What Is Scale? Hint: Social Enterprises Don’t Have To Be Huge To Reach It
Monday, March 31, 2014
A couple of years ago, I was working on a strategic planning project for a start-up that got hung up on the idea of “scale.”
The founders were thinking globally, but meeting locally – in a windowless conference room, with lousy coffee, a couple of laptops, and no employees. We made of lot of lists, blew through a lot of Powerpoint, did many meetings. The ideas were fantastic, the potential market of those who needed the proposed services were in the tens of millions, and the business plan was sleek. But they couldn’t start small enough to prove the model. It had to be national right away, because the idea was so strong.
Everyone insisted on one thing. It had to “scale.” (Spoiler alert: it never did).