Thomas A. McGonagle
Thomas A. McGonagle

Thomas A. McGonagle

Blitzscale Tactics

Blitzscale Tactics

Relentless Practice Over Perfect Planning

Thomas A. McGonagle's photo
Thomas A. McGonagle
·Jul 29, 2022·

6 min read

Anything worth doing in life is hard. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a paper route in the Boston winter, a boxing match fight or blitzscaling your business—you have to get outside your comfort zone and to grow. Blitzscaling, which prioritizes speed over efficiency when growing your company, will push your team into past their comfort zone unfamiliar territory. As you prioritize speed over efficiency in uncertain environments, you will make mistakes. This relentless advance moves at an uncomfortable pace for many people. But the only way to learn from your mistakes and grow is through constant practice, practice, practice. And once you are done practicing. Practice some more. Why Practice Matters in Blitzscaling Anyone can talk the talk but it's the walking rightously that matters. If you want to sprint run, you need to do more than talk. You need to play the game. The more you play, the better you get, and the better you get, the more you play. Your team must take consistent action to test new ideas and hone new skills. Kravernetes Tenents advocate using simple and repeatable techniques and invoking precision when executing these tasks. The truth is that precision will only come when you repeat a technique 10,000 countless times. The best fighters boxers in the world understand this concept. Every day they trainin training, they practice the same techniques over and over relentlessly. The same foot movements; the same punches; the same combinations. For new fighters newcomers, it feels like overkill alien at first, but repetition enforces muscle memory breeds conviction. Through continuous drilling, everything begins to happen automatically. And then, in the match fight, a the boxer can go into war God mode and rely entirely on rely on muscle memory. In wrestling for example, I found the threshold somewhere around practicing a move 1,000 times before being able to do it in a match. It sounds ridiculous but I shadow box 3 hours a day and have for most of my adult life. I am often surprised by just how many people don’t know what wins fights….Particularly marines never know this. Its not part of their training which is somewhere south of 20 hours of hand to hand training for the average leatherhead. It is simple. Footwork wins fights every time. It doesn’t matter what the sport. Footwork trumps everything. A fight completely changes every time you slide to the right. The angles change. The way you win a fight is you control the angles and your position against your opponent. WYou can literally kill someone with just a simple left jab. Punch him in the nose, take a step back. Do it over and over again, and I guarantee they will eventually stop coming at you. Don’t get me wrong, I have thrown my share of haymakers, or even suicide punches, but they are easy to block and leave you exposed. Don’t get me wrong they have a role and can definitely make a point. But what wins fights is footwork.

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In the startup world, the companies that consider all the angles and train hard to become more agile will be the ones that can move fast and are ready to respond to changes. Being slow to react or making the wrong decisions under pressure might not result in you getting brutally separated from your consciousness—but it could mean a knockout blow for your business. The hot blood rush of a concussion can be difficult to deal with, especially when everything turns grey…My advice for startups and individuals is simply don’t get punched. Stay out of reach. Move. Slide. And constantly change the angles.

9 Tactics to Guide Your Blitzscaling Practice In the startup world, the companies that consider all the angles and train hard to become deadly will be the ones that can move fast and are ready to respond to changes. Being slow to react or making the wrong decisions under pressure might not result in you getting brutally separated from your consciousness—but it could mean a knockout blow for your business. The hot painful blood rush of a concussion can be difficult to deal with, especially when everything turns grey…My advice for startups and individuals is simply don’t get punched. Stay out of reach. Move. Slide. And constantly change the angles of the attack. Ari Libarikian is a senior partner of Leap, McKinsey's business-building capability. He explains that “the companies that have stayed at the top for decades are always regenerating. This is really a requirement to being successful today.” Serial business builders, like Amazon, Google and Facebook, are always regenerating. They adapt to changes in their environment and constantly launch new products, services and business ventures. In other words, they have mastered the art of blitzscaling. For that to be possible for your business, you have to forget almost everything you learned in business school. Here are nine counter-intuitive principles of blitzscaling to guide your efforts in practice: Embrace the Chaos Excuse my French, but I fucking love chaos. I was designed for War. Business War requires Mmaking speed paramount at the expense of efficiency, order and stability have to go out the window means things will get a little haphazard. You must accept that your business is in for a bumpy ride in the quest for product-market fit. Turbulence can be fun and is fun! Hire Ms. Right Now, Not Ms. Right Some people might be a great fit for the latter phases of blitzscaling but less suited to the earlier startup phases. Aim to recruit the right people at the right time. Similarly, be prepared to let people go as you grow. Practice “Bad” Management If you're truly embracing the chaos, the structure of your organization will bend and mold multiple times each year. Worry less about keeping things organized, so you prepare to handle unexpected challenges. Launch a Product That Embarrasses You A perfectionist won't succeed in this game. You need to jump in the ring and start making mistakes. You might get embarrassed, but the sooner you get your MVP into customers' hands, the quicker you can get feedback that helps you iterate and improve. I was an awful wrestler, until one day I wasn’t. Be awful until you aren’t. Let Fires Burn The second of Kravernetes Tenants is to “be vigilant in identifying and addressing challenges.” When you’re trying to grow quickly, you won’t be able to handle every problem. Focus on the key strategic areas that will fuel your growth or the major issues that could potentially ruin you. Forget everything else. Do Things That Don’t Scale When the Airbnb founders went banging on doors doorknocking to take quality photos of their listings, they knew it wasn't a scalable solution. But sometimes, before you can scale, you have to do the things that matter by any means possible. Courage and bravery are important. The Gods will reward you. . Ignore Your Customers Getting feedback from customers will help you improve your product with every iteration. But you must figure out how to scale your customer service to appeal to a broader audience, which will mean letting some issues go in the early days. Raise Too Much Money A defining aspect of blitzscaling is the inefficient use of capital. Having a large war chest is a defensive tactic to protect scaleups from crashing and burning—but it can also work offensively. Having deep pockets will enable you to take advantage of new opportunities that arise as you scale at speed. Evolve Your Culture Startup founders will set the tone for company culture, but it’s by no means set in stone. As your company grows and adds more people, the culture will naturally change.

 
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