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Paul Graham explains that startups take off because the founders make them take off. In the beginning hustle is a big part of what starts growth.  You shouldn't worry about scalability in the early days.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 7 years ago #

    Despite the title, this is a surprisingly good article for early stage startups. The key point is that we all want a rocket ship where we just pour fuel on the growth fire. In all my startups, Dropbox was the only one that grew without a ton of marketing effort. All other startups (LogMeIn, Lookout, Eventbrite, Uproar...) required monumental effort to get the fly wheel spinning. And many of the things we did in the early days were not very scalable. Definitely worth a read for startups.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 7 years ago #

    This article truly is a (relatively) undiscovered gem.
    The whole "going viral" thing is so sexy that it gets all the attention. In all of that hoopla it tends to get missed that there is a whole foundation of activities that provide the springboard for authentic growth (which is a topic Sean has written about).

  • JO

    Jeremy O'Hanlon

    over 6 years ago #

    This stuff is great and smacks straight into the face of most entrepreneurs perceptions of growth. Every founder should read this first; it encourages to take note of the little things, and appreciate they're productive.

  • CC

    Chris Conrey

    over 7 years ago #

    This is one of the articles I share with anyone who wants good advice on growing any business. It's about putting in all the effort to get the ball rolling.

  • IK

    Ivan Kirigin

    over 7 years ago #

    We've discussed this internally at my new startup YesGraph. I think one important caveat is that something isn't good just because it isn't scalable. You want to measure impact and double down on what works, without concern for scalability at the start.

  • BB

    Brian Barela

    over 7 years ago #

    Just shared this post with a startup founder and it changed the way he viewed customer acquisition during the early stage of development almost immediately.

    He now sees those individual emails, tweets, and communications with early users and visionaries as extremely important, rather than something to pass the time while the marketing campaign rolls out.

  • DZ

    Dave Zirnhelt

    about 6 years ago #

    Thanks for referring me to this article Sean. Just moved this to the top of our to-do list. Love having that insight into the early days of well known success stories.

  • JC

    Jeffrey Chew

    over 7 years ago #

    might be the most well reasoned post on start up customer acquisition and service (otherwise known as the Customer Journey) i've read.