Premature Scaling Worries in a Startup

Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur about his startup. After about 10 minutes into his idea, I stopped him and said that he was having premature scaling and delivery worries. 95% of startups fail due to a lack of a sales and 5% fail due to a lack of being able to deliver what’s been sold (made up numbers but the idea is still true).

Here are some common premature scaling questions to look our for as an entrepreneur:

  • Should I choose Zendesk or Help.com for my support software? Have you sold anything yet? Go sell something first and use plain email until you’re overwhelmed with support inquires.
  • Where will I find good operations people? Have you sold anything yet? Good people are readily available once you have revenue.
  • How much money should we raise for this idea? Have you sold anything yet? Investors are unlikely to invest in the idea until the startup has some paying customers.

The next time you hear premature scaling worries, focus the conversation on building a repeatable customer acquisition process and defer the scaling conversation until it becomes a high class problem that’s on the near-term horizon.

What else? What are some other premature scaling worries in a startup?

3 thoughts on “Premature Scaling Worries in a Startup

  1. Great Post, David. The startup I’m with had done a good job of setting up a framework for this”
    -We’re currently in “viability mode” – proving that the idea will work and resonate with our customers. As a part of that, we hired sales people and are starting to do a marketing push (using Pardot, coincidentally.)
    -Next up is scaling the business (support, processes, project/program management, etc.)

    We do a pretty good job of keeping that in mind still (though the process people are starting to get twitchy and loud.)

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