In today’s Spark, I want to write an observation of what I have seen as a natural progression of problems as companies grow.
I will note that I have not personally seen every problem under the sun and have primarily work with bootstrapped companies with teams ranging from a handful to around 100 (at the time of this writing).
However, I do believe there are common principles of problems, or how about we call them ‘opportunities to solve’, that companies face as they grow.
Here are the problems in ascending order…
In the beginning, most ‘opportunities’ are centered around sales and marketing. (Assuming you have product-market fit and don’t run out of cash.)
The next level, arguably, is centered around creating repeatable processes and technology that facilitate activities in the business.
I mentioned the previous level is arguable because you may have put this next level in its place: managing people. More often than not entrepreneurs tend to hire and THEN create the process after.
Either way, this stage contains its own series of opportunities revolving around communication. Not just “slack message” communication but communication within the organization to focus on vision, focus on initiatives, keep track of progress, transparency across teams, and so on…
Then we reach a stage in business ‘opportunities to solve’ that affects everyone involved, including top performers on the team, the founder, leadership, and the executive team: mindset.
I don’t mean to gloss over other problems that may come up, that’s not my intention. These are simply themes of ‘opportunities to solve’ that I have naturally seen in the growth from young to adult organizations.
How would you organize the ‘opportunities to solve’ that you’ve seen?