Analysis & Opinions - apolitical

The Original Blitzscaler? What the Public Sector Can Teach High-growth Startups

| Jan. 31, 2019

Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh recently published Blitzscaling, a book that uses private sector examples from Silicon Valley companies to provide advice on how to quickly scale organisations.

The authors describe blitzscaling as "a strategy and set of techniques for driving and managing extremely rapid growth that prioritise speed over efficiency in an environment of uncertainty."

In short, it's the deliberate prioritisation of impact over efficiency or quality. This includes, for example, accepting less refined HR practices, customer service and product testing in order to achieve "lightning" growth. In the private sector, these strategies, despite their shortcomings, are necessary in markets where there is only room for one or two large providers and where the "first-scaler" will gain a key competitive advantage.

Hoffman and Yeh didn't include governments among their examples of blitzscalers. It's hard to blame them. The typical stereotype paints government as inefficient and behind the times.

However, a closer look at governments shows that there are many parallels between private and public sector blitzscalers. What follows is a review of how governments approach blitzscaling and how their approach may inform private sector attempts to manage "rapid growth."...

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Eaves, David and Kevin Frazier.“The Original Blitzscaler? What the Public Sector Can Teach High-growth Startups.” apolitical, January 31, 2019.

The Authors