Growth vs Scaling: Achieving Sustainable Success in Business and Product Design


Hatched by Glasp

Jul 14, 2023

3 min read


Growth vs Scaling: Achieving Sustainable Success in Business and Product Design


In the world of business and product design, there is often a focus on growth and scaling. While growth refers to the linear increase in resources and revenue, scaling is the ability to increase revenue without incurring significant costs. Both concepts are crucial for the success of a company, but they differ in their approach and outcomes. In this article, we will explore the difference between growth and scaling, the challenges they present, and provide actionable advice for achieving sustainable success.

Understanding Growth and Scaling:

Growth in business is commonly associated with adding new resources, such as capital, people, or technology, which leads to an increase in revenue. On the other hand, scaling is the ability to increase revenue without a substantial increase in resources. Scaling involves implementing processes that can be done en masse without extra effort. For example, sending an email to 10 people or 1 million requires the same level of effort.

The Challenge of Sustaining Growth:

While growth can be exciting, sustaining it requires a significant amount of resources. As a company grows, so do its costs. On the contrary, scaling aims to achieve exponential growth with only incremental or marginal investment. Studies have shown that two-thirds of the fastest-growing companies fail, and slow-growing companies tend to perform better in the long run. This highlights the importance of finding the right balance between growth and scaling.

Actionable Advice for Scaling Success:

1. Evaluate Scalability:

To determine whether your business is scalable, start by assessing your expense policies. Ensure that they can accommodate the growing demands of the company without incurring excessive costs. Additionally, think about your employee onboarding strategy. This is an opportunity to share your company vision, embed core values, and ensure that new hires are a perfect fit. Trust and alignment are crucial as managers have less visibility over their team members during scaling.

2. Focus on Repeatable and Predictable Systems:

To achieve scale, businesses need to establish repeatable and predictable systems. This requires documenting processes and ensuring that others can pick them up without step-by-step guidance. By delegating day-to-day operations, founders and leaders can shift their focus to strategic questions. This approach allows for efficient growth without compromising core values and vision.

3. Embrace Meaningful Gamification in Product Design:

Gamification can be a powerful tool for product design, increasing user engagement and conversions. However, it is essential to strike a balance between white hat and black hat gamification techniques. White hat techniques align with users' goals and preferences while encouraging life balance. Black hat techniques, although effective in driving immediate action, can lead to burnout in the long run. Design products that tap into your user's core motives while promoting healthy habits and outcomes.


In conclusion, growth and scaling are both vital for the success of a company. While growth focuses on linear resource and revenue increase, scaling aims to achieve exponential revenue growth with minimal additional costs. By evaluating scalability, establishing repeatable systems, and embracing meaningful gamification in product design, businesses can achieve sustainable success. Finding the right balance between growth and scaling requires strategic decision-making and a focus on long-term outcomes. Remember, success lies not only in the numbers but also in cultivating healthy relationships with users and customers.

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