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“Most value creation takes place not at the startup phase, when new companies are formed but at the “scale-up” phase, when a select number of these companies grow at dizzying pace. This growth is so rapid that I believe it deserves a new term to describe it: Blitzscaling.” -Reid Hoffman
What’s the secret to starting and scaling massively valuable companies like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb?
For most of the world, “Silicon Valley” and “startup” might as well be synonymous. Yet explaining Silicon Valley’s success at producing a disproportionate number of iconic companies by saying that the region’s entrepreneurs are good at starting companies is deceptively incomplete.
Simply starting a company is necessary but insufficient for creating massive value. To reap the full benefits, a region has to allow those startups to grow up into “scaleups.” Silicon Valley accounts for only a small portion of the world's startups, and yet 46% of the world’s most dominant technology companies come from Silicon Valley.
What truly sets Silicon Valley apart in its ability to support the growth of scaleups is not its fruitful research labs, or its supply of smart entrepreneurs and savvy venture capitalists (though technological innovation and human and financial capital are indeed necessary). It’s the specific techniques those entrepreneurs and investors have learned to build dominant companies from those key ingredients. These techniques, while historically easiest to apply in Silicon Valley, are universal, and can work in any geography, and for any industry.
The core secret is Blitzscaling: scaling up at such relentless and dizzying speed that knocks the competition right out of the water. Inspired by their popular class of the same name at Stanford Business School, Hoffman and Yeh offer companies and entrepreneurs a framework for Blitzscaling their way to massive value. Readers will learn how to design business models for igniting lightning-fast growth, strategies for hiring and managing at each stage at the company’s life cycle, and how to weather the challenges that arise from the breakneck growth of their organization.
Drawing on Hoffman’s experiences as an executive at PayPal and co-founder at LinkedIn, helping numerous startups scale up to billion-dollar businesses as a leading investor at Greylock, and the stories of “Masters of Scale” like Mark Zuckerberg, Brian Chesky, Sheryl Sandberg, and others, Hoffman and Yeh show readers the best way to quickly take their company from scrappy startup to global giant.
About the Authors
Reid Hoffman is a partner at Greylock Partners. He co-founded LinkedIn in 2003 in his living room; it now has more than 200 million members in 200 countries and territories around the world. He joined Greylock Partners in 2009. He serves on the boards of Airbnb, Convoy, Edmodo, and Microsoft, in addition to some as yet unannounced startups. He leads the Greylock Discovery Fund, which invests in seed-stage entrepreneurs and companies; the fund is an extension of his prior angel investing, which included Facebook, Flickr, Last.fm, and Zynga. Prior to LinkedIn and Greylock. He served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was a founding board member. He believes strongly in the ability of entrepreneurship and technology to improve the world, and serves on the boards of Biohub, Kiva, Endeavor, and DoSomething.org. He co-authored the best-selling books The Startup of You and The Alliance. He earned his master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and his bachelor’s degree with distinction in symbolic systems from Stanford University.
Chris Yeh is an entrepreneur, writer, and mentor. He helps interesting people do interesting things. Yeh earned two Bachelor's degrees with distinction from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is co-author of the New York Times best-seller The Alliance, with Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.