Scaling Series, Part Two: Let’s talk IPO (no, not that kind of IPO)

This is the second blog in our series on scaling. For this and for our forthcoming posts, we have worked in collaboration with Philippe Mauchard, one of our managing partners, who has previously ideated, designed and led the McKinsey Solutions unit, comprising some 40 startups (now several scale-ups) in the area of business decision support services globally.

See our previous scaling series post on Squeezing Time. 


As an entrepreneur, there is not always a clear-cut path for you to take - in fact, there’s almost never a clear path. And what’s more, it can sometimes be discouraging to figure out exactly what you want your company to be.

While there are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to creating a product or service, it can really boil down to the entrepreneur/founding team behind that product, and how she or he perceives opportunities in the market.

With that said, let’s talk about a simple acronym to give you a bit more clarity: IPO - no, not “Initial Public Offering,” but rather Insight, Passion and Openness to Opportunities.

I - Insight (or itch)
The insight, or the itch, of the market, is what problems or gaps you’re trying to address. It’s actually more important to address the problems themselves than having a great idea for how to solve it. If you understand the issues you are trying to solve well, you will pivot more easily if your solution doesn’t hit the market

P - Passion
Passion is what typically differentiates entrepreneurs from the rest, as it’s the thing that will keep you up when everything around you is pushing you down. Entrepreneurs see roadblocks as an opportunity to trigger more creativity, rather than a reason to give up. When something gets in the way of an entrepreneur’s business, they begin to look for other angles to tackle the issue. This is crucial when starting your business, as there are always roadblocks in some form or another, and you’ll have to be able to attack this head-on.

O - Openness to opportunities
Openness to opportunities can be an easy thing to rationalize from a distance or as a third-party observer, but in reality, you’ll never know what will always and won’t always work in practice. Entrepreneurs have to be open to casting a few nets and seeking out opportunities in unique ways. If you’re too thoughtful or too much of a planner, it can greatly restrict your ability to seize opportunities. But keep in mind: it’s a marathon, not a sprint (albeit a high-paced marathon!).

With these three things in mind, entrepreneurs can navigate the tricky landscape of starting a (hopefully successful) business and seize opportunities as well as find the path that works best for them.

Interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and scaling your business? Be sure to attend our Fin & Tonic on scaling on November 30.