Knowing When You’re Ready to Scale

It was near the end of the third day of our annual planning meeting. Matt joined the meeting late, listened for a few minutes as we tightened up the language around our big objectives for the year. As he took control of the meeting, Matt described the opportunity in front of us and asked each of us to go to the board and write what we thought our revenue goal for the year should be. We’d just grown annual revenue from $8.6 million to just over $20 million. Our bottom-up planning approach suggested adding $15 million on top of the $11 million added last year would be challenging, but doable. Doubling was possible, at least according to the arithmetic, but in a professional services business that’s adding a lot of people and a lot of additional billing hours. “What should our target be? Can we double again? Are we ready to really scale this thing?”, I wondered.

What's in a number?

$1 billion. Yes, that’s a big number, but it’s not as valuable as $1 billion was in 1999 or even last year, so why the special name for private companies reaching this valuation? Brad Feld suggests the push for a billion dollar valuation may not be the best way to create long term value and may very well leave the employees and investors with much less