Addressing the challenges of rapid growth

N°280b – Synopsis (8p.) – Growth
Addressing the challenges of rapid growth
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When pursuing growth, the key to success resides not only in the conquest of the market, but also in the capacity to rapidly ramp up the organization. Discover the approaches of the “hypergrowth” champions.


Amazon, Airbnb, Facebook, LinkedIn, PayPal, Uber, WeChat… The last decade has seen numerous examples of companies with an extraordinary growth rate. Founded in 2008, Airbnb reached a million bookings at the beginning of 2011. Two years later, the company had opened nine offices around the world and accrued fifteen million bookings! WeChat was born at the end of 2010. Less than two years later, the application had seduced 100 million users. It tripled this number in the following year!

However atypical, the journeys of these companies provide enlightening insights for numerous economic players. Indeed, not everyone can achieve such growth rates. These feats come from new companies from the digital revolution, proposing a dematerialized service; most are supported by massive investments, whose returns remain to be seen. Yet, at the beginning, these young start-ups proposed an offer that was largely confidential, far from the accomplishment level they have reached today. They were surrounded by many competitors, equally determined to achieve market success. How did they manage to come out on top? How were they able to sustain such a development pace?

Foremost, what made these champions successful is their obsession with growth. This is not simply the consequence of a successful offering. In fact, it’s the opposite phenomenon that happened: because they were able to attract users more rapidly than other companies, they became the obvious choice. Why join a different professional network to LinkedIn when all our acquaintances are there? By targeting market share as a priority, these players made choices that were sometimes counter-intuitive, an interesting lesson for companies that aim at market leadership. Yet, the conquest of the market is only one side of the story. Indeed, many also had to address the challenge of rapidly growing from 10 to 100, then to 1,000 and ultimately to more than 10,000 employees! Anticipating the way to reach these progressive milestones is one of the keys to success for any company determined to grow.

In this synopsis:
- Anticipating the organizational challenges of growth
- Giving the organization the means to rapidly grow
- Maintaining the entrepreneurial dynamic when the organization grows

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