When Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and Executive Chairman of Alphabet heard that the company had no international ad sales revenue stream he quickly realised that Google had a unique opportunity. He recounted to Reid Hoffman in Masters of Scale that he told his colleague Omid Kordestani to go to Europe immediately and not to come back until he had established a European office. Kordestani, who is now executive chairman of Twitter, said that said it was very clear to Schmidt, that 'we just needed to fire on all cylinders'. Kordestani arrived in London and made Google's first senior international hires out of a hotel lobby that same week. Schmidt says that establishing global revenue source quickly was key to scaling up fast in order to get ahead of the competition and in hindsight he would have done it even quicker.

The Right Pace Wins The Race

Schmidt recognized that he needed to pick up the pace and push as hard and as fast he could in order to capture a unique market opportunity. Here are 4 questions to help you tell if you need to pick up the pace and how to do it quickly

  • Are your competitors going faster than you? Go faster to catch up. Learn from them about how to increase pace.
  • Do you see shifts in the needs or buying preferences of your customers? Go faster to involve them in co-creating what they most want to buy. The more you can engage customers locally, the faster you can go. But then slow down enough to align different local strategies and transfer insights gained.
  • Are you changing faster or slower than your channel partners? Go faster to catch up or slow down to help them catch up with you. Partner with them more to learn and go faster together. Add value to them in the process.
  • Has your business enjoyed the reputation as the leader in your industry? Stay on top by going faster. Create urgency and some healthy paranoia. You are not too big or too good to fail.
  • Is technology changing how you make or sell your products or services? Go faster to accelerate your efforts to build great digital literacy starting with sales, marketing, and human resources