The Startup Stages in Blitzscaling

Common startup stages like seed stage, early stage, and growth stage are frequently used but actually represent a wide range. For example, a startup with 10 employees and $1 million in revenue is classified as early stage while a 40 person startup with $4 million in revenue is also classified as early stage, yet those are very different companies. In the Blitzscaling course, they take company stages to a whole new level:

  • Stage 1: The Family
    • Employees: 1s
    • Revs: <$10M
    • (probably) a legal company
    • tiny, close-knit team with ability to only focus on product-market fit
    • no specialists, all doers, very adaptable
  • Stage 2: The Tribe
    • Employees: 10s
    • Revs: $10M+
    • a legal company, (most likely) some financing
    • full team with ability to launch product and engage customers (generally)
    • select specialists
  • Stage 3: The Village
    • Employees: 100s
    • Revs: $100M+
    • hiring first internal lawyers, HR team, real accounting
    • many teams with ability to work on parallel threads and projects
    • critical specialists, many functions
  • Stage 4: The City
    • Employees: 1,000s
    • Revs: $1B+
    • global company, many offices
    • teams of teams with ability to work in new products, new regions
    • many specialists
  • Stage 5: The Nation
    • Employees: 10,000s
    • Revs: $5B+
    • huge, global company
    • essentially multiple companies with ability to play multiple product-market fits
    • armies of specialists

The next time you want to do an exercise in thinking big and long term, walk through the process of what it will take to achieve each of the Blitzscaling stages.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the Blitzscaling stages?

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