Blitzscaling

Source: Harvard Business Review Published: April 2016

Source: Harvard Business Review
Published: April 2016

Blitzscaling

Circulated: December 5, 2019

  • Definition: the science and art of rapidly building out a company to serve a large market to become the first mover at scale. Speed is prioritized over efficiency.

  • When would I do this? If you want to become the first company to achieve critical scale and build enduring market leadership.

  • Why now? Software has a natural affinity with blitzscaling because the marginal costs of serving any size market are virtually zero.

  • Who coined the name? Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and PayPal.

  • Where is the name from? The World War II term “blitzkrieg” which was the theory that if you carried only the supplies you absolutely need, you could move very, very fast, surprise your enemies, and win.

  • What’s the downside? You win big or lose big. If a start-up determines that it needs to move very fast, it will take on far more risk than a company going through the normal, rational process of scaling up.