Do Scale Book Summary - Do Scale Book explained in key points
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Do Scale summary

Les McKeown

A Road Map to Growing a Remarkable Company

4.3 (82 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

'Do Scale' by Les McKeown is a business book that outlines how to successfully grow a company from startup to scale-up phase, without losing the entrepreneurial spirit that got you there. It provides practical advice for structuring, delegating, and leading teams to achieve sustainable business growth.

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    Do Scale
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    Scaling demands you focus on increasing your market share. 

    You’re the founder of a business. Things are going well. Very well, in fact. You’ve got a steady cash flow and a growing market share. It’s time to take it to the next level. That means scaling, right? Well, not necessarily.

    The key message is: Scaling demands you focus on increasing your market share. 

    Scaling is a very specific type of company growth. And it’s not right for everyone. To understand why, let’s explore the difference between growth and scaling. 

    When it comes to growth, a company’s primary focus is on improving product quality or increasing profitability. This results in linear growth – growing the company steadily, over time. If we plot this type of company growth on a graph, we’ll see a straight line rising at an angle.

    But the purpose of scaling is to achieve dramatic growth. In most cases, this means sustainably but quickly increasing a company’s market share. Scaling is often referred to as exponential growth. If we plot this on a graph, we’ll get a line that looks like the letter “J”: The line will dip a little at first before spiking steeply at a sharp angle. 

    Scaling sounds great, doesn’t it? After all, who doesn’t want to increase their market share at lightning speed? 

    Well, scaling might be great in theory, but it’s easier said than done. To scale successfully, you have to change the primary focus of your business to increasing market share. Every other focus – from making the best product to training your staff to the highest level – must be secondary to this main goal. If they aren’t, you won’t succeed in scaling. 

    Since scaling requires this ruthless deprioritization of other company goals, it’s not always the right option. 

    Take Jim the luthier – or guitar-maker. Jim’s business was booming. His high-quality guitars were in demand, and his revenues were increasing. At this point, he considered scaling. But then he paused. Scaling would mean a complete refocus on maximizing market share. He’d have to divert his own time to attend strategy meetings, develop business plans, and manage sales staff. Crucially, this would mean spending less time on his true passion – making world-class guitars. So Jim didn’t scale. Instead, he sold his business to a bigger company for a profit and continued working as an artisan.

    Being clear about his priorities helped Jim realize that scaling wasn’t for him. But, unlike Jim, you might look at your options and decide that scaling is the logical next step. In the next blink, we’ll learn more about your options.

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    What is Do Scale about?

    Do Scale (2019) provides succinct, practical advice for business founders and leaders wishing to scale their organizations in a sustainable way. It explains what scaling means, how to evaluate whether it’s right for your company, the challenges you’ll personally face, and the mind-set and team you’ll need to scale successfully.

    Do Scale Review

    Do Scale (2019) by Les McKeown is a thought-provoking book that explores how companies can grow and scale successfully. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With practical insights and real-life examples, it offers actionable strategies for businesses looking to expand and thrive.
    • McKeown's expertise and clear explanations empower readers to navigate the complexities of scaling a company.
    • Through his engaging storytelling and relevant case studies, McKeown keeps readers engaged, ensuring that the book is never boring.

    Best quote from Do Scale

    Scaling is built on mastering the mundane, and you need to know that going in.

    —Les McKeown
    example alt text

    Who should read Do Scale?

    • CEOs looking to increase market share
    • Start-up founders ready to take their companies to the next level
    • Leaders wanting to learn how to structure complex businesses

    About the Author

    Les McKeown is the president and CEO of Predictable Success, a company which advises on accelerated business growth. After launching over 40 businesses by the time he was 35, McKeown spent 20 years studying growth patterns in large enterprises. He is the author of Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-seller Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There, The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success and Do Lead: Share Your Vision. Inspire Others. Achieve the Impossible.

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    Do Scale FAQs 

    What is the main message of Do Scale?

    The main message of Do Scale is focused on helping businesses grow and scale successfully.

    How long does it take to read Do Scale?

    The reading time for Do Scale varies, but on average, it takes a few hours to read the entire book. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Do Scale a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Do Scale is definitely worth reading. It provides valuable insights and strategies for businesses looking to expand and thrive in today's fast-paced world.

    Who is the author of Do Scale?

    The author of Do Scale is Les McKeown.

    What to read after Do Scale?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Do Scale, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman
    • Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
    • Scale for Success by Jan Cavelle
    • Scaling Up Excellence by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao
    • Subtract by Leidy Klotz
    • Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
    • Testing Business Ideas by David J. Bland and Alexander Osterwalder
    • The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder
    • Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins