Why do we always have to scale?!

I am a startup mentor, a consultant, a judge for business competitions, etc. Aka: I talk business strategy with startups on a daily basis.

Just last week I judged a business plan competition for college students. Throughout the day, I heard many times from the other judges, "How do you scale this?". If I had a dime for every time...

"How do you scale this?"

It's crazy. Why has scaling become the name of the game? Has the dream of owning a small business disappeared?

There have always been and always will be business founders who want to take on the world. There is nothing wrong with that and I encourage you to do so if that is what drives you. That is not what I am disappointed in, it's the expectation that everyone must pursue the same purpose.

Please, ask before you speak.

Didn't I just talk about listening before you speak? Haha!

I am someone who does not have the intention to take on the world. My intention is to change lives and to live in a small home with my wife drinking tea watching the sunset. With this in mind, I plan to be a small business owner far into the future. (I have to never say never, but this is the plan today.)

I want to build products that improves the lives of people all around the world and meet people who want to do the same. I plan to die without building the next Uber.

I do not understand why scaling is the expectation of every new startup company.


I want to challenge all mentors, judges, and advisors. Please ask the intention of the business owners before jumping to conclusions. If the founders want to become the next Facebook, feel free to continue your conversation with scaling in mind. Let's respect the intention of the founders before we jump to any conclusions. Don't assume where they want to be 5 years down the road.