Every so often in my web ramblings, I come across an interesting tidbit. While not meant to be an endorsement of Automattic, I find it interesting that a company with such a huge impact on the Internet has 113 employees total and is not constrained by geography. While not quite the 12 person, $1 billion tech company I wrote about last year (and which Instagram was so gracious to prove), it is quite an impressive feat.
Massive teams with extraneous resources not directly adding value to the products these companies create are going to be a thing of the past. I could not honestly tell you what 75% of the employees at Oracle, Microsoft, Google, and the like are doing. These are companies with teetering org charts filled with people that exist only to justify their own existence and make imaginary work for others. The result is that the products produced over time are simply not that great.
Forget about starting all lean startup then binge hiring to scale the company. That is the slow boat to Bloatsville, management bureaucracy, product stagnation, and shitty HR employee manuals. Size is simply puts a chokehold on innovation and stifles independent thought. Start lean and stay lean and never hire for the sake of hiring even if the pull of snagging an “A player” infects your thinking* or your investors push you to hire in order to take the market advantage.
* There are no A players, that is a bit of myth-busting I plan to drop this week.