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Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  5,393 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Foreword by Bill Gates

LinkedIn cofounder, legendary investor, and host of the award-winning Masters of Scale podcast reveals the secret to starting and scaling massively valuable companies.

What entrepreneur or founder doesn't aspire to build the next Amazon, Facebook, or Airbnb? Yet those who actually manage to do so are exceedingly rare. So what separates the startups th
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Currency
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Giorgio Giuliani Well in many cases you are right. The problem is that in some type of markets, just growing organically is not enough to succeed because you will find…moreWell in many cases you are right. The problem is that in some type of markets, just growing organically is not enough to succeed because you will find some super fast competitor that will capture huge market shares and then capitalize on that success.
In the Internet space, many industries are actually winner take all markets, thus this blitzscalinb approach may have sense. Anyway this is not a silver bullet that works in any case. (less)

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Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third book by tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Reid Hoffmann, is a primer on how massively valuable businesses are built. The technique that many big companies in the internet age have used to grow in value is termed "blitzscaling" - a completely made up term, that may become popular parlance as the book gains popularity.

Well written with lots of anecdotes forged from both personal experience and obvious friendships with some of the most powerful figures in Silicon Valley, Blitzsca
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Read this for work. Difficult to reconcile the recommendations I received with my personal experience with it: some of the smartest, most talented people I've ever met advised me to read this, as they rate it highly.

In parts it was insightful, but in other parts it was intolerably bromidic and superficial. Like, dazzling in its superficiality. And as is the fashion with these sorts of books, the author is given a free pass to make sweeping statements unchecked, without any sort of references wh
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
5 stars for the main idea, 4 stars for the examples and case studies that were on the shallow side, 3 stars for the last two hours of the book (I listened as an audiobook) which basically said that China is big and that companies that blitzscale should keep ethics in mind, without any practical guidance or examples.

I’m guessing that a Blinkist version of this book would work well.
Leonardo Andreucci
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for people in any role in a fast-growing startup. It looks like Reid spent a year in our company and wrote the book. It has really helped me understand the changes the company, my role and myself were going through.
Prasanth  Kancharla
The biggest problem with this book for me is that the author treats 'scalabilty' as an independent variable that can be controlled. While in reality it is dependent on the variables that are largely not in a firms control.

Most of the examples used in the book relates to the internet firms that pioneered the space and are different from traditional firms. For most of the examples cited, like Airbnb or Uber, there is practically no entry barrier to enter new markets expect for investment required
Sebastian Gebski
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've started reading this one thanks to some recommendations, but I was more than skeptical - my initial impression was that author tries to "sell" me some wonderful scaling framework, silver-bullet of rapid growth, hype-generating bullshit peptalk conveniently split into few non-specific rules. This impression lasted until 15%-20% of the book. Fortunately, I've prevailed & read further ...

... and now I can confirm that there's actually a lot of valuable content in these pages. A lot of good poi
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Blitzscaling is a book that I believe every entrepreneur should read today. It observes how speed and uncertainty are the new stability in the era of new emerging technologies and that those who act on that and accept it can scale their business in a faster, efficient and promising way. Good read, and amazing case studies and tips on how to implement it in your own business.
Pascal Wagner
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Blitzscaling is to achieve a critical mass that confers a lasting competitive advantage.

If taking on additional cost and uncertainty doesn't actually confer an advantage, it's better to follow the traditional rules of business (at least for the time being) so that when blitzscaling does become appropriate, your organization can be efficient, well maintained, and more ready to scale.

Because blitzscaling is - by definition - an inefficient use of capital, it only makes sense when speed and moment
Rick Wilson
Jul 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: khosla, startup-stuff
Terrible as generic advice to employees and companies.

Really valuable for an extremely niche type of startup. I think people need to be hit in the head with a paddle that says “Reid did this with a SOCIAL MEDIA company” it works best with an extremely low marginal cost business.

Personally I think there’s a big problem with companies that should not use a strategy like this (scooter companies, ridesharing, grocery delivery, one click checkout) that take RHs advice as gospel. But I think that ha
Scott Wozniak
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you are a company that needs to win your market to win--like a social network where the key to survival is having tons of people on your platform or a large volume producer that needs a ton of clients to reach profit--then this is an amazing book for you. He does a great job clarifying that everyone shouldn't be in blitz-growth mode, and that even those who do it shouldn't stay in that mode forever. It's not efficient growth at all. But this might be the first great book on how to actually dr ...more
Paras Kapadia
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book aims to be a text book of sorts for running a modern tech business. Blitzscaling is not an original framework or a specific technique like the 'Lean Start-up' or 'Hooked' but an examination of various aspects of growing a tech business under an ambiguous name. Most of the actual content is examples from Reid's podcasts, requoting of famous blogs or other well known material already in the public domain. Nothing original or ground breaking here. Nothing factually incorrect or oversimpli ...more
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
My overall feeling is that I've learned a lot from this book. Although, I can't point specifically what.

