Masters of Scale Book Summary - Masters of Scale Book explained in key points
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Masters of Scale summary

Reid Hoffman

Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs

4.3 (456 ratings)
22 mins

What is Masters of Scale about?

Masters of Scale (2021) is part fascinating anecdote, part how-to guide for entrepreneurs who are preparing to launch their product or scale up their company. With case studies and stories behind some of the world’s biggest companies, it isolates the principles behind successfully scaling up.

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    Masters of Scale
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    Consider every investor's "no" to be an opportunity for insight.

    One hundred and forty-eight: that’s the number of times Kathryn Minshew heard the word “no” when she was seeking investors for the online career platform she was trying to get off the ground.

    But with just one “yes,” Minshew raised $28 million for The Muse, which now employs 200 people and serves 100 million users.

    The moral of the story? Don’t let a “no” hold you back – at least 99 percent of the time. 

    The key message here is: Consider every investor's "no" to be an opportunity for insight.

    Sometimes, a “no” clues you into potential fixes. For example, let’s say you’re seeking funding for a chain of kickboxing gyms across Florida. The first investor you approach says, “No, too many old people live here for this to work.”

    This can tell you several things. Maybe you need to refine your pitch – next time, you’ll include statistics that demonstrate growing interest in gym membership among the 60-plus crowd. Or maybe you should consider a different location. Or maybe you walk away from this investor because you’re not comfortable with their ageist attitude. Regardless, that “no” is an opportunity to get feedback and adjust your approach.

    Pay attention to who tells you “no.” Is it a loving parent who doesn’t want you to get hurt? Or a spouse who doesn’t want to rock your family’s financial boat? Those refusals have more to do with your relationships than with your idea.

    It’s also important to ignore the “lazy no,” thrown out by investors unwilling to put in time, research, or imagination. But carefully consider the “honest no” from someone whose opinion and wisdom you respect.

    The best kind of “no” is the “squirmy no” – a reaction that polarizes a room, splitting it between people who say, “That’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard!” and those who say, “That’s so crazy it just might work!”

    This scenario tells you you’re onto something so original that no one even knows what to think about it. While it can be tough to get buy-in with an unconventional idea, it also means you’re probably the first one to try the idea out. And being first to scale something no one has ever seen before is a wonderful and exciting place to be!

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    About the Author

    Reid Hoffman is the founder of LinkedIn and a startup guru who’s had a hand in the success of numerous companies, including Airbnb, PayPal, and Facebook. He’s the author of Blitzscaling, The Start-up of You, and The Alliance and hosts the podcast Masters of Scale

    Who should read Masters of Scale?

    • Serial entrepreneurs
    • Investors looking to scale a startup
    • Executives seeking to grow their companies

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