Thoughts on 10x Growth

Scott Francis
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Jason Cohen, founder of WP Engine, has a brilliant take on the age old question of startups “How do we 10x?”.  As he says, “a great question when a startup is young. Does it always remain the right question?”

He takes you through the thought process of household names in software tech – Google, Yelp, Dropbox – and what if there just isn’t another 10x for these companies?  Then what?

And I really like his answer:

At some point, “just ploughing back into a 10x growth objective” is not the optimal strategy for making your so-called “dent in the universe.”

In fact, it is at that moment, when a company is applied to betterment instead of (only) biggerment, that the nature of a company’s true dent in the universe is determined.

I feel like this point of view is reasonably representative of how startup founders in Austin generally feel.  That growth is important but there are other important objectives that come after size and success have been achieved.  I don’t know if it is Austin that has this effect on the entrepreneurs, or the entrepreneurs that have this effect on Austin. Jason has a way of putting it into terms that startup founders and early team members will certainly relate to.

In his own way, Jason has been shaping startup thinking in Austin for many years now. WP Engine is one of the ways his vision is expressed. 

I’m happy that BP3 wasn’t founded or predicated on a certain growth projection. We’ve always treated growth as the side-effect of doing a whole lot of other things well, and nothing more than that.  If we take care of our customers and our team, and we produce great results, we’ll continue to have opportunities to grow for a long time to come.  But we’ve never used the phrase 10x except when looking backwards.  We’ve come a long way, but we’re still focused on what got us here – hard work to make our customers’ process excellence and customer experience a reality.