- One of my favorite examples of blitzscaling is Airbnb, not just because I'm an investor, but because it's transforming hospitality, belonging communities all around the world, and they had a key decision point about when to blitzscale. - Now, what happened was, Airbnb was facing off against a terrible competitor, Wimdu, in Europe. It had 10 times the money, 10 times the employees, and it was going to go and spread to 20 countries at once in Europe. Now, this was a big issue for a travel company, because if you don't offer accommodations in Europe, you're not longer going to be in business, so Airbnb had to decide what to do.
Were they going to try to join forces with Wimdu, or were they going to try to fight? And they undertook the decision to blitzscale, even though it was uncomfortable to raise more money, it was uncomfortable to move more quickly, but doing so was the only way they could be the first to scale, and ultimately, the one that would dominate that global market. - And in part, it's the risk of not doing it was much worse than the risk of actually taking the capital and exploding towards the market. - Yeah, in a blitzscaling market, really, it is a race, and if you're going to win first place, you have to sprint all-out.
But another great example is Amazon. Here's a company that in 1996 was a small online bookstore with five million in sales. Three years later, by 1999, a giant online retailer with 1.6 billion in sales, and Jeff Bezos has demonstrated over and over again the ability to blitzscale different businesses, and that's the thing that really makes Amazon a great example. Amazon hasn't just blitzscaled a single business. It has been able to transform the world multiple times, such as when it built Amazon Web Services and became the leader in cloud computing.
- And one of the things about Amazon that's so key is it's always that focused on what the future scale market is. This is one of the underlying insights of what blitzscaling does, because the question is, sure we have our current market, sure we have our current analysis, but that future market is where the entire business is, and that's what we need to shoot for, including taking very uncomfortable risks right now.