thirty-sixSTRATEGY LETTER I: BEN &JERRY'S VS. AMAZON

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2000

Building a company? You've got one very important decision to make, because it affects everything else you do: No matter what else you do, you absolutely must figure out which camp you're in, and gear everything you do accordingly, or you're going to have a disaster on your hands.

The decision? Whether to grow slowly, organically, and profitably, or whether to have a big bang with very fast growth and lots of capital.

The organic model is to start small, with limited goals, and slowly build a business over a long period of time. I'm going to call this the Ben & Jerry's model, because Ben & Jerry's fits this model pretty well.

The other model, popularly called Get Big Fast ...

Get JOEL ON SOFTWARE: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.