I didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur. For a long time, I actually thought I was going to be a car designer.

Back in college, one of my favorite classes was Materials and Processes.

Many of my Industrial Design classmates preferred the artistic side of our field: sketching concepts, producing beautiful renderings by hand or on the computer, and building models and prototypes from clay and foam.

Others preferred the engineering side: building 3D models on the computer, creating CNC files for molds, and running stress test and load calculations to understand how durable their designs were.

Personally, I loved the process side: thinking through how a beautiful design could be manufactured, what materials were available, and figuring out if a design was feasible or would remain just a pretty picture on the wall.

Years later, as I learned more about digital marketing, building websites and tools, and eventually leading operational teams, I realized that my natural inclination to think processes through from beginning-to-end served me well as a business operator. My ability to take a bird’s eye view while being able to dive deep into intricate details excited me.

Strategist and builder. Thinker and doer. Planner and implementer.

Everything Old Is New

Over 10 years ago, I started writing about some of how systems thinking could be applied to businesses. Although they weren’t (yet) fully formed, I knew I was onto something.

Many of those ideas were implemented during my most recent tenure as COO at an advertising technology company where I helped scale the business from 6- to 9-figures in revenue.

Aside from the growth, I’m proud that our teams were able to grow efficiently and maintain high levels of profitability. Although we were a technology company, the power of automation wasn’t just limited to the engineers.

In fact, it was my job to help our operational team to more with less. With a plan and a little experience, I coached a few non-technical team members to stand up workflows using readily available tools that helped our creative, client success, marketing, and operations teams do their best work.

It was then I saw the impact automation could have on pretty much every business – not just a select few in Silicon Valley. I went from believer (“… in theory, this should work”) to evangelist (“I knew it would work! Let me show you how we did it…”).

“Nice job. Now, do it again. And again…”

It is crazy to think that millions of humans have made a living in the (very recent) past doing the same tasks over and over again… for their entire careers.

Maybe they made a living answering phones, hand-writing messages, or entering data into physical ledgers. Maybe it was copy/pasting data from one system into another or formatting reports. Maybe it was taking orders over the phone, then recording that information by hand or on the computer.

No wonder so many people looked forward to the day they retire.

An entire career spent doing the same task over and over again sounds exhausting, especially after mastery has been achieved. When the ceiling of human capacity is met, repetition doesn’t lead to better work; it leads to burnout.

For this reason, it’s not surprising that generations of workers looked forward to the day when they had freedom from monotonous repetition. Freedom over their time. Freedom for experimentation and growth. Freedom to explore their interests and learn new skills.

Luckily, the opportunity for a more fulfilling – and productive – career is within reach for most employees today.

There’s Got to Be a Better Way

According to a report by McKinsey, 50% of today’s knowledge work can be automated. That’s a scary stat if you planned on doing the same thing for the rest of your career.

But that’s not what most of us want.

Most motivated humans want to be challenged and to grow. We want to learn new skills and apply them to the ever-changing business landscape. We want to find new ways to do our jobs better, to serve our customers better, and to support the businesses who support our livelihood.

Sadly, those desires seem out of reach today. 94% of workers claim to perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks in their roles.

If ever there was a need for automation to free up human workers for more complex and creative tasks, now is the time.

How Companies Grow

Business owners have a few forms of leverage to deliver their products and service to a customer:

  1. Capital
  2. Labor
  3. Code
  4. Media

Hiring people (labor) is how most solved the problem of scaling up in the past. Savvy business owners would find capable employees and trade money for those individuals’ time to grow the capacity of their organization.

Increasingly though, businesses are recognizing the benefits of using code (software and APIs) to get things done.

As far back as 2018, Formstack reported that organizations using workflow automation tools save around $46,000 per year, on average. This not only improves the bottom line but also allows businesses to allocate their human resources more effectively. Small business owners are capitalizing on automation too, with thirