If you think of Peter Diamandis’ books Abundance and Bold as the vision of the future… then Exponential Organizations is your playbook to get there. Do you know why companies like Airbnb or Uber manage to go from zero to $3 Billion in 18 months? Salim discovered that one of the main reasons those companies can do that is because they’re using a scalable workforce. This means they don’t stack their staff up linearly anymore.
This was a big revelation for me.
I first met Salim at Peter Diamandis’ Abundance 360 event a few years ago. At the time, I was just starting the 90-minute book project, and one of our bottlenecks was editing. Here’s how the 90-minute book system works: First, there’s the creation of content. Then, there’s editing. After that, there’s the designing of the covers, the layout and, finally, the production.
As you can see, it’s a multi-step process; and the huge demand we were getting was causing us to come to a bottleneck almost immediately. Right in the second step. Editing was simply too slow and was slowing down everything else along the way. We had two editors back then. And if, say, on Monday, we got 10 new clients who wanted to write a book at any given time, they would be only the fifth in line for that editor.
In other words, if editing takes 10 units of time, you would be 50 units away before the editor could get to you. I was looking to hire a third editor, but I had a much better solution 30 minutes into Salim’s talk.
Here’s what I did:
I promoted our main editor to the lead editor. And one of her new tasks is finding outsourced solutions as we need them. This might seem like a small change but think about its implications. She can now go out and make relationships with 10 other editors almost instantly. If we get 10 new books in today, we can stack them up easily. There’s no more waiting time.
One simple change like that… and boom! we got rid of our bottleneck. Moreover, this change allowed me to cut the time it takes us to do a book in half, cut my cost by a third, and increase our capacity by 10X! How about that for a scale-ready algorithm? 😉 And here’s the lesson for you in all this…
Sometimes, a big part of creating your scale-ready algorithm is simply looking at your team and understanding where stacking up linearly is slowing you down. You’ll see that once you fix that friction and turn it into a scalable workforce, you can expand and contract on demand.
Your big growth opportunity is not just wishful thinking anymore.