Rand Fishkin on Scaling Up Business

Photo by: JD Hancock

This interview from Rand at Mixergy is quite fascinating, particularly when it ventures into one of the main things I’ve been thinking about: how much you should grow your business to a scale where you’re mostly managing a company instead of its product or service:

Rand: Well, for me at least, and I think for a lot of entrepreneurs who love the early stage, we’re the same kinds of people who love artisanal things in the world. Artisanal things in life. And that can be, you know, hey, this shirt was handmade in Scotland in this store that I stopped into, and I met the owner. And that’s the same woman who designed the pattern and sourced the fabric. God, that’s so cool.

Andrew: Yeah.

Rand: Right. Or the craft cocktail movement. It’s like, yeah, this drink was invented in this bar last year when this crazy guy came up with this thing and, by the way, he also won the world beer championship two years in a row. That artisanal style of creation is something that’s really beautiful. And it doesn’t scale tremendously well. Or let me put it this way, it’s really, really hard to make it scale well.

The point is: being a true CEO is not for everyone. For that entails running a large scale business and not just a product or service. And not every product/service is adequate to scale up to the point of even having one, despite so many people calling themselves CEO of this or that.

Still, well done Rand! You might not have enjoyed the CEO role so much, but you built a business to that level, and that’s something to be proud of.