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Notes From A Blitzscale

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The term blitzscaling was coined by reid hoffman et al in his homonymous standford class (available on youtube). In an article in hbr on it, he says “I have obvious hesitations about the world war ii association with the term “blitzkrieg.” however, the intellectual parallels are so close that it is very informative. Before blitzkrieg emerged as a military tactic, armies didn’t advance beyond their supply lines, which limited their speed.

The theory of the blitzkrieg was that if you carried only what you absolutely needed, you could move very, very fast, surprise your enemies, and win. Once you got halfway to your destination, you had to decide whether to turn back or to abandon the lines and go on. Once you made the decision to move forward, you were all in. You won big or lost big. Blitzscaling adopts a similar perspective. If a start-up determines that it needs to move very fast, it will take on far more risk than a company going through the normal, rational process of scaling up.” during her tenure as head of marketing at blablacar, vanina helped the company grow from 2 to over 20 markets and from 40 to over 400 team members, the kind of order of magnitude growth typical of what reid calls a “Blitzscale”. She shares her notes on the experience, and learnings for next time.


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