In the end, most blitzscalling challenges and tools are mostly useful for startup in general. Specially those with a good amount of funding. Hoffman ends up focusing a lot on three pillars : speed, size and people. Which makes lots of sense. And how they will end up building and breaking your company along the way. In a, hopefully, virtuous cycle.

In the end he lost me when started incentivisin
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Clearly my best read of 2018. Will recommend this to any entrepreneur.
Szymon Kulec
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
2 out of 5 stars means it's ok.

The book starts in an interesting way segmenting approaches and showing where the blitzscaling approach approach lies. Then it's ok for a while. Then the meat grinder starts working throwing various topics, even paragraphs into one big thing. The magic of "7 rules for" and "5 disadvantages" does not help to convey the message because sometimes it's hard to tell, what the message is.

The author mentions that he delivers a class about blitzscaling in one of universiti
Pedro Esperanca
Nov 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Very informative book for someone who deeply questions how hiper growth companies achieve and survive such tumultuous rises.

The only defect is that as with many Silicon Valley and now Crypto wisdom, there can be a bit of success blindness in the stories. Which makes authors eager to point out success causes, relatable to them, hyping them a bit more than the credit they might deserve.
Cameron Davis
In some ways a deeper dive into some of the ideas in Zero to One. Drier, longer, and overall harder to get through than Zero to One, but still deserving of four stars because of how much practical content is in here.
Rhythm Gupta
Feb 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Had higher hopes from the book given it's written by Reid Hoffman but this turned out to be just okay.

The only thing this book has helped me is in changing the mindset on what it takes to blitzscale a company.

To effectively blitzscale, you have to move from efficient data driven decision making thought process to inefficient intuition driven risky informed bets.
Tõnu Vahtra
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
“blitzscaling is prioritizing speed over efficiency in the face of uncertainty.” Based on recommendations I had high expectations for this book and its not a bad book but I was not very impressed as I've encountered similar recommendations already in several other books. I saw many similar topics with Platform Revolution/Lean Startup and company examples were mainly based on LinkedIn, Paypal, Netflix, Airbnb, Tencent (Weechat), Amazon and Apple which are already well covered in their respective ...more
Kanchan Mandanekar
This book is the fastest MBA of today's times that I could ever do. It clears the "mystic secret" of what the Silicon Valley guys are really doing differently than us. Literally, every page has a big deal of a lesson. But most of all it is the lightening pace (even over efficiency, but not ethics!) that is the need of the hour that's impressed and challenged me.

I look forward to thinking and mulling over this book for months to come, and apply it to my own business. Or hey, shall I be compressin
Robert Gebhardt
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm not sure how I feel about these books that try to make a point without any sort of comprehensive study, just some personal anecdotes of the author's. Granted, the author giving the personal anecdotes is one of the biggest success stories out there.

This also seems to apply only to people trying to make their businesses go viral, so it might not be applicable to B2B companies, or local restaurants, etc. To be fair, he addresses this (around halfway through the
Masatoshi Nishimura
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
The core premise of Blitzscaling is growing quickly is the best defense against takeover. Uncertainty in the midst of growth is more important than efficiency and growth.

What made Blitzscaling a unique book is it lays out the transition from small scale startup to medium to large. In each step, the role required from employees and boss shift. I particularly liked the analogy of Marine (startup that deal with chaos and find solutions on the spot), Army (find a way to scale up and secure the terri
Evelyn Ding
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a valuable book to read for someone interested in joining or understanding a high-growth startup. Hoffman provides concrete examples for the majority of his lessons in the book that are accessible to people who are not as familiar with the tech industry. He provides a compelling argument for the counterintuitive practice of blitzscaling, or prioritizing speed over efficiency in order to survive and achieve massive scale. However, most of his lessons around business innovation and strateg ...more
Justas Šaltinis
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
2/3 of the book would get 4* and the remaining part only 2*.

Blitzscaling is prioritizing speed over efficiency.

4 key factors to consider for blitzscaling: market size, distribution, gross margin, network effect.

5 stages and managerial changes while scaling: family 1-10 employees, tribe 10+, village 100+, city 1k+, nation 10k+

"When a market is up for grabs, the risk isn't inefficiency - the risk playing it too safe"

"... embrace counterintuitive rules like hiring "good enough" people, launching
Hjalmar Vinje
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing truly eye-opening, but an interesting insight into the mentality of Silicon Valley.
The book is mostly pretty vague, offering mostly anecdotes from success stories the author has been involved in, which I think leads to a quite strong survival bias. However, Hoffman and Yeh offer some interesting perspectives on hiring outside executives vs promoting from the inside and having executives that fit the specific stage the company is in (family/tribe/village/city/nation). This is also relate
Pooja Sethi
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quick and entertaining read. Blitzscaling as defined by Reid Hoffman is trying to assemble a rocket ship as you free fall off of a cliff. I especially appreciated that Reid talks about when *NOT* to blitzscale despite how fashionable such approaches are in Silicon Valley, and how to apply blitzscaling as safely as possible.

