Corporate way of thinking: We carefully prepare a plan. Then we implement it precisely. The results will be as stated in the plan. Failure is due to bad execution.
Startup way of thinking: My plan is not really a plan, it’s just a sum of my hypothesis. For sure it will be wrong but I don’t know where and how. I need to run lots of structured experiments to test my hypothesis. When I have validated my assumptions, I may have a plan that is worth something. Failure is due to not running enough different “tests” with customers.
Many startups behave like corporates in this regard, assuming their plan will work – just throw in money and people and voila. No. Be very aware that until you have validated your assumptions you do not have a plan. Then you can not be implementing a plan (read: scaling), all you can do is run experiments.
The result of an experiment is to increase your knowledge – does this work, Yes/No. The job of a startup is to run experiments. A good startup learns a lot while spending very little effort and money. A bad startup spends a lot and doesn’t learn much.Cost efficiency of your learning should be a key objective while in the experimental phase (=all phases before scaling, by which time you should have a validated plan you can just implement). Cost efficiency of running your operation should be your key objective once at the scaling phase.