Back when I was a young pup in the commercial world, one did not think much about “scaling”. Instead, you were concerned with understanding your market. If that market was local, you didn’t scale. If it was national, you scaled to that level. If it was global? Well, not many businesses back then were really global. Energy, raw materials, and a few others. Starting an enterprise to go global would have sounded like a fool’s errand.
Well, the digital revolution has changed all that. Tech goes global quickly, especially software based products and services. And everything else can have a global component using the connections that you find on the web. So suddenly, “scaling” becomes a rather fascinating challenge.
Well, how do we understand “scaling” as a challenge. Google made it look easy. But Rao and Sutton have a new book out “Scaling to Excellence” that argues this is an illusion. They also offer this as a MOOC. Very interesting.