Blitzscaling Lesson 19 – Jeff Weiner ,

Mission versus Vision

  • Mission – an ultimate goal that is measurable and can be executed upon
  • Vision – the dream / an aspiration
  • Strategy – what we need to do
  • Priorities – in what order do we need to do

Empathy versus Compassion

  • Empathy: being able to feel the suffering of the person in front of you
  • Compassion: A more objective form of empathy. Feeling the suffering of the person in front of you and executing upon a plan to alleviate the person’s suffering


  • becomes exceedingly important when building a large scale organization as it helps aligns the actions and decision making process of individuals functioning within the organization
  • A commonly accepted way of doing things
  • important to find the people that live and breathe the culture when hiring
  • Increases the speed of making high quality decision

Optimization concerns

  • Local proximity versus global proximity optimization
    • an unsolvable problem
    • clairty of mission and vision is important in managing this problem

At different scales

  • Preserving optionality – needed to be a good investor
  • Scaling up – need to define what the core of the company is
  • As the company goes through the scaling process and becomes a big behemoth a lot of the entrepreneurial DNA will become diluted as roles becomes more specialized. It becomes important to figure out how to continue cultivating this DNA so that the company still has the muscle to catch the next wave of innovation

Further readings

  • Conscious business, Fred Koffman
  • Mountains beyond mountains, Tracy Kidder
  • The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama

Blitzscaling lesson 5 – Mozilla

  •  Hiring
    • define the north star really well
      • not about getting market share
      • its about how to make the web a better place
    • hire people that want to be there because of the mission
    • set salary at below the top of the market as an acid test
    • don’t compete based on compensation
    • hire people where you can find them. Hire them and hire their friends. Setup the office where they are in the world and how they want to live their lives
      • Berlin
      • Tokyo
      • New Zealand
  • Competition
    • focus on being asymmetrical to competitors
    • Microsoft IE did not know how to respond to Mozilla which looked like swamp of political activists
    • A community needs to look strong enough that it matters and weak enough that people think if they need to contribute
    • how to give assets away that competitors can’t do
    • Get community to own more and more stuff
    • After product market fit relationships change
      • Google was originally supportive
      • Started seeing threats
  • Operations
    • LinkedIn – drive growth through promise of value when we achieve the vision
    • Start showing up and focus on working on things that matter
    • Setting goals
      • set it
      • monitor whether we hit it or not
      • figure out how to get better at setting goals
      • Hitting 71% of goals – seems about right
      • Hitting 100% of goals – not stretching enough
      • Market share
        • a lagging indicator
        • can keep going up even when fundamentals sucks
        • drive growth through value – LinkedIn
    • Team A and Team B
      • Team A is focused on building and delivering the product –
        • Engineers
        • Product managers
      • Team B is focused on protecting the people in Team A from distractions
        • Office managers
        • Finance people
        • HR

Blitzscale lesson 2: Sam Altman

Founding teams

  • Fatal conflicts
    • looking at having different vision
    • looking at having the same role
  • complementary pairs
    • technical owner
    • business / product owner

Best startups

  • hired the least
  • more people less effective
  • 70 productive hours –
    • focus those hours on users
    • focus on getting a really small number of users that really love the product

Best founders

  • The ability to clearly articulate the vision of what they are trying to do
    • easier to recruit
    • easier to promote
    • easier to raise fund
  • determined
  • passionate
  • intelligence
  • Effective in execution

Early stage investing

  • network effects at play

Reason to launch quickly

  • gain conviction
  • Recognize a shift in the world
  • see that people are constantly using the app over and over again even when being ridiculed by the masses
  • figure our core metric that gets better 10% each week


  • Found an opportunity that worked
  • Built the stuff that you originally wanted to work
  • Found an opportunity that could be monetized
  • A rush to get an idea is very bad! If original idea is bad. Shut down the company, return the money and go travel the world for an organic idea


  • The only most valuable pre-start experience is to join a really successful rapidly growing company so that you get put into different roles that you don’t have much experience yet for

Most critical mistake

  • Not firing bad people fast enough
    • it hurts both the company and the employee by keeping them around longer
    • the employee will stagnate during the time he is with the company
    • explain clearly and be firm in the decision that the employee needs to go
    • allow the employee to communicate his needs prior to departure
      • he could work from home while looking for a new position
      • he could state that he is still working for the company while looking for a new position
      • preparing the termination letter prior to communication only creates a highly adversarial environment

Time window

  • You only have a relatively short window of 20 years to be great.
    • between 25 – 45 years old
    • focus on the one single problem that you really find important and want to solve
    • learn how to become a great CEO then or
    • join a company whose mission you really care about


  • An employee should consider the valuation of the company 5 years down the road and how many percent of the valuation he owns.
  • current valuation for a position that is illiquid is only a distraction
  • valuation only means something when someone else is willing to pay for the shares at that valuation

Blitzscaling Lesson 1: highlights – Reid Hoffman

Key points

  • Triaging of problems to solve – absolutely ignore the ones that don’t matter at this stage
  • Network of learning – talk to all the smart people around you to get their inputs so that your decision making becomes more crisp
  • Trade offs between being efficiency and being adaptable
  • Need to be judicious as to when to step on the after burner
  • Focus on key elements that will get you to the market opportunity faster than your competition.
  • Networks are important
    • Capital
    • Professional people
    • Learnings