Doug Tatum: No Man’s Land

Doug Tatum, author of the book No Man’s Land, was the guest speaker yesterday at an intimate EO event in Norcross where he talked about his recent research and book. This No Man’s Land is unrelated to my No Man’s Land post from two days ago and is a complete title coincidence. Doug did a great job at outlining his experience building a company from scratch to 1,000+ employees and revealed some of the insights he learned about entrepreneurial companies. The firm he built was an outsourced CFO firm for fast-growing businesses, so his experience makes him uniquely qualified to be an expert on the subject.

I have not had the chance to read the book but Doug went through a PowerPoint presentation that hit on the major points. The idea behind No Man’s Land is that when a company reaches 20 employees, it has outgrown being completely dependent on the founder(s), and has entered a period where it isn’t big enough to have scale, which is typically at 100 – 150 employees. This transition period from 20 to 100 employees is the most difficult, with many companies never making through it.

A big theme in the book is how companies outgrow the four Ms:

  • Market
  • Management
  • Model
  • Money

Doug did a great job presenting thoughtful evidence along with interesting anecdotes. I’ll leave it to you to read the book and learn more.

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