Do things that don't scale

No matter the stage and the size of your business, to reach the maximum growth speed, you have to be fast and agile in the way you test and iterate when building your product or service.

And to do that, you need to adopt the mindset of doing things that don’t scale.

In this article, I’m gonna explain what it means, how I use it even after crossing $25M in ARR,  and how it can help you scale faster.

Staying in touch with your true fans

The first non-scalable thing that you should do is to always talk to your main users - the true fans, the ones who couldn’t live without your product.

“It’s better to have one hundred users who love your product than a million that kinda like it”, Sam Altman.

If you look at the most successful companies, they all started with addressing a small cohort of people.

Facebook was a community for Harvard students.

Apple targeted graphic designers.

Airbnb didn’t expand past San Francisco for a long while.

When your core users love your product, they share genuine feedback and care enough to stay and wait for your iterations without churning.

While those who weren’t big fans most probably will churn at a minor inconvenience without telling you what went wrong.

That’s why if you want to create something that people will use long-term, you should constantly nurture your relationship with your power customers.

Especially if you’re just starting.

I learned it the hard way in the early days of lemlist 👇

When we started, we realized that our activation rate was super low.

Based on the numbers we figured it was because our platform was too complicated and people were taking too much time to create campaigns.

So we rebuilt the platform without discussing it with our power users.

We were convinced that it was the right thing to do, but the community thought the opposite.

I quickly jumped on calls with the most frustrated users to learn what exactly was not working.

After a few days of fast iterations based on the feedback we received, we improved our conversion rate from free trial to paid customer by 3x.

We also increased our activation rate by 4x and divided the time it took to create a campaign by 2!

If you don’t know where to find your core users and how to reach them, I have a video about it.

And you should do that at all stages of your business. (And NO you don’t need to talk to everyone)

Even today when we’re at $25M+ ARR, I talk to my power users and my team does the same.

We have the “inbound insights” Slack channel, where we share all our findings and discuss how to implement them in our products.

Doing the work yourself

During the first 18 months of lemlist, I was doing everything by myself.

I was doing prospecting with lemlist.

I was doing marketing.

I was doing demos.

I was closing deals.

I was doing customer support.

And thanks to that I learned everything about my customers and if I was delivering the right solution for their pain points.

The more things you do yourself, the clearer your vision will be.

If you want to learn what objections your potential customers may have, get on calls.

If you want direct feedback on the new features, read support tickets.

I know a founder who thought he would “lose his authority” if the customers saw his signature in the support emails.

But when Tesla had production delays, Elon Musk publicly admitted the problem, went to sleep at the factories to watch the progress, and kept the customers updated.

This strengthened his relationship with them and boosted Tesla’s sales.

If Elon Musk with his billion-users customer base can reach out to them, you can do it too.

Every week I’ll publish new articles on how to build and grow a B2B business that generates millions of dollars.

Without any BS and giving you practical templates that you can steal.

Peace, love, and profit 💰

G. ✌️