The Challenges of Scale-stage Companies

Scale-stage firms are new ventures making around $500K a month in recurring revenues. They’re big enough to attract the attention of market incumbents, but small enough to still innovate. That means they have some unique problems. I’m gathering a few hundred people in October to dig into these issues, and hopefully generate practical solutions.

Rate of innovation

Uber, for example, is a big company, but it’s embattled by regulators and taxi firms on one side, while new entrants try to create Blockchain-based, decentralized rideshare companies that take far less money from drivers.

Technical adoption

Pricing your services

Management changes

Consider, for example, how much you earn a month. At $100 a month it’s a hobby; at $10M a month you’re probably a public company complying with regulators and industry norms:

Similarly, as you grow the number of employees in your organization, things have to change on hiring and HR fronts:

And if you’re a B2C company, things change as you get more customers:

The management team doesn’t necessarily need to change at each stage of growth, but the company will shift dramatically.

New risks

Technologies like differential privacy, distributed ledgers to fight counterfeiting, and homomorphic encryption can help here, but it’s a constant race between new tech and the resulting constraints on that technology.

Measuring intangibles

Applying analytics and learning

ADT, for example, makes house alarms, but probably missed Amazon’s burgeoning home delivery business and Key product, which effectively reframed home security as “manage access to my private spaces.”

Launching the Scaletech discussion

We’re calling it the Scaletech Conference.

While the event is invite-only, we’ve reserved a few spots for qualified participants who want to attend. You can apply for one of those tickets on the event website.

What did I miss?



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Alistair Croll

Writer, speaker, accelerant. Intersection of tech & society. Strata, Startupfest, Bitnorth, FWD50. Lean Analytics, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, Just Evil Enough.