About Scaleup Scrapes & Scars

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

This blog aims to help you - technology start-up founders, entrepreneurs and leadership teams - rapidly scaleup your company to increase value for all your stakeholders - shareholders, staff and customers.


I've called this blog “Scaleup Scrapes & Scars” because scaling a company is hard work. You can’t build a company without enduring the daily scrapes and long-term scars that are part of the journey.


Scrapes… because every day brings its challenges – daily pressures, small missteps, operational slip-ups, bruised egos, people issues, management ‘paper-cuts’, and near misses. These are all frequent problems we deal with when leading a company as it scales-up.


Scars… because sometimes you make big mistakes – you make the wrong decision, someone stuffs-up, circumstances conspire against you, or, you’re just unlucky. Big mistakes are seared like scars on our body. Often, these scars stay with us the rest of our life and they define who we are. Like a kid falling off a bike, we learn from these scars.


At Aconex, I learnt more from my mistakes than from what we got right. Throughout this blog, I’ll share my story with all the scrapes and scars of scaling Aconex, so that you can avoid many of these yourselves. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs rarely reflect publicly on their mistakes. From the outside it can look like building a company is easy – it is not. I’ll tell it as it was, warts and all, no sugar coating.


I hope that the mistakes and successes of our journey at Aconex will help you make better decisions, lead your teams more effectively, grow faster and build more successful companies.


I’ll cover a range of startup and scaleup issues:


  • Strategy – including purpose and vision, customer segmentation, competitive dynamics, go-to-market planning, and navigating a crisis.

  • Operations – including customer focus, building a sales engine, managing product and engineering, setting an operational cadence, and budgeting and planning.

  • Leadership – including management 101, culture & values, motivation, authentic leadership, scaling an executive team, crisis management, company communication.

  • Financing – including fundraising, preparing for an IPO, and managing investors.

  • Personal effectiveness – including leading with humility, staff communication, motivating your team, founder dynamics, and building resilience.


Finally, I learnt all these things working with an amazing team at Aconex. So, a huge thanks goes out to everyone that worked at Aconex – of course to my co-founder Rob Phillpot, the rest of the Aconex executive team, the board, and all staff over the years. I loved working with you and learnt so much. Thanks!


All comments and questions are very welcome.


Thanks for reading.