This is the latest from the 'Technology-enabled Blitzscaling' classes at Stanford. When Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner sit down and talk about how you go about scaling a business then some every interesting things come out of it.
Jeff Weiner joined LinkedIn when it was an interesting 350 person late-stage start-up and has turned it into a global phenomenon with thousands of people and a market cap of >$30 billion. All this in a little over 7 years.
A lot of credit goes to him obviously, but credit also must go to Reid Hoffman and the Board who let this new guy come in and assume full leadership responsibility - even when some of the changes he made went against their instincts.
When your company is 15 people, if you want to hold an all hands meeting, you say “let’s talk.” When your company is 150 people you have to call everyone into a cafeteria a set aside a time to do so. When you are 1,500 people spread across multiple locations, you can’t just go to the cafeteria anymore. If your mission and vision aren’t codified — a vacuum will be created and people in your company will start to project into the vacuum the way they think things should be done. This is the reason why hyper-growth companies go off of the rails. It’s much harder to keep people on the same page the larger you get.