what-is-blitzscaling

What Is Blitzscaling And Why It Matters

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies is a book written by Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn Co-founder) and Chris Yeh. 

At its core, the concept of Blitzscaling is about growing at a rate that is so much faster than your competitors that makes you feel uncomfortable. In short, Blitzscaling is prioritizing speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty. 

The name Blitzscaling comes from a World War II association with the term “blitzkrieg” or lightning war, where the attacker risks it all to either win or lose the battle.

Understanding Blitzscaling might means having a framework that can help your small organization to scale up or your large company to also benefit from a new and reinvigorated acceleration, which is critical to survival in a market that changes at a faster pace.

Let’s start from what’s Blitzscaling is not.

Blitzscaling is not growth hacking

Confusing Blitzscaling with growth hacking might be easy. There is a critical difference. Blitzscaling looks at massive growth which is also accompanied by high uncertainty. As pointed out by Reid Hoffman in an HBR interview:

Blitzscaling is what you do when you need to grow really, really quickly. It’s the science and art of rapidly building out a company to serve a large and usually global market, with the goal of becoming the first mover at scale.

Therefore three features of Blitzscaling are:

  • grow really quickly
  • usually at a global scale
  • gain the first mover of scale advantage

Thus, rather than a process of experimentation with the aim of testing what works and what doesn’t efficiently, Blitzscaling is about being all in!

Blitzscaling is not a magic formula

Rather than a magic formula that works in each scenario, Blitzscaling follows a framework that revolves around three key ingredients:

  • business model innovation
  • management innovation
  • growth strategy

Those three key ingredients of Blitzscaling.

What’s Blitzscaling then? There are a few key elements I think are worth highlighting.

Related: What Is a Business Model? 30 Successful Types of Business Models You Need to Know

Speed in the face of efficiency

This is a critical difference between scale up and Blitzscale. The former happens in a scenario of certainty and efficiency.

You allocated the resources necessary to test what works and what doesn’t with fewer assumptions as possible.

You have wider margins to test those things up to focus on what works. In a way instead, Blitzscaling is about survival.

Thus, max speed is everything, because if you don’t reach the scale, you might be dead any time soon. That is why efficiency takes a back seat.

Blitzscaling is an uncertain process

As Blitzscaling is an uncertain process, it might also require massive resources as it is a sort of calculated gamble where many mistakes will be made.

Capital will be a crucial element to recover from those mistakes. Making a mistake, also big ones are part of Blitzscaling. In short, those who take the risks of Blitzscaling are able to also amass the rewards by building multi-billion companies at global scale.

RelatedBlitzscaling Business Model Innovation Canvas In A Nutshell

The reward is the first-scaler advantage

One key reward of Blitzscaling is the first-scaler advantage. The first who succeed at Blitzscaling take all or most of the market which gives them a lasting advantage hard to overcome. 

What are the stages of Blitzscaling?

The main stages of Blitzscaling usually are:

  • Family-scale, up to 9 employees
  • Tribe, defined in 10s employees
  • Village in 100s of employees
  • City in 1000s of employees
  • Nation in 10,000s employees

While this is a simplification, it is crucial to understand that a company which is Blitzscaling will go through several stages, each of which has differentiating features. For instance, in some stages financing might be the most important aspect, while in others building the winning team is.

Blitzscaling: A must-read

blitzscaling-book-cover

Blitzscaling is a must-read for anyone in the entrepreneurial world – I believe.

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Creator of FourWeekMBA.com | Head of Business Development at WordLift.io | International MBA

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