I've also found "Masters of Scale" -- Reid's podcast --to be an interesting supplement to this book.
Kenny Buntara
Jan 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
Reid is definitely the right person when it comes to blitzscaling. Not only is he a great founder of LinkedIn, but he is also associated with many other founders who has imparted some words of advice and wisdom on how one can scale their business quickly.

Although it seemed that blitzscaling is overall positive in any startup, he was also describing when companies should stop blitzscaling. I also appreciate the fact that he added in Chinese companies such as Xiaomi into the mix as well.
Leo Fischer
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of the ideas were similar to related books, but there were two things I found particularly useful:
1) Priorities of a company while scaling. It's so simple, but very instructive
2) Ideas about what should be doing at different company stages e.g. 10-100, 100-1000 and 1,000-10,000 and the things that change (e.g. org chart, communication structure, culture etc.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book can give you an insight about why some of the companies are so aggressive in their growth strategy.

I like the fact that the author is far from being a theoretician - Reid Hoffman has seen A LOT. And he shares his experiences in the way they support his message.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes sloppy, often egregiously oversimplified, often enlightening, always entertaining.
Vladyslav Klymenko
Nice dive into basic scaling principles of Silicon Valley's startups. Some key notes for me:

Blitzscaling is about fast growth, lead-market-or-go-away strategy, uncertainty, and huge risks. Fast growth is more than 40% year-to-year.
Traditional business thinking doesn't work well for startups because in the startup world speed is more valuable than efficiency.

There are 5 key stages of blitzscaling:
- Stage 1( Family) — 1–9 employees
- Stage 2 (Tribe) — 10s of employees
- Stage 3 (Village) — 100s of e
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Reid Hoffman is a Partner at Greylock, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at LinkedIn.

Reid joined Greylock Partners in 2009. His areas of focus include consumer Internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, and social networks. Reid likes to work with products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects.

An accomp

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“There’s a common misconception that Silicon Valley is the accelerator of the world. The real story is that the world keeps getting faster—Silicon Valley is just the first place to figure out how to keep pace. While Silicon Valley certainly has many key networks and resources that make it easier to apply the techniques we’re going to lay out for you, blitzscaling is made up of basic principles that do not depend on geography. We’re going to show you examples from overlooked parts of the United States, such as Detroit (Rocket Mortgage) and Connecticut (Priceline), as well as from international companies, such as WeChat and Spotify. In the process you’ll see how the lessons of blitzscaling can be adapted to help build great companies in nearly any ecosystem, albeit with differing degrees of difficulty. That’s the mission of this book. We want to share the secret weapon that has allowed Silicon Valley to punch so much (more than a hundred times) above its population index so that those lessons can be applied far beyond the sixty-mile stretch between the Golden Gate Bridge and San Jose. It is sorely needed.” 2 likes
“In fact, the same basic ingredients can easily be found in numerous start-up clusters in the United States and around the world: Austin, Boston, New York, Seattle, Shanghai, Bangalore, Istanbul, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, and Dubai. To discover the secret to Silicon Valley’s success, you need to look beyond the standard origin story. When people think of Silicon Valley, the first things that spring to mind—after the HBO television show, of course—are the names of famous start-ups and their equally glamorized founders: Apple, Google, Facebook; Jobs/ Wozniak, Page/ Brin, Zuckerberg. The success narrative of these hallowed names has become so universally familiar that people from countries around the world can tell it just as well as Sand Hill Road venture capitalists. It goes something like this: A brilliant entrepreneur discovers an incredible opportunity. After dropping out of college, he or she gathers a small team who are happy to work for equity, sets up shop in a humble garage, plays foosball, raises money from sage venture capitalists, and proceeds to change the world—after which, of course, the founders and early employees live happily ever after, using the wealth they’ve amassed to fund both a new generation of entrepreneurs and a set of eponymous buildings for Stanford University’s Computer Science Department. It’s an exciting and inspiring story. We get the appeal. There’s only one problem. It’s incomplete and deceptive in several important ways. First, while “Silicon Valley” and “start-ups” are used almost synonymously these days, only a tiny fraction of the world’s start-ups actually originate in Silicon Valley, and this fraction has been getting smaller as start-up knowledge spreads around the globe. Thanks to the Internet, entrepreneurs everywhere have access to the same information. Moreover, as other markets have matured, smart founders from around the globe are electing to build companies in start-up hubs in their home countries rather than immigrating to Silicon Valley.” 1 likes
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