How do you stop acting small when you think so big?

Steven Schuurman / November, 2017


Steven Schuurman, CEO and Co-Founder of Elastic explain how to balance between working on the small operational details to the big overall picture/strategy.

Video transcript

How do you stop acting small when you think so big?

When do you think about operations, low-level details, and when do you think about the bigger picture and the corporate strategy? Both have its place and both are kind of equally important. I think that especially in the early days of your company, you think about both constantly, you think about where do I want to take the company and how am I going to get there. What things do I need to do, what systems do I need to deploy, who do I need to hire, those types of things; legal aspects, financial aspects, and product development aspects.

I think as the company matures and you get a bigger team, you get more people to worry about operational things, tactical things, as a company leader you basically have more bandwidth available to think about the bigger picture, but you should never forget that every now and then go all the way down into the weeds because it’s important to keep touch with whatever goes on and details.

Now that Elastic is a lot bigger we have 300 people, we have staff in 27 countries. For example, my co-founder and I, still interview everybody that joins the company. Everybody, no exceptions. We don’t just talk strategy, actually, we don’t talk strategy that often at all, but we still work with the marketing team and talk about demand generation. We spend a lot of time with the customers to think about where would they like to see our products evolving to, so absolutely low-level stuff is extremely important still.



  • Steven Schuurman, Elastic
  • November, 2017
  • 1:51
  • Startup Basics

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