Arrow icon
Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
Learn more about Joggo

A Summary of

‘Give Away Your Legos’ and Other Commandments for Scaling Startups

by
First Round Review
View original

Scaling

If you don’t manage to scale proactively, you can end up in trouble. Scaling is like building one of those huge, complex towers out of Legos. 1. As you start to scale, everyone has so many Legos to choose from – many jobs. 2. You start to add people to help you build the Lego tower. The result: People get nervous. A week ago, someone might have told you they hate their Legos and want to get rid of them. But as soon as you hire someone else, they suddenly want to hang on to all of them.

It is key to start giving away Legos

  • Giving away responsibility/jobs — giving away the part of the Lego tower you started building — is the only way to move on to building bigger and better things.
  • Adding people doesn’t mean there’s less work for the people that are already there. It means that the entire company can do more. To get employees through the job-change anxiety:
  • Normalize what people are experiencing.
  • Help them picture the reality of their next job (preferably a larger project) and the size of the opportunity.

The Phases of Scale and How to Approach Them

30 to 50 Employees - Make a list of the qualities you want your company to embody. Who do you want to be? How do you want it to feel to work there? - Write down what you’re doing in the world. What’s your vision for the change you want to make? - Communicate these things again and again and again. Through all the channels. All the time. You can’t over-communicate these ideas. 50 to 200 Employees - Focus on hiring quality people rather than speed. Don’t lower your bar because you need to grow faster. It will come back to bite you. - Fire people. Just do it! 200 to 750 Employees - Hire amazing leaders as early as you can and help them grow their capabilities as the company grows. Over 750 Employees - Problem: people start to act in their own self-interest rather than the best interest of the company - Prioritize principles over process. - Keep giving away your Legos! And tell everyone around you to do the same. It’s going to be okay.

Related content
See all posts
Arrow icon
June 27, 2007
/
Marc Andreessen
/
Marc Andreessen

The Moby Dick theory of big companies

Read more
/
/
NfX

The New Rules of Growth vs. Profitability

Read more
September 14, 2020
/
David Sacks
/
Bottom Up

Product First

Read more
/
/
First Round Review

Hypergrowth and The Law of Startup Physics  

Read more
June 18, 2007
/
Marc Andreessen
/
Marc Andreessen

Why not to do a startup

Read more