The first mistake that many startups make is thinking that a good idea is the secret to success. While a good idea is essential, what is more important is the scale-up of the startup, according to LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
The world has begun to realize the value of the entrepreneurial Silicon-Valley startup over the past 20 to 30 years; Hoffman explains that people have begun to realize that “it’s good to build a small team that is willing to take a bold risk, to assemble some knowledge and some capital and really take a run.” However, most people have not realized that true success requires something else. Since the modern world operates in a market that is accelerated by the omnipresence of the internet, a great solution has to be supplemented with the means to expand your business at a high pace.
As Hoffman observed, “what most people don’t appreciate about why so many great companies come out of Silicon Valley is the knowledge of how to do scale-up. It’s not just that you build an app and everything works out. First mover means first mover to scale. If you don’t play the move-fast game, you can frequently lose out to someone who is.”
Hoffman dubbed this blitzscaling and brings Facebook as the prime example of this. Facebook was built by Mark Zuckerberg and his company into the world’s most popular social network in a relatively short span of 6 years. Although blitzscaling requires some technical know-how to be executed properly, “most centrally, it’s about scaling an organization,” says Hoffman. In other words, once you start trying to build a business and expand the number of hands on deck, you need to simultaneously evolve your product, as there will be companies doing something similar to your business for a similar price.
The challenge is that the dynamics of the organization changes at each level as a dozen employees turns into hundreds into thousands. At each stage, the hiring, communication, and management will differ. Ultimately, business is a race of who gets to the finish line first with the most. The best idea is already out there; the winner will be the one who can execute most quickly and efficiently.

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