Founding principles vs scaling principles

Peter Bauer – Founder & CEO, Mimecast

What are the biggest personal challenges founders face when their ideas take off? Can your principles survive when you manage a company of hundreds of people?

Not the challenges of growth that people usually discuss – hiring, operations etc – but the challenges that growth bring to your own personal identity, your values and principles and those of your company. Can the principles you have when you set your company up with a few friends survive in a business of a few hundred people?

This was no overnight success though and Peter is a very thoughtful individual. He says himself that Mimecast is a triumph of endurance rather than brilliance. He is also very clear, (like Joel Spolsky when he discussed the reasons that he took venture funding for Stack Exchange), that he does not want to take funding at the expense of losing control.

In this talk, Peter discusses his entrepreneurial journey and the principles that he and his co-founders have tried to apply to the growth, development and scale of their business. It is a remarkable talk in many ways as much for the openness about the stresses and fears that he feels as an entrepreneur, husband, father and human being and the challenges and fears that ‘success’ brings on the relationships that he cares most deeply about.

Not enough entrepreneurs talk openly about the challenges of entrepreneurship and the non-sustainability of start-up life. Not enough are as open about their fears when they work with investors.