Shashwati Banerjee, Kishor Goswami | Progress in Development Studies
Today’s disruptive innovations are driving the creation of numerous billion-dollar startups. Venture capitalists focus on these potentially disruptive technology startups and fund them furiously, advancing their speed of growth. The idea is to scale fast and seek huge returns for investors. Terms that define this type of aggressive scaling have recently developed in Silicon Valley. Unicorn is defined as a venture with a value of $1 billion, while a decacorn describes startups with a value of $10 billion. Another recent term is blitzscaling: funding a venture for extremely fast growth and prioritizing speed over efficiency in an environment of uncertainty. While blitzscaling is being used heavily by investors in Silicon Valley, we look at exactly what comprises this new phenomenon and how it is used in practice. We examine the concept, its stages, and its prevalence before reviewing the different examples of how the strategy has been implemented for success (the good), cases of its failure in practice (the bad), and the extreme cases of ethical compromise by ventures (the ugly). From these cases, we draw specific lessons that, if understood and appropriately addressed, would help new ventures effectively implement the strategy.