Notes from the book ‘How to Scale Up’

I am currently reading the book “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish’ and it’s just fantastic.

I’ve just completed reading the 30 – 40 % of the book and I am already overwhelmed by the number of notes I’ve made for myself. Here are few notes:

1) Working with Team: The key is an effective daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly  and annual meeting

After reading this book, I have tried that I review the work of everyone in my team so that there is no communication gap & work gets delivered as discussed with the client

Before reading this, I was not a big fan of daily meetings.

2) I learned 7 Ways to Increase the Cashflow.

Price, Volume (Ship more, quantity, reduce the cost of raw materials, reduce operating expenses, collect money from debtors, reduce the inventory, and slow down the payment to creditors)

3) There are three barriers to Scaling Up

  1. Increasing number of Capable Leaders in the Company
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Effective Marketing Function

4) There are 28 Million Firms in the US, of Which ONLY 4% ever reaches the mark of >$1 Million in Revenue. And only 0.4% of those reach to >$10 Million in revenue

> This stat is fantastic. I am using it to benchmark my company and see where we have reached.

5) Effective Leaders passes these two Test:

  • They don’t need to be managed
  • They regularly Wow the team with their insight and output

6) Attracting and Hiring A players, at all levels of the organizations, is as critical as landing the right customers

7) The cost of a bad Hire is 15X his or annual salary

8) Every company needs a team of absolute specialist.

[People who are extremely talented at one particular thing and possibly quite bad at others]. Teams need to be well rounded but their individual members don’t have to be.

**Life Principles to meet our Financial Needs**

1) Have Emergency fund: Have secure fund of 6-8 months of regular monthly expense
2) Have Term Insurance
3) Enable Flexi Deposit in all your Bank Account: Flexi Deposit will earn FD interest from your savings or current account
4) Have Mediclaim – Good ENOUGH Medical Claim
5) Have Personal Accident Insurance
6) Diversify Your Investments 1) FD, 2) Mutual Fund, 3) Stocks
7) Invest Minimum of 10 Percent upto 50 Percent of your income

Notes from the book Risk Savvy


Certainty is an illusion

1000 German adults were asked face-to-face – “Which of the following TEST are absolutely certain?”

  • Expert Horoscrope
  • Mammography
  • HIV Test
  • Fingerprint
  • DNA Test

Ask this question to yourself as well!

Correct answer is NONE.

NO Test results are absolutely certain.

When Modern technologies are involved, the illusion of certainty is amplified. In-fact, nothing is certain and all of these test makes error.

==================Medical Notes===============


  • No Medical TEST RESULTS Are absolutely certain
  • All Screening / Test has False Positive (ASK the doctor or google the same) and understand the percentage of false positive
  • If you are detected positive in any test – do at least couple of more screening to confirm.
  • Early Detection not necessary results into decreasing the mortality rate.

About False Positive Test Result

Many of use believe that the test results of various health test are 100% accurate.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

All devices have errors and they do show False Positive Test for a particular disease even if you don’t have it. Each machine/ test has a different False Positive Rate.

Please find below few false positive rates of:

For HIV Test – it is 1 in 250,000 (one of the best false positive rate)

For Mammogram:

False-positive rates ranges from 2.6% to 15.9%.

Between 3 – 16 patients wrongly detected positive. This is HUGE.

Source and Another Research

For Sonography (or Ultrasound):

False-positive rates range is around 9% (9 out of 100 patient wrongly detected positive)

Study Source

Study 2 Source

What this means?

  • If you are tested positive, it’s not necessary that you have that disease for sure. You might want to do few more test to confirm.

Does Early Detection / Screening reduces the Mortality Rate / Death Rate?

Short Answer: NO

Prostate Cancer

Here’s a study done on prostate cancer that shows that Men who did regular screening vs men who didn’t and if it helped reduced the mortality rate:

The results shows that, after an average 7 years of follow-up, the mortality did not significantly differ between the 2 groups.


Breast Cancer

Out of every 1000 women who did not participate in screening, about 5 died of breast cancer, while number was 4 for those who participated.

In statistical terms, that is an absolute risk reduction of ONLY 1 in 1000.


^^ Most doctors / people are fooled with the understanding that early detection results into decreasing the mortality rate

^^ Some cancers are non-progressive and that results into decreasing the mortality rate. The patient may not take any medicine but due the nature of it’s cancer he is going to die due to some other reasons before his cancer actually becomes his reason for death. Doctors may consider these patients as their success however that may not be the case.


Why Doctors DO NOT Promptly Share these information?

