No you can’t “have it all.” You can have two things, but not three.
Idealistic founders believe they will break the mold when they scale, and not turn into a “typical big company.” By which they mean: Without stupid rules that assume employees are dumb or evil, without everything taking ten times longer than it should, without wall-to-wall meetings, without resorting to hiring anything less than the top 1% of the talent pool, and so on.
Why do they never succeed? What are the fundamental forces that transform organizations at scale?
I happened to be sitting on the tarmac, delayed, when a tweet came in asking for some ideas for what to do on a company retreat that would be strategic.
In the confines of six square feet of personal space, I sent a few answers.
These are useful exercises any time!
Though inevitable, change is uncomfortable and exhausting. Even we who relish change, who love bragging that “it’s hard but every day is different,” reach a breaking point after years of adaptation and fake-gleefully exclaiming that “failure is how you learn!” Yeah, but all this learning is fricking tiring.
How do you manage change?
Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer.
Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers. We don’t build MVPs at WP Engine.
This is the right way.