Over the past few decades, blitzscaling has redefined countless industries and helped shape nearly every part of our lives. Each waking hour, you probably use multiple products from companies that blitzscaled in the past or are in the process of blitzscaling today.
But what if the Blitzscaling Era is just getting started? So far, blitzscaling has been concentrated in software and the Internet, but it’s likely to reshape our physical infrastructure or even our bodies in the future. Artificial intelligence will soon be ubiquitous, thanks to self-driving vehicles and better machine learning. Technology innovations in the life sciences, such as CRISPR gene editing, may change the fabric of life itself. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology may change the role of governments and corporations in global finance and commerce.
New technologies are emerging rapidly and promise to change everything—again. These new technologies will enable new business models, which in turn will create new industries. In the history of high tech, platform shifts, such as the move from mainframes to client-server or the move from the Web to mobile, have represented huge opportunities. Today, multiple platforms are emerging or shifting simultaneously, bringing greater complexity—and even greater rewards for speed.
Meanwhile, markets and investors are increasingly willing to fund aggressive bets on blitzscaling. Because private investors are willing to fund growth, companies are staying private longer so that they can keep making investments in blitzscaling that the public markets might frown upon. Companies like Airbnb and Xiaomi have valuations in the tens of billions, making them more valuable (on paper) than the vast majority of publicly traded companies. Because investors in the public markets aren’t able to profit as much from post-IPO blitzscaling, those investors are looking to invest in privately held companies, which makes even more money available to fund blitzscaling!
In this book, we’ve tried to help the various stakeholders in society better understand the phenomenon of blitzscaling, how it’s changing the world, and how to respond to it.
Entrepreneurs should be aware that blitzscaling is the main pattern by which major new technologies, business ecosystems, and companies establish themselves and replace their predecessors. With the knowledge they gain from this book, entrepreneurs can better apply its methods to their own businesses, be more aware of how their competitors might employ the same techniques to change the playing field, and be better prepared to respond to those competitive threats. They will also better understand how to blitzscale responsibly, and build companies that improve society and of which they can be proud.
This is an extract from Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh's Blitzscaling published by Currency