The author has coined a term SIC SYNDROME for doctors.

  • Self Defense
  • Innumeracy
  • Conflicts of Interest

Self Defense:

  • Most doctors are worried about a situation when they didn’t found any symptoms in a patient through manual checkup BUT do not want take a chance (and to protect) their image, they recommend extra test / screenings
  • Since People trust the screening results (as shared in the study at the beginning) – Doctors have an absolute proof to show it to the patient that they do / do not have any risk.
  • This is one of the biggest reason doctors recommend screening and tests to protect their down side


  • The inability to think with numbers. Doctors are not trained to communicate the risk of any test to the patients.
  • There are lot of research papers out there however since doctors are not trained to read them well statistically they misinterpret the data and results into wrong risk communication to patient.
  • A famous example of wrong miscommunication is – Early detection can result into 20 percent risk reduction in Breast cancer. Here, 20 Percent risk reduction is in relative terms. In absolute terms it is 1 in 1000 women which is super low

Conflicts of Interest

  • Doctors may have an interest to earn more and hence recommend an unnecessary screening
  • According to the points mentioned in the book, Big hospitals have targets of doing X Surgeries and Y Screenings every month irrespective of the condition of the patient. This results into unnecessary screening or test of patient to earn money


============== Additional Notes from the book=========

When the weather reporter announces a 30% chance of rain, what does it mean?

> It means there is 3 out of 10 chance you will get wet. It DOES NOT mean that only 30 percent of the area will get the rain OR some specific hours it will be rainy.

A good article on this subject

There is a HUGE misconception among people about it’s actual meaning due to lack of communication from the authorities as to what the 30% actually mean 😦

Notes on Leadership to Manage People:

  • First listen, then speak
  • If a person is not honest and trustworthy the rest doesnt matter
  • Encourage people to take risk and empower them to make decisions and take ownerships


  • Innovation drives success
  • You can’t play it safe and win. Analysis will not reduce uncertainty
  • When judging a plan, put as much stock in people as in the plan

In the face of uncertainty ‘intuition’ is indispensable for decision Making: 

An example of this is US Airways Flight 1549 Read More

Had the pilot spend time in going through the checklist while the flight’s engine were shut it couldn’t have been saved. Instead the captain use a simple rule of thumb – which helped him do a successful land in HUDSON River.

An Intuition or gut feeling is a judgement:

  1. that appears quickly in consiceneness
  2. whose underlying reasons we are not full aware of
  3. is strong enough to act upon

Simple Point: Ignoring tons of information can lead to  better, faster and safer decision.



Building Digital Agency [Notes from Ryan Stewart Video]

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Building a Digital Agency? Watch This – Ryan Stewart Keynote

  1. If you want to work with Big Clients – show them the case studies. Case Studies will bring a hell lot of referrals
  2. You can get Big Clients via Networking Events, Case Studies & Referrals.
  3. You need to have Big Results to get Big Clients.
  4. Document your work and promote the hell out of it.
  5. Big Digital Agencies are not doing the legwork (outreaching, meta-creation, etc.) and hence there is a HUGE opportunity for Small SEO Agencies to handle their work
  6. Big Digital Agencies invest huge time in Presentations and Technical SEO.
  7. If you want Big Clients – You need to give away Free Technical Audit and High-Quality Proposals.
  8. One of the best ways to grow your Digital Agency is by going DEEP in your offerings instead of going WIDE.
  9. Typical Enterprise Clients works with 2 – 10 Digital Agencies. [Each agency focuses on one activity]
  10. Big Digital Agencies have propriety tools that give them an EDGE over other Agencies. Such tools offer an extra value addition client which no other agency can offer.
  11. Everybody offers SEO but if someone offers SEO + a top-notch tool – Client will always choose the latter. Reason – it makes them look good & psychologically they are getting MORE.
  12. Scaling SEO is hard & hence create internal processes.


Discovering the Time Spent by a Bounced User

This post is only for SEO & Online Marketing Readers

The script mentioned here will help you measure the time spent by a user on a landing page.

If you have a website that has 90% or more bounce rate & you don’t have an idea if people are engaging with your content – you should implement this script.

The script will help you learn, if the the bounced users spent 10, 30, 60, 180 or more seconds on your landing page.

Additionally, apart from this script – you can implement plugin and enable content tracking to learn how much % of the content user scrolled through.

If you implement both these solutions, for a given landing page, you will know

  1. Time spent by a user on the page
  2. Avg % of content user scrolled through

Both these metrics will help you take data-driven decision regarding revamping the content.

Hope this helps