There is a difference between success and growth. It used to be that growth was the result of success, but now, – companies are equating growth with success, and by doing so, they are taking risks in delaying the realization of their business model,- arguably the most important part of success. The reality of the Growth-Success conundrum is that growth is half the success. The other half is really revenue.
Thomas Eisenmann, professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School teaches the management of ventures and startups. He recently published his famous annual compilation of best blog posts on startups into a book/ebook entitled Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts. O’Reilly was generous in their willingness to publish it, while donating all of their profits to Endeavor Global, a global organization that fosters entrepreneurship. So, if you click on that link and buy the book, you would be doing yourself a favor and helping a good cause. His seminal collection has been an inspiration for me, and is a must read for any entrepreneur. Tom just wrote an excellent article, Head Games: Ego and Entrepreneurial Failure (original link, and reposted here with permission), where he talks about the causes of entrepreneurial failures, whether they are ego-driven or coming from other reasons, and he ends by suggesting how to “fail right”. In the article, Tom draws on recent blog posts from Mark Suster, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Steve Blank, Brad Feld, Jerry Colona, etc…and puts it all into a cohesive and practical context. This is a MUST Read, let alone for the extensive links in it.
Ben Horowitz penned a convincing, but speculative prognosis on the outcome of Zynga’s recent announcement to install outsider Don Mattrick as CEO. In case you haven’t read it, here’s is the article Shared Command, so you can get the full context of my counter-argument. Basically, Ben gave it the proverbial DOA summation (dead on arrival), on the premise that “Shared Command” doesn’t work, based on his experience and complemented by anecdotal examples. But I am of another opinion on this potential outcome, and I’m basing my assessment on a depth of operational experience,- in my case with small, medium and large companies over the past 31 years. The summary of my viewpoint is: this seems more like Command Partitioning, with a Divide and Conquer approach.