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things-that-dont-scale

Startups, try doing things that don’t scale [Infographic]

Startups are often defined as lean businesses that can scale, reaching new markets easily far and wide. While this might be the case, it doesn’t mean that all startups should scale in everything they do. In an essay by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, he argues that startups should focus on doing things that don’t scale.

According to Graham, startups should, for instance, approach their first customers physically to make a sale happen. Graham recalls how Stripe used to physically set up its service onto other startup founders’ computers at the Y Combinator incubator, instead of just blasting out hundreds of emails and sitting back.

Also, some startups have proved to excel once they’ve put in the hard yards in achieving good customer service. South Africa’s YuppieChef, for example, is well known for sending its customers hand-written cards, though it ditched this last year.

Inspired by Graham’s essay, Funders and Founders have put together the following infographic to highlight which manual and unscalable tasks helped some of the largest tech startups in their infancy. These included Pebble having to assemble their first several hundred watches themselves, Wufoo sending customers handwritten cards, and the avoidance of large launches.

 

do-things-that-dont-scale-infographic

Infographic by Funders and Founders