinkedIn talks about this philosophy here.)

  • Product Design:  Don’t just think through some of what might happen, think through all of what might happen. You may not want to build everything today but at least you’re making conscious decisions about what to wait on.
  • Third Party Tools:  Unless you absolutely have to, don’t buy software you’ll outgrow in six months.  Changing systems is painful, especially if you do it while you are trying to scale.
  • Hiring:  This one is tricky, but is really really important.  When you’re building something from scratch you need people who can create and move really fast.   But you don’t want people who won’t be able to handle the evolution of the job.  That may mean paying more, and hiring people with experience in the place you want to be, not just where you are today.


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