2930% Increase in Sales Leads; President Zuckerberg?; 24/7 Techies; Inside Apples New HQ
June 1, 2017
This Startup Grew To $72 Million In Sales In Just Five Years. Learn Its Secret For Preventing Chaos.
June 10, 2017

Atlassian Doubles; Leprino Dominates; Wal-Mart Leads; Elite SEM on Today Show

"…insights for scaleups"


Atlassian's Value Doubled in just under 18 months since it's Dec 10, 2015 IPO, Atlassian's market cap has doubled from $4.2 billion to $8.4 billion. I'm just saying! Congrats to Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes for continuing to lead one of the best run companies in the world. Discipline and focus are key, as Scott notes on the back of Scaling Up.

Fortune 500 List Ratios the latest Fortune list is out and Wal-Mart still tops with $486 billion in revenue, more than twice Berkshire Hathaway and Apple, sitting at #2 and #3 respectfully. With a combined revenue of $12 trillion and profits of $890 billion, average profit is 7.4% for the Fortune 500. Mid-market firms, if they dominate a narrow niche, should be 3x this – are you? And with a combined workforce of 28.2 million, average revenue per employee sits at almost $426,000/employee, over four times that of mid-market firms.

Pricing and Process Better strategic pricing (branding drives pricing power) and lean processes are two main reasons big firms crush scaleups in revenue/employee. Building brand (owning a word or two, like "pizza cheese" – see below) and annually cleaning up processes, like cleaning out closets, will increase your revenue/employee, a KPI to watch closely.

Chick-fil-A 3x KFCthe iconic fast food chain Chick-fil-A, famous for not being open on Sundays, generates over 3x the revenue per store as competitor KFC — $3.1 million vs. $960,000. Reasons:

  1. Customer Service – #1 on Consumer Reports for all restaurants
  2. Employee Training – "the better we train the longer people stay"
  3. Fulfill Dreams – paid to have an employee take photography classes

It's comes down to showing that you care. And when employees feel cared for they care for your customers and company. This Business Insider UK article article provides more details. Thanks to John DiJulius, customer service guru, for sharing this story in his latest blog.

85% Market Share Forbes manages to get an interview, but still no photo, of camera shy James Leprino, the 79-year-old billionaire founder of Denver-based Leprino Cheese which owns 85% of the "pizza cheese" market with Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's as clients. Notes the article:

Leprino takes out his beat-up black leather wallet, removes the rubber band holding it shut and reveals a card featuring the four company watchwords: quality, service, price, ethics. "I've got everybody keeping one in their pocket," Leprino says. "The company was growing so fast they were missing this important message."

Please take 2 minutes to read this case study of how to dominate a niche! What is your niche in which you'll own 85%?

Ben Kirshner on Today Show (Gazelles Case Study) congratulations to Elite SEM's CEO for his appearance on the Today Show with Al Roker discussing the misconceptions about millennials and work. Elite SEM was named by Fortune as the #1 place for millennials to work last year (#5 this year) and is coached by Gazelles Certified Coach Matt Kuttler. FYI, Ben is going to give a ScaleUpX talk at the fall Summit and then lead a longer session at the Scaling Up User Conference the following day (Oct 19, St. Louis). This is one of the best run companies in the US.

Strategy Guru Frances Frei Joins Uber Harvard prof and author of my favorite strategy book Uncommon Service has made a bold move and is joining Uber, not as COO, which they are still looking for, but as their first SVP in leadership and strategy. This Recode article will fill in the details as she goes in to clean up a real leadership mess. Can't wait to check back a year from now.

"Quality, Service, Price, Ethics" James Leprino built a pizza cheese dynasty by consistently innovating and delivering on these four drivers. What are your drivers? Pick a few and then deliver!


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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.