Blitzscaling or Blissscaling?

Last October, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, launched a very interesting book Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies.

As mentioned by Reid Hoffman, Blitzscaling is inspired by the WWII metaphor blitzkrieg(a German term for “lightning war”), theorized by the British Army Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, and later applied with success by the Nazi German Army to roller-coast an invasion throughout the Soviet Union with an impressive speed. At the end, the invasion was stuck on the (in)famous 900-day siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg).

My book The Mystical Swing was inspired by the King George VI’s WWII speech, and to inspire my first LinkedIn article, I will use the Queen Elizabeth II’s Christmas speech, the daughter of the King George VI.

If Blitzscaling is inspired by the WWII metaphor blitzkrieg then my version of Blissscaling is inspired by the love metaphor of the 2016 Christmas Speech of Queen Elizabeth II.

The motto of Blitzscaling as per Reid Hoffman is “Blitzscaling is like assembling a plane faster then strapping on and igniting a set of jet engines, while still building the wings”, whereas the motto of Blissscaling is more inspired by the Queen Elizabeth II’s speech as “We can do small things with great love and love begins small but always grows”.

Let’s review the seven counterintuitive rules of Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman:

Rule #1: Embrace Chaos

Rule #2: Hire Ms. Right Now, Not Ms. Right

Rule #3: Tolerate “Bad” Management

Rule #4: Launch a Product That Embarrasses You

Rule #5: Let Fires Burn

Rule #6: Do Things That Don’t Scale (Throwaway Work)

Rule #7: Ignore Your Customers

Let’s compare with my seven principles of Blissscaling inspired by my favorite stories of Silicon Valley:

Principle #1: “Let the winds of freedom blow” the official seal of the Stanford University

Principle #2: “Success follows a willingness to try and fail, try and fail, and try and fail” explains Prof H.W. Brands regarding the California Gold Rush

Principle #3: “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” explains Thomas Edison, the America’s greatest inventor

Principle #4: “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” explains Nikola Tesla, the “Wizard of Menlo Park”

Principle #5: “Knowing that creativity is idiosyncratic leads to a mass principle” explains Prof. Michael Ray, the most creative man in Silicon Valley by Fast Company

Principle #6: “It was a new combination of previous elements, the elements were not new, the combination was new” explains Prof. William Duggan regarding how Google finally succeed

Principle #7: “Think different” explains Steve Jobs in his campaign to turnaround of Apple

I love metaphors and I will use different versions of a “Mystical Horse” as a metaphor to explain both Blitzscaling and Blissscaling.

To explain the concept of Blitzscaling, I will share the ancient story of Trojan Horse:

“The story of the Trojan War — the Bronze Age conflict between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece–straddles the history and mythology of ancient Greece and inspired the greatest writers of antiquity, from Homer, Herodotus and Sophocles to Virgil. Since the 19th-century rediscovery of the site of Troy in what is now western Turkey, archaeologists have uncovered increasing evidence of a kingdom that peaked and may have been destroyed around 1,180 B.C. — perhaps forming the basis for the tales recounted by Homer some 400 years later in the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”.

According to classical sources, the war began after the abduction (or elopement) of Queen Helen of Sparta by the Trojan prince Paris. Helen’s jilted husband Menelaus convinced his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, to lead an expedition to retrieve her. Agamemnon was joined by the Greek heroes Achilles, Odysseus, Nestor and Ajax, and accompanied by a fleet of more than a thousand ships from throughout the Hellenic world. They crossed the Aegean Sea to Asia Minor to lay siege to Troy and demand Helen’s return by Priam, the Trojan king.

The siege, punctuated by battles and skirmishes including the storied deaths of the Trojan prince Hector and the nearly-invincible Achilles, lasted more than 10 years until the morning the Greek armies retreated from their camp, leaving a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy. After much debate (and unheeded warnings by Priam’s daughter Cassandra), the Trojans pulled the mysterious gift into the city. When night fell, the horse opened up and a group of Greek warriors, led by Odysseus, climbed out and sacked the Troy from within.”

To explain the concept of Blissscaling, I will share the ancient story of Dalecarlian Horse:

“In the winter of 1716, while King Charles XII of Sweden waged war throughout most of Europe, many soldiers were quartered in private homes in the Mora area of Sweden. Because of the severe winter and the war, all suffered from lack of food and warmth. Tradition has it that one such soldier, in his spare time, carved a Dalecarlian Horse from some scrap wood in the home where he was staying. Before presenting it to the child of the home as a gift, he painted it a bright red. This was a readily available color in this area, being produced from the copper mine at the nearby community of Falun.

He decorated the horse with kurbit painting for the harness and saddle. The use of kurbits as decorative motifs on the horse came from the soldier’s deep religious background. It is the kurbit, or gourd, plant which grew up around Jonah as he sat outside the city of Ninevah, and protected him from the sun’s devastating rays.

In return for this bright toy, the woman of the house gave the soldier a bowl of soup. He made another horse and received another bowl of soup. When word of his success in bartering for food reached the other soldiers, they too began carving and painting horses in exchange for food. Thus the Dalecarlian Horse is credited in part with the army’s surviving the cruel winter.”

So, Blitzscaling (Trojan Horse) or Blissscaling (Dalecarlian Horse)?

Share your stories on comments! Thanks!