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Tech founders are rarely the right people to grow companies

Tech founders are rarely the right people to grow companies Tech founders are rarely the right people to grow companies
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Understand that it is rare, rare case when a tech [entrepreneur] is the right one to lead a [startup] for a long period of time.

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(...) in fact startups do have a different sort of DNA from other businesses. Google is not just a barbershop whose founders were unusually lucky and hard-working. Google was different from the beginning.

To grow rapidly, you need to make something you can sell to a big market. That's the difference between Google and a barbershop. A barbershop doesn't scale.

For a company to grow really big, it must:

(a) make something lots of people want, and

(b) reach and serve all those people.

Barbershops are doing fine in the (a) department. Almost everyone needs their hair cut. The problem for a barbershop, as for any retail establishment, is (b). A barbershop serves customers in person, and few will travel far for a haircut. And even if they did the barbershop couldn't accomodate them.

Writing software is a great way to solve (b), but you can still end up constrained in (a). If you write software to teach Tibetan to Hungarian speakers, you'll be able to reach most of the people who want it, but there won't be many of them. If you make software to teach English to Chinese speakers, however, you're in startup territory.

Most businesses are tightly constrained in (a) or (b). The distinctive feature of successful startups is that they're not.

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And that tells you that as a [founder], you have the skills to start companies from scratch, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have the skill to grow it till they're larger.

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