This is my most important startup post of the year.

Scale is the most important goal for any startup. It’s one of the key things that drive massive disruption.

But how do startups scale? How do large companies act and disrupt as startups do?

That’s the number one thing that most founders and companies I encounter struggle with. They’re often moving too slowly or building technology that is too hard to sell, support, and use. What follows is my attempt to explain the process of product development and scale as simply and clearly as I can:

  1. Scale requires growth
  2. Growth requires repeatability
  3. Repeatability requires standardization
  4. Standardization requires polish
  5. Polish requires…

Image for post
Image for post

1. Measuring the right things

GDP and Stock market growth are not the only measures of success. We need to measure violence, happiness, equity and so much more.

What you measure you pay attention to. What you pay attention to, you work on and change.

2. An explicitly agreed minimum standard of living

Any group of any size — including a society — will determine (either implicitly or explicitly) a set of basic rules and goals.

Any set of rules and goals will naturally be suited to some, and not to others. Members of the group will naturally fall along of spectrum of competency. Some will be very good at living within the…


One of the defining characteristics of the modern world is a rapid and increasing rate of change. Curiosity is the way you learn and adapt more quickly.

Over the next ~19 days I’ll be sharing the key character traits of leaders from my book “The Leadership Lens”. These snippets are the key descriptions of how leaders think and act within the book. The book, of course, goes quite a bit further to give examples, explain why they think this way, how it contrasts with how most people think and what you can do to think and act more like a…


Your intention forms the basis for all your words and actions. Set it consciously to communicate and act more consistently.

Over the next ~19 days I’ll be sharing the key character traits of leaders from my book “The Leadership Lens”. These snippets are the key descriptions of how leaders think and act within the book. The book, of course, goes quite a bit further to give examples, explain why they think this way, how it contrasts with how most people think and what you can do to think and act more like a leader. Pick up a copy at http://www.theleadershiplens.com

On Intention setting

Leaders are diligent about determining medium to long-term goals for themselves. …


Image for post
Image for post

What follows is a complete summary of the new book “The Leadership Lens: Part 01 — Character Traits”.

By most definitions, leaders are the people in charge of others.

Instead, I define leaders as people who are in charge of themselves.

Leaders may be your most dependable friend, your favorite boss, your dearest aunt, an esteemed political figure, or a brave first responder who has inspired you. They are any individual who is intentional and impactful in their lives. They are typically the people you admire and find yourself drawn to. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo Credit: https://www.cs.columbia.edu/~w3157/hackathon/

As a serial entrepreneur, strategic adviser, former Head of Product @ Uber Developer Platform, Co-founder of Echo (grew dev platform from zero to 85 Billion API calls a month), co-author of APML, and co-founder of the DataPortability Project I’ve spent my career building products that developers love.

What is a Developer Platform?

In case you don’t already know, Developer Platforms (sometimes referred to as APIs and SDKs — but there’s much more to them that this) allow you to open up your product to a marketplace of 3rd party developers and companies. …


Image for post
Image for post

I’ve been working on startups in one form or another since about 1999. I started hanging out in Silicon Valley informally in 2008, and moved formally at the beginning of 2009. After building a number of startups, products, brands and ecosystems my journey so far has culminated in heading up product for the Uber Developer Platform and now, helping growing startups as a Strategic Advisor.

In Silicon Valley there’s a particular flavor of startup that gets built. One where you “raise money, grow fast and make a big impact”. “Success” is about being validated by a large market (most important)…


Image for post
Image for post

We’re in an era where there’s an explosion of new and exciting business models, disruptive startups, novel blockchain projects and large enterprises jumping into innovation projects. As such, there’s a real hunger for experienced startup founders and operators to help companies fast forward to the right answers and avoid the pitfalls that can often lead companies to failure.

Often times though, it’s hard to identify the right individuals to reach out to and it’s even harder to recruit them to your team. They’re often moving between the fastest growing, high-impact companies in the world or starting their own ventures.

In…


My friend and founder of the Social Media Club back in the day Chris Heuer asked the following question on Facebook: “What was the original promise of #SocialMedia? For you?”.

The implication being that, as early pioneers of the medium/model, our collective creation has not gone the way we wanted.

I answered…

  1. To show us that, at a high level, we all have the same hopes, fears and intentions. To use that knowledge to reduce fear of the unknown “other” — and therefore reduce conflict.
  2. To democratize publishing so that we could all tell our own authentic stories — first…

Image for post
Image for post

We’re currently living in an endless cycle of sensationalist media narratives resulting in mobs of outraged people attacking one target after the next. It’s destructive and unsustainable.

First, some context

I worked at Uber during the beginning and peak of the 12 month long #deleteuber media firestorm.

I found it to be a bewildering and demoralizing experience.

Not because the company was a terrible place to work — it wasn’t — but because of the gap between the lived experience of working there and the media narrative that was being told.

Part of the story was that Uber’s work culture was a toxic…

Chris Saad

Serial Entrepreneur. Strategic Advisor. Angel Investor. Fmr Head of Product @ Uber Dev Platform. Aussie living in both SF & Brisbane. Curious about everything

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store