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Venture Hacks Revisited: No Tradeoff Between Quality and Scale

Venture Hacks Revisited: No Tradeoff Between Quality and Scale

Scale without quality is not entrepreneurship—it’s business as usual.

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no tradeoff between quality and scale

Fourteen years ago, AngelList co-founders Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi launched Venture Hacks—a blog dedicated to startup advice. A lot has changed in the world of startups and venture since their first blog post, but many of the ideas shared on Venture Hacks remain timeless. We’re resharing some of Naval and Babak's more influential posts in hopes that the lessons and insights can inspire a new generation of founders and investors. These blog posts are being republished in their entirety with minimal edits.

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This article was published on February 18, 2013

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For an entrepreneur, if it’s possible to make it better, you must make it better. If it’s possible to make it more accessible, you must make it more accessible. If it’s impossible to make it better or broader, you innovate.

Starting a great Italian restaurant is not entrepreneurship because the proprietors make no attempt to scale it. Running a McDonald’s is not entrepreneurship because McDonald’s makes no serious attempt to build a better product. Apple is an entrepreneurial venture because it’s in the business of delivering ever-increasing quality at higher scale.

There is No Tradeoff Between Quality and Scale

Quality measures how far a product advances the customer. Scale measures how many people use it.

For entrepreneurs, there’s no tradeoff between quality and scale. The job is to do both—not one or the other. If it can’t be done, you innovate.

Quality without scale is not entrepreneurship—it’s a tree falling in the forest with no one around. Scale without quality is also not entrepreneurship—it’s business as usual. And it leaves businesses exposed to competitors who steal its customers (and, worse, employees).

Anyone who attempts to serve a customer at a new level of quality and scale is an entrepreneur. Anyone who does not, is not.

If you’re interested in helping entrepreneurs never reach the finish line, AngelList is hiring engineers and designers.*

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Read the original post here.

*We're still hiring :)


Disclaimer:

The information in this post and others in the Venture Hacks Revisited series is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. The posts reflect the view of the authors, at the time the original post was authored and may not reflect the current view of AngelList Venture or its employees. These posts do not constitute advice of any kind.
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