Having been part of a series of companies which went through pretty substantial growth spurts (from eBay to Mozilla to Singularity University), I have had the great fortune of not only seeing and learning what works, but also observe what doesn’t.
One of the universal truths for growing companies seems to be the “Orders of Magnitude” rule:
Every time a company grows by an order of magnitude (from tens to hundreds to thousands of employees) every process tends to break and you can expect to reinvent them.
I have seen this rule play out in every function inside of an organization: From the way one develops and deploys product to marketing, HR and hiring, to the way you communicate with your staff and run your meetings.
Now — this shouldn’t put you off from growing. Far from it!
All it says is: Be prepared when growth hits. And one of the best ways I found staying ahead of this is to (as mentioned so many times here before) surround yourself with folks who have seen this pattern before and can support and guide you.
Godspeed my dear Heretics!