Each month, Acceleration Economy Analyst Tony Uphoff joins Cloud Wars Live for a recurring segment. “Uphoff on Industry” explores the innovations, upheavals, and breakthroughs reshaping the world’s biggest markets. In this episode, Bob asks Tony to share his thoughts on how to scale a business today, which Tony says is one of the most challenging things for executives to accomplish.
Episode 37 | How to Scale a Business Today
The Big Themes:
- The need for speed: scaling a business is more difficult than ever, because the rapid pace of change across industries requires leaders to make big decisions more quickly than ever before—and still get the decisions right.
- The primacy of customers: Tony channels Walter White of Breaking Bad, and says that today, customers are “the ones who knock,” meaning they’re dictating the terms of deals and services to vendors, not the other way around.
- The upside of friction: Generally, friction is seen as an impediment to scale, but Tony says that some forms of friction are good, in that they remind leaders to take a breath, look around, and be sure things are working well.
The Big Quote: “In a funny way, it’s such an obvious observation of ‘oh, okay, the customer is in control.’ … It is truly profound, Bob, and I think if I was to point to one thing that can help in the scale on the seller side for technology companies—if I can point to one thing that could hold some of those companies back—it’s a lack of understanding of that profound shift.”
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