Paris; What Kills You; Ariel View of HQs; London June 13 – 14
May 10, 2019
Uber’s Prediction; Economic Outlook; Apple Does it Again; Streaming LIVE ScaleUp Summit
May 17, 2019

Uber’s Prediction; Economic Outlook; Apple Does it Again; Streaming LIVE ScaleUp Summit

Hello ScaleUps, 

Hope it’s been a productive and purposeful week. Here are some insights/opportunities to help you outlearn/outthink the competition.

CEO Boot Camp Open Seat —
One of the CEOs signed up for the June 4 – 7 Boot Camp needs to postpone if anyone would like to take his seat. Aug 20 – 23 (Estes Park, CO), is the next CEO Boot Camp (4 of 7 seats open).

Fortune 500 2019 –
Released yesterday, Walmart, Exxon Mobile, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon made the top 5 of the Fortune 500 list. Average revenue/employee of the 500 is $477,351, roughly 4x mid-sized firms; and profit/employee averaged $38,327. The average profitability was 8.0%, up from 6% last year. And once again, Apple’s profit/employee of $450,992 was almost equal to the other 499’s revenue/employee! Amazing!! Find a firm on the list, in your related industry, and see how you compare (Laureate Education is one I track).

CEO Sentiment Good Sign for Economy —
People are not logical, they are psychological (which is why we get pricing and compensation so wrong – but that’s for a later post). That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what the Fortune 500 CEOs are thinking. Alan Murray of Fortune reported yesterday:

  • 61% of Fortune 500 CEOs think the economy will stay the same over the next 12 months; only 21% think it will get worse. And slightly over half think a recession won’t hit in the next two years.
  • 76% think the Federal Reserve has been “just right” in its conduct of monetary policy.
  • And 74% say the U.S. remains the best region for them to invest over the next two years (for a decade they said China)

And with an expected $88-trillion-dollar global economy this year, up from $34 trillion at the turn of the Century, if you can’t make a million or a billion, it’s your fault.

Why 4x Rev/Emp over Mid-Market Firms? —
It seems crazy that these “elephants” would be almost 4x more efficient in generating revenue per employee vs. the “gazelles.” Why? People, Pricing, and Process. First, they are able to attract top talent and have corporate universities to train them (smart talent vs. cheap labor). Second, they have brand (strategy!) which gives them pricing power. And third, they focus on keeping their processes lean. When fully implemented, Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) does the same for mid-market firms. It’s why tracking Rev, and more importantly, Gross Margin Dollars/Employee, is critical. Is this KPI heading in the right direction?

Top 10% Generate Almost 50% —
And fun fact, the top 50 Fortune 500 firms generated almost 50% of the total revenues. And the combined revenues of the entire list, $13.7 trillion, represents 2/3rds of the US GDP. I hope many of these firms, and their employees, are your customers – they have all the money.

Uber’s Original Pitch Deck —
Check out Slide 20 in Uber’s 2008 original pitch deck. It outlines what they thought were three scenarios (BHAGs):

Best-Case – Market Leader with $1 billion annual revenue
Realistic-Case – 5% of Top 5 Cities with $20 – $30 million annual profit
Worst-Case – 10 car, 100 client service in San Fran

In reality, they hit $1 billion in 2015 and $11.3 billion in 2018; they are in 100% of the top US cities (and 30% of countries!); but may never be profitable! Instructive to see how they saw the business in 2008 and how it is now – what they got right and missed totally. Lots of pivots along the way. Thank you for Scaling Up Certified coach Judy Guido for pointing me to this.

ScaleUp Summit Next Week – Streaming LIVE —
Our team of coaching partners, and some of the smartest mid-market company teams, will gather next week in Atlanta for our ScaleUp Summit to “outlearn the competition.” Streaming LIVE, you and your team can still sign-up to dial in remotely – just $2495 for both days. Gather in a conference room or alone on your laptop/phone and choose from the top authors presenting their latest tools/techniques for scaling. My goal each Summit is to pick up just one killer idea – and pack my brain with a 100 others I can assess at a later date. The next ScaleUp Summit is Oct 15 – 16, Anaheim.

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. Jun 4 – 7 (Sold Out); Aug 20 – 23, 2019; Jan 14 – 17; Jan 21 – 24, 2020.

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]   

WRITE AND PUBLISH A BOOK to Grow Your Business and be THE Authority in your space. My publisher and friend Adam Witty at ForbesBooks has streamlined the process.  for more information and to take their Authority Assessment


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? The Scaling Up team is prepared to support you. We have helped 40,000 other organizations over the past 30+ years, in scaling up their organizations through coaching, workshops, online training and more. 

We would like to offer you a complimentary, personal follow-up from our Scaling Up team to share how we can support you in scaling your organization.


For questions or more information contact us at [email protected]


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.

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.