Broadway Record; Most Profitable Company; 4 Day Workweek Results; Unmasking What Matters
July 26, 2018
Rock Star Tiffani; Musk Breakdown; Huffington Response; Growth IQ
August 23, 2018

Apple’s Trillion; MDW’s Trillion; Top of Mind; SMP Detroit, KC, Sydney, London

"…insights for scaleups"


If you can get the right people to think of you at the right times, you can accomplish great things.
  John Hall, author Top of Mind

Apple Tops $1 Trillion OK, it's old news (a week), but still a significant milestone for a company whose iconic founder passed away almost 7 years ago It's worth 1 minute to read Reuter's reporting on the memo CEO Tim Cook sent out to Apple's 120,000 employees. It's simple, direct, and reinforces Apple's core ideals. I great example for us to all model if we have something significant to communicate to our teams. More below on why I think Apple has been so successful, but first…

Top of Mind four questions frame the ideas in John Hall's insightful and well-written book Top of Mind:

  1. Am I delivering real value to my customers every day outside the products and services that I offer?
  2. Do I understand the real needs and pain points of my customers and prospects?
  3. If my customers are having a significant problem, would they think of and contact me first?
  4. Do my customers like and trust me?"

It's question 3 that is the most important in my mind. Are you top-of-mind in your marketspace? Notes Hall, "In this book, you'll learn how to engage and position yourself (and firm) on top of the minds of the people who matter most – so that whenever opportunity arises, they'll already be thinking of you."

Would They Pay for the Sales Call? Hall's ideas remind me of the father of sales Dr. Neil Rackham's simple, but powerful idea – would a customer be willing to pay for the sales call i.e. how are you delivering real value outside the products and services you're offering (Q1 above) through educating the customer vs. selling them. Anyway, I love great questions and Hall's book poses the right four…and then answers them. SPro and book club members will receive a copy next week – then come hear Hall keynote our ScaleUp Summit Oct 16 – 17 (and Scaling Up User Conference Oct 18) in Denver. Spend two days immersed in deep learning (and fun) with your team.

Best Buy Gets It – Relationship Selling a company that was expected to be vanquished by Amazon, like all the other retailers, instead has seen its stock quadruple since Hubert Joly was named Best Buys CEO, a guy with no retail experience (see, it's not an industry knowledge issue, it's a leadership issue). Notes this Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, describing the five-week training process new Geek Squad recruits go through (do your new recruits get five weeks of training?):

Now they're in this conference room practicing how to sell by seeming not to. "Be a consultant, not a salesperson," Bucknell says. "Use phrases like: 'How would you like it if,' 'Do you think it would help if you could,' 'Have you ever thought about.' " They're supposed to establish long-term relationships with their customers rather than chase one-time transactions. They won't need to anxiously track weekly metrics and, unlike the Geek Squad and blue shirts working in stores, they'll be paid an annual salary instead of an hourly wage. Their house calls are free and can last as long as 90 minutes.

Please take 4 minutes (worth every second!) and read this story of how Joly turned around Best Buy – lots of lessons for all of us!! Thank you to Scaling Up certified coach Bill Gallagher for pointing me to this insightful article that aligns so well with John Hall's book and teachings.

MDW's $1 Trillion (please help her) serial entrepreneur Julia Pimsleur's Million Dollar Women initiative aims to help 1 million women scale companies to over $1 million – that's a trillion in annual revenue, the equivalent of two Wal-Marts And the fastest growing segment are businesses led by women of color. Pimsleur offers these women scholarships to her online university and as a board member I'm helping her raise funds for her nonprofit arm called Women Who Dare. $3k funds one woman to attend (which I just donated) and Pimsleur's track record of helping these women scale is excellent. These women don't have startups – they have ongoing firms that are ready to scale. You can donate here. Any amount will make a difference. Consider donating a fraction of the value I hope you're received from these weekly insights. Thank you.

Apple University I credit Jobs' final "product" for helping his baby both survive and thrive – Apple University. You can't scale (285% in 6+ years) with just a few of the right top execs, though Tim Cook has proved worthy of the task. You need to be educating all the talent in your firm. This is why we launched the ScalingUp Master's Program (SMP) last year – a powerful shared corporate university experience that creates a learning culture within your firm — for a fraction of the cost of launching your own. Five companies form a "class" for a year; participate in 7 structured days of training and sharing (initial two days; one day next three quarters; then final two days – with online education for the entire firm in between sessions).

ScalingUp Master's Program (SMP) we're excited about the top biz people we're involving in this initiative. For instance, Aussie Shark Tank judge Glen Richards, who scaled his last company to $800 million using Scaling Up, is the board chair of the program in Sydney and will help teach during the initial two days. Similarly impressive biz leaders are engaged in the other cities.

The next "class" of five companies will launch in each of these respective cities:

Detroit – Sept 26 – 28 (first evening is for CEOs-only)

Kansas City – Oct 23 – 25

Sydney – Oct 24 – 26

London — Dec 5 – 7

Here is a link to a PDF that describes the program. Please email me if interested and I'll connect you with the leader in each city.

CEO-BOOTCAMP: spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 6 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding back you, your business, and your industry. October 2 – 5; January 15 – 18, 2019.

EXITING: Thinking about selling the business for $40 million or more? Want to get 25% to 200% more than you thought? Request the whitepaper from the Exit Strategies Summit at Harvard from Denise Richmond at (610) 299-6466 or email at [email protected]


Have you ever wondered if working with a coach might accelerate your company's growth, exponentially? Do you have what it takes to move the dial from good to great? Contact us at [email protected] for more information or visit


Create Accountability – Drive Execution with Align, cloud-based software designed to scale up your Rockefeller Habits implementation. – on your computer, tablet or phone. Click here to watch an introductory video.

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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.