Minimize internal co-ordination costs

From Blake Masters’ notes on Peter Thiel’s 2012 course on startups at Stanford:

Companies exist because they optimally address internal and external coordination costs. In general, as an entity grows, so do its internal coordination costs. But its external coordination costs fall…

Size and internal vs. external coordination costs matter a lot. North of 100 people in a company, employees don’t all know each other. Politics become important. Incentives change. Signaling that work is being done may become more important than actually doing work.

These costs are almost always underestimated. Yet they are so prevalent that professional investors should and do seriously reconsider before investing in companies that have more than one office.

Severe coordination problems may stem from something as seemingly trivial or innocuous as a company having a multi-floor office. Hiring consultants and trying to outsource key development projects are, for similar reasons, serious red flags.

One thought on “Minimize internal co-ordination costs

  1. Pingback: Don’t allow remote work at the “figure it out” stage | A Founder's Notebook

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