Watching a Startup’s Core Engine Grow

Continuing with the idea that if you can get to 10 happy customers, you can get to 100, there’s also another element that’s fun to watch: the growth of the core engine. The core engine is the main product value and all the human elements that support it. Think of the customer count growing, the recurring revenue growing, and departments like product, engineering, sales, and customer success growing. While there are bumps along the way, the experience of going from 2 to 10 to 25 to 50 to 100 employees is incredibly rewarding.

Here are a few thoughts on watching a startup’s core engine grow:

  • Know that at each stage (seed, early, growth) the entrepreneurs need to reinvent themselves
  • Most entrepreneurs that scale fast feel they under invested in building a talent pipeline of future hires
  • Metrics wise, keep an eye on three areas: financial, employee happiness, and customer happiness
  • Make sure there’s no leaky bucket
  • Ensure culture is the top priority

Watching a startup’s core engine grow is a great experience, especially all the new learnings and getting to know the awesome people that join the ride.

What else? What are some other considerations when watching a startup’s core engine grow?

One thought on “Watching a Startup’s Core Engine Grow

  1. Okay, I’m very new in this despite my MBA being three years back, but in this domain one never stops learning. These are extremely interesting articles. I think what’s also very important is passion for the domain. I’ve heard entrepreneurs looking for niches (most of them), but they put the problem wrong: they’re looking for a niche to make money, instead of looking for a customer need to cover. They’re looking for a way to get rich instead of looking for a way to be useful. Maybe passion that will kep one work long AND effective hours is key. Mine is marketing for authors (good authors that I hand-select). I write myself and take it very seriously, but I support others because they are special (that’s my niche). Got one with super humor a la Sherlock Holmes that makes you laugh till you cry for example. Instead of looking for a cow to milk, I’m looking for special gems.

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