4 Behaviors; Unwavering Reliability; Make Less Decisions; One Week Bath Theme
March 8, 2018
7 Bad Questions; Google’s 2 New Traits; Unified Theory of Scaling; Prediction Intelligence
March 22, 2018

Sumo Advantage; Bad Sumo; Bloomberg Live Event; FrogSlayer Profit; RIP Hawking

"…insights for scaleups"


Those who live in the shadow of death are often those who live most.
  R.I.P Stephen Hawking, The Guardian

The Sumo Advantage co-founder of TrueCar.com Bernie Brenner has written a powerful (and quick read at 151 pages) book on the importance of identifying, wooing, and working with massive partners – sumos! This was the key to YEO's early growth when I partnered with both MIT and Inc. magazine in launching the "Birthing of Giants" executive program (now EMP). With just 156 members, these partnerships helped propel YEO (now EO) to 7500 members before the Inc. partnership ended.

When it was time to scale Gazelles I did the same, striking a partnership with Fortune magazine which lasted 16 years. Many of the techniques for attracting and maintaining these critical relationships are outlined in Brenner's book. SPro and book club members will get a copy next week – and Brenner is keynoting our upcoming ScaleUp Summit May 22 – 23, New Orleans. Which Sumos should you partner with?

New Sumo Partner We're excited to announce Bloomberg Live will be our new 2018 Spring ScaleUp Summit media partner. As part of this collaboration, 30 of our ScaleUp CEO's will be eligible to apply and join Bloomberg's Breakaway membership (annual dues just $2500) which includes an invitation to their Breakaway CEO Summit June 20-21 in New York City.

ScaleUp delegates will join current Breakaway members (who are CEOs of established industry leaders and emerging disruptors), Bloomberg hosts and Verne Harnish at this year's event. To learn more about membership qualifications or if interested in being considered as a delegate please contact our team@ [email protected] or email me [email protected].

Bad Sumo? this TechCrunch article titled "When Venture Capital Becomes Vanity Capital" poses the question "would you rather be the founder of Zappos or Wayfair?" Most savvy students at Harvard choose Zappos, and Tony Hsieh did well when he sold to Amazon. But the founders of Wayfair, who held off raising outside money until they had over $500 million in revenue made 10x Hsieh when their company IPO'd. The key is to take as little capital as possible for as long as possible – plus early dilution has other negative consequences as the article outlines. Instead, get your customers to fund your growth as detailed in John Mullins' book The Customer Funded Business. Or consider bank debt – money is really cheap right now. Please take 2 minutes to read then rethink raising money!

FrogSlayer Scales 80%+ per Year with 2x – 3x Industry Profits (Gazelles case study) Ross Morel, President & CEO of College Station, TX-based custom software developer FrogSlayer, shared some fun facts after turning around his company in 2014 using Scaling Up. Noted Morel:

Some fun growth facts about FrogSlayer (all made possible by trusting the Scaling Up framework):

  • 3-year growth (2015-2017) – 83.7% YOY
  • Profitability – 16% to 21% (2x to 3x industry peers)
  • Revenue per employee – $163k
  • Cash reserves – 12 months net burn, 3 months total burn (never thought we'd be able to ditch our line of credit in 2014)
  • Debt / investment – $0 in debt and no outside funding needed (we've had our clients pay for our growth)
  • Client ROI – $350M since 2011 (average 23x payback within 2 years of engaging with us)
  • Employee Retention – 100% past two years
  • Named #1, #25, and #16 best company to work for in Texas past three of four years

Best of all, it took 2 minutes to look up this data now that we track everything.

Please note the "Debt/investment" bullet point! Morel went on to note "I've been attending the summits since 2013 and have brought my leadership team to the past few. We'll be in New Orleans in May." And he's implemented the BetterBookClub, sharing:

…it's been fun seeing our whole team really live out the "readers are leaders" mantra. My hope is that this program will expose them to big ideas, inspire them grow as leaders, and continue to strengthen our alignment as we communicate using similar concepts and language.

Morel also noted he will participate in the October CEO Boot Camp if you want to learn how he's applied Scaling Up to garner these results. Leaders are learners! Congratulations Ross on all your firm's success.

CEO-BOOTCAMP: spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 9 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding you back, your business, and your industry. May 29 – June 1 (YPO-only); October 2 – 5; and 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? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

And if you're interested in becoming a world-class certified Gazelles International coach, please go to gicoaches.com/becomeacoach for more information. If you determine that we're a fit and wish to join our premier organization, we invite you to contact our Dir. of Coach Engagement at [email protected] or 877.217.2253 ext.700.


Create Accountability – Drive Execution
Click Here to Watch a video example.

Align is your cloud based business operating system designed to keep you on your path to executing your goals. 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 www.aligntoday.com – on your computer, tablet or phone. $5.00 per month gets you started.

Better Book ClubWhat's your team reading? Increase your books read per team member. Easy, Proven, and in the Cloud at http://www.BetterBookClub.com.

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.