Review of “Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies” by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh

  1. Blitzscaling is about sacrificing efficiency in the name of speed. The goal is to scale and be the winner in a winner take all market, i.e., be the company that enjoys monopoly profits.
  2. In the process, you need to move nimbly, like a “pirate.” Such movement might mean that you ignore some laws and regulations. The authors caveat that one should never do anything unethical, but they claim that ignoring bad laws is ethical. Who gets to determine whether a law is bad is left unsaid.
  3. You must also “tolerate bad management” during this time. You don’t have time for anything else.
  4. You must only fight the urgent fires and ignore everything else. Explicitly, they advise that you can often ignore customer service as long as you are still growing exponentially and claim that that’s what they did at PayPal.
  5. In the interest of hiring quickly (without even wasting time to interview), they positively talk about a strategy employed by a partner company: only hire those within current employees’ networks and with top brand (college) names; don’t bother interviewing for skills.
  6. When discussing blitzscaling in China, the authors praise the common Chinese startup’s 9/9/6 model (work from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week), as well as one startup’s moving all their employees to a hotel to remove “distractions of everyday life.”

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I study CS/Econ and applications to socio-technical issues. Blog about books and technical issues. PhD Stanford, BS/BA UT Austin. gargnikhil.com

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