Things Take Time

Things Take Time

Things Take Time.

We often overestimate the changes that can occur in the short term but underestimate the changes that result in the long term.

Start-ups and businesses often take 10+ years to develop before they make a splash. Yes, we read of Uber and other startups growing to ~$50BB in five years. Or Bytedance, here in China, with half again as large a valuation in half the time. Yes, we read of Inc. Magazine fastest growing companies, citing 2143% year-over-year growth.

Are these great targets to shoot for? Maybe. Maybe not.

Do I admire huge companies? Definitely I do. They are complex and challenging to run. They can provide services or products at huge scale and make a massive change in the world.

But this is true only when the vast majority of customers they serve have phenomenal experiences when interacting with that company. To serve 10,000 customers and have 40% churn may still be more profitable than 1,000 customers with 95% churn.

The latter is actually a business for its customers: an organization that fulfills its promises to its customers. To me, the former is clearly not delivering the services a customer desires. It is a charade.

The former may be more profitable. The latter more estimable. It’s a really tough choice. Though they probably aren’t incompatible, at the margins, a choice must be made to prioritize one over the other.

What we’re seeing every day in the news are companies that sought 1BB users in 4 years as their goal. Maybe they’ve achieved that goal. But they’ve certainly cut a few corners along the way. I also can’t even begin to fathom how difficult it is to run an organization of that magnitude. Keeping 300,000 people or millions of customers on the same page must be a terrific challenge.

A company should grow at the rate that best supports the needs of its customers at the deserving price. Not at the rate that causes them further expense.

We’re at a really critical moment right now at LearningLeaders. We’ll need to think very carefully about our next moves.

Things Take Time.