Startups and growing businesses talk about scale, sure. But when we think of scale, we often forget the trials and tribulations that scale brings, especially when it comes to talent. A few of us here at exaqueo had the opportunity to hear from LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy earlier this week talk about the difficulties of scaling his business.
And guess what? His challenges were primarily people related. In fact, LivingSocial went from 35 to 400 to 6000 employees in two years. I never thought I'd a founder talk about the challenges of labor laws. But alas, it's true. If you really want to scale, you can't ignore the people factor. From hiring a team to your own people skills--it could make or break you. Seriously.
1) ADP Report: SMBs Created 102,000 Jobs in September from Accounting Web
"The September 2013 ADP National Employment Report revealed that small businesses added 74,000 new jobs: those with between one and nineteen employees saw 46,000 new jobs, while companies with twenty to forty-nine employees gained 28,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses with fifty to 499 employees added 28,000 jobs."
2) LivingSocial CEO Tim O'Shaughnessy Says People and Culture Keys to Success from Tech Cocktail
"In January 2010, LivingSocial’s employee base of thirty-five could easily fit in one room. How things have changed in three short years. They now have over 6,000 employees throughout twenty-seven countries. They have officially reached the status of–in my own words–’huge-ass corporation’. Despite these impressive numbers, they still operate as a startup in many ways. In fact, O’Shaughnessy still considers the company a startup. One point that he came back to several times during his chat with Frank was that even today the company is still working things out and making mistakes."
3) Ten Reasons You'll Never Raise a Dime for Your Startup from Forbes
"Your Leadership Skills Are Lacking: Look in the mirror, because it starts with you. Trust me — you are more important than your idea. Every venture capitalist or angel (or bank) I know takes a hard look at the entrepreneur first. If your character, integrity or leadership is out of whack — you won’t get funded. So look hard and fix whatever is broken in that mirror."
4) Shifts Your Startup Needs to Make to Supercharge the Scaling Stage from BostInno
"At some point along this path, the startup begins to grow rapidly and all of a sudden your team in undermanned. You need more people, and you need them now. The rate of hiring speeds up; rather than welcoming a few people on to your team each year, you bring on a few each month. You no longer have the time to nurture your new employees and train them, resulting in lower quality hires and subsequently lower quality hiring processes. Now that your company is scaling–not just growing–you’ll continuously be hiring, so you need to get good at it."