The 5 things you need to know to scale a startup
Carlos E. Espinal

When there’s a working business model, founders have to be managers (if not, someone else has to be)

Thanks for bringing this up, Carlos!

Lately, I’ve been focused on helping myself and my peers move from the startup mindset to one that is about operations.

Inspired by Michael E. Gerber’s E-Myth, there are 3 personalities in a founder:

  • The Entrepreneur: figures out what problem to solve
  • The Manager: makes sure the problem is solved
  • The Technician: the ‘talent’ that solves the problem

For a large part, startup folks come with the mindset of building software.

They’re super concerned about UX, app speed, aesthetics, and so on.

This is the mindset of the Technician. This is the mindset of a maker.

The problem here is when scale has to happen… the founder isn’t ready to run an organization that accommodates growth.

It’s inevitable that if a business is growing, there has to be more resources involved.

There’s more money, tools, and people to work with.

When a business model is set, the job to be done is to execute. It’s to focus on maximizing the foundation that was built to work and keep working.

It’s like coming up with a secret recipe for fried chicken. After mastering the right combination of herbs and spices, your job is to scale that up. Your job is to build franchises that will allow your food to reach more people.

Startup founders have a hard time switching to that Manager role. It’s too hard for many to accept that they won’t anymore focus on perfecting the formula.

It’s too hard for them to accept that if they spend 7 hours per day on engineering, no one else is there to coordinate the team and larger budget they have to scale.

Over to You

If you’re a founder and the business already has a replicable model for providing value and making money… your job is now to make sure that the working model is executed at a larger scale.

You’re not anymore an explorer. You’re now more of a manager who is supposed to maximize the recipe that you worked so hard to formulate.

Want to maintain your role as an artist or explorer? Hire someone else to run the company then.