Lean is a great discipline. It drives focus. It eliminates waste.
But there’s a downside to being too lean.
Big opportunities need big resources. Either pass on these opportunities or face the real risk that the company breaks under the weight of what’s required.
Fat startups can handle big opportunities. They have lots of money. And plenty of people.
But there’s a downside to being too fat. Waste is abundant. Changing direction quickly is hard because of all the excess baggage.
Do startups have to either starve or gorge?
Successful startups have already figured out the paradox of lean and fat.
Endurance training because it’s a marathon. Sprints and cardio for critical inflection points. Stay flexible to withstand unexpected challenges. And agile to change directly quickly. Build mass and strength in order to deal with bigger challenges as you grow.
Successful startups are fit startups.