Making Every Day Count: How We Achieved 10x Growth in 10 Months
Oct 26, 2021 | Business
Bolt has grown immensely, over 10x’ing its valuation in 10 months! This wasn’t an accident, but it also wasn’t a given. So, how did we do it? Quite simply, we started making EVERY day count. I’ll break that down, but first, let’s zoom out. We decided as a team that any tactic we took to “make the day count” had to come from one of 5 principles:
Now, let’s talk tactics.
Tactic 1: Remove All Blockers
We’re all used to hearing things like: “But X didn’t put a meeting on the calendar,” “The other team hasn’t gotten back to me yet,” or “I didn’t hear from Y.” These problems can hold up projects for days and weeks. But we decided that getting blocked would not be tolerated. We became relentless about solving problems, not just identifying them.
Tactic 2: Radically Simplify Reporting
We removed all the complexity from our organization. It was tough, no denying it. It took lots of hard conversations, but we couldn’t compromise on doing it right, and those who bought in moved forward and thrived. This step has been absolutely critical for scale.
Tactic 3: Outcomes > Inputs
Ultimately, results are what matter. Some people do REALLY good work, but can’t seem to produce results. Letting this continue was a blind spot of mine for a long time. We decided we would no longer value inputs. We value outcomes.
Tactic 4: Pushing The Limits
We pushed everyone and set constraints to see what they were capable of. Staying at these limits for too long can be damaging, so we focused on accelerating in short bursts to open up new capabilities. You never know what’s possible until you do this.
Tactic 5: Question All Timelines
Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill available time. Our limiting factor is the belief that X takes Y time. When something was expected to take 3 weeks, we asked, “how about 3 days?” The team found ways to get it done. This approach unlocks pure magic.
Tactic 6: Close Deals Faster
- We used a four-step process for accelerating deals:
- Improve qualification
- Ask prospects what their sticking points are
- Write first drafts of agreements
- Commit to deal timelines
Don’t be afraid to make the ask or push — you’ll be surprised what comes out of it.
Tactic 7: Small Things Matter
It’s easy to say, “I’m focused on this big thing, so the small thing can wait.” But if everyone does this in the company, it forms a snowball so big that the entire organization suffers. Velocity is everything. If it needs to happen, get it done.
Tactic 8: Level Up the Team
When your goal is to grow 10x in 10 months, if one member of the team is growing at 4x, it’s not fast enough. We had direct conversations with folks who weren’t scaling, and many of them stepped up to the plate. All it took was one candid and caring conversation.
Tactic 9: Hire for Scale
As an early stage startup, we focused on generalists who could learn quickly. As we scaled, we hired for experience, minimizing learning on the job and focusing instead on Day 1 Impact.
Tactic 10: BALANCE
Bolt is the first unicorn ever to shift to a 4-day workweek. Why? We don’t care about hours worked. We stopped praising late nights, and we started praising mental, physical and emotional health so everyone could bring their best self to the job.
And that’s it! These are the 10 tactics we used to make EVERY day count.
I hope to continue sharing these insights all the way to 100X! If you found this useful, give me a follow. I love to share lessons learned building and operating billion-dollar businesses. Let’s take off together!