This Counterintuitive Strategy Helps One Scaleup Retain 100% Of Its Clients
September 1, 2016
Cuban’s Investment; Hsieh’s Regrets; 5-Hour Workday; 3 Ways to Love; 100% Customer Retention
September 8, 2016

Airbnb’s Job; Strange Brain of Climber; Slower Wins; 75 Foot Vision Wall

"…insights for scaleups"


The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler – from the book "46 Rules of Genius"

PulsePoint's 75 Foot Wall — Core Values, Purpose, Brand Promises, and Priorities – all from the Scaling Up "Vision Summary" document, are colorfully displayed where all the employees can see them – photo below, but first…

Airbnb's "Jobs to be done" — this remains one of the most powerful strategy questions – a question Harvard's strategist Clayton Christensen coined. This HBR article walks you through how Airbnb thinks about this question – and just like Clayton's milk shake example sent a few weeks ago, there are some surprise "jobs" customers need Airbnb to do which is why they are winning in the market vs. nicer accommodations. Do you fully understand the jobs your customer needs you to do for them? Take 3 minutes to read this insightful article. Thank you Gazelles Certified coaching partner Howard Shore for sharing.

Value Proposition Design — this "jobs" question is also at the heart of Alex Osterwalder's tools for helping you determine your value proposition. Alex will walk you through the application of this question to your organization and its customers during his presentation at the upcoming Growth Summit 2016 in Dallas Oct 25 – 26. Osterwalder's process is very powerful and insightful, which helped me rethink our new ScaleUpU offering to cities and growth firms.

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists — there are those who make good competitive-strategy decisions and those you don't! This HBR article reports on the findings by Mark Chussil, CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies, who notes:

…the essential lesson for competitive-strategy decision-makers is not so fast, in both senses of the phrase: take your time and don't be so sure.

Take 2 minutes to read through his discoveries and take to heart his lessons when it comes to make critical strategic decisions.

The Strange Brain of the World's Greatest Solo Climber — my heart races and my palms sweat just watching Alex Honnold free climb – check out this compilation video. What can we learn from how he faces his fear? This Nautilus article reports on the results of brain scans which reveal that he, indeed, has a fear center (some people surmised that he might have been born without one!), but it just doesn't activate like others. The key lesson? The more you face your fear the less fear you have – it's like challenging your immune system – it either kills you or makes you stronger. I think the same goes for making big decisions. So get deciding! Thank you to my wife Julie for sharing.

Tracking Sleep and Diet Aids Phelps in Rio — to remain in peak form for Michael Phelps fifth Olympics, Under Armour equipped him with various technologies to track his sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition. Notes this Fortune article:

…sleep is an element of fitness preparation that still isn't fully understood, but seems critical…Jordan Spieth's own experimentation with connected gear by Under Armour earlier this year, he also explained that sleep monitoring was very important. (Spieth prefers at least eight hours of sleep each night).

Phelps found that the year prior to the Olympics he averaged 7 hours and 36 minutes of sleep so he set that as his goal in Rio. It seems to have worked (or at least not hurt)! We're learning more everyday about the importance of sleep in driving performance. For me, an afternoon nap has become critical.

PulsePoint's Wall and Wins — below is a photo of their Vision wall. And Sloan Gaon's firm also won one of the Top 50 Best Places to Work award from Inc. Magazine a few weeks ago. Congrats to Sloan and his team and thank you to their Gazelles Certified Coach (and serial entrepreneur) Rich Manders for sharing.


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please email us at [email protected].


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progressing on their priorities – alongside how they Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with on your computer and on your phone.

Better Book Club What's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.