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To Large To Fast

March 25, 2009

This post correlates with Seth Godin’s post today called ‘The right size‘. In his post he explains that so many companies are failing because they have not scaled back their business appropriately; he then highlights certain companies that have scaled up appropriately. What really got me thinking was when he said:

It’s tempting to get bigger. But is bigger better? In many cases, it’s worse, particularly when you can leverage reliable systems that are cheaper and faster and more stable in the outside world. If you can make your product better by assembling it yourself, you should. But if that action makes it worse, why do it?

This statement made me think of a particular situation where a company has grown to fast.

The beauty of internet companies are their ability to adapt quickly to market pressures. When working in online gaming communities, people expect the newest and sleekest technologies. They want community features and personalization settings.

During the growth and acquisition of several other casual gaming companies, we have added offices across the globe in an attempt to market locally, lower overhead and build better technology. With this we have sacrificed an enormous amount of efficiency. There is no accountability from programmers when they are in a bed while the business operates. Ego’s have also created a backlog of projects; instead of purchasing existing technology, it must be built by our team, which leads for broken sites, insufficient admin systems and an influx of costly fixes.

Take Seth Godin’s advice, know when to grow, don’t just add jobs and offices because that’s what you’re supposed to do. Create jobs when necessary; if you can’t fill up a persons full work week, then it’s not necessary.

This may have been a little bit ‘rant-ish’, but I can’t apologize for that.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2009 3:11 PM

    While I agree with Seth there is another factor impacting getting it right. Look at the companies that are penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to asking team members to do 5 jobs. As I travel around and talk with a cross section of employees in the tech industry, I’m hearing how people are doing more, getting paid less and that they are stressed at home and in the office. How productive can this be? Looks like it’s very difficult to get it just right!

    • March 25, 2009 3:16 PM

      I agree, there must be a delicate balance, and it seems that it is different for each company. I worked for website that had 10 people and it was to much, but I’ve worked in marketing departments of 12 and it was to little.

      I guess you just need to know your team.

  2. March 26, 2009 6:13 PM

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

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