Become a business that will stand the test of time
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
It’s remarkable to me how many entrepreneurs and companies reach out to us, expressing their interest in making the next big overnight success.
You know, they want to be the next Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, MyFitnessPal, Buffer, Slack, and the list can keep going on and on…
Here is the thing.
These aren’t overnight successes.
Sure, some of these companies grew quickly, but look at their records, and the founders’ paths were leading up to them.
These companies had many interactions, their leaders many missteps and failures, leading up to their growth.
Biz Stone, one of the founders of Twitter, said it best with his famous quote, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
For context, Twitter didn’t start as Twitter. It was originally a podcasting company called Odeo, turned SMS service to communicate with small groups, into an application called TWTTR, until eventually, becoming the Twitter you know today.
Why is this important?
It’s because the best companies on the planet do focus on growth, and growth isn’t a bad thing. However, the best companies on the globe focus on methodical, scalable, and consistent growth; not a hyper blast into the stratosphere.
If you’re a CEO, it doesn’t matter if you’re an enterprise, Fortune 500, Inc 1000 or a brand new startup; you need to achieve one thing and one thing only, measurable growth each and every day.
If you do that, imagine where you’ll be one year from now, five years from now, ten years from now.
Growth is also much more manageable this way.
You won’t hire too quickly, creating an exorbitant burn rate that burns your ass if you hit a slow-down. Look up at the original demise at Zirtual (before it was acquired after being shut down by the fantastic team at Startups.co).
You won’t begin sacrificing quality over quantity to keep up with speed, translating to poor customer service, terrible products, and less-than-ideal solutions.
You’ll be able to continue focusing on those that matter the most, your team, your clients, your vendors, your partners, your friends in the business.
You’ll be able to make a name for yourself and the impact you want to make in your industry, the right way.
You’ll have a company that instead of inflated growth, grew through real results, actual revenue, methodically and well prepared in the processes that it needs to succeed for the long haul.
Sure, you can name a few superstars that grew up quickly in the spotlight, but you can name many more products, services, and companies that have developed over time. In fact, you can probably name more businesses that blew up and imploded soon after that like a supernova too. Think MySpace, Vine, Rdio, Pets.com, Aereo, Blab, Digg, and the list can keep going on and on.
Businesses that put scale over what actually mattered, foundation. Foundation of a great team, great processes, great quality, great culture, great support, and great customers.
Grow as quick as you can, but do not grow so fast that you ignore everything else that matters. It will catch up to bite you in the ass later, and ultimately, lead to your demise. Instead, be a company of substance. Be a business that stands the test of time, and will continue to exist long after you’re done, gone and forgotten about. That is what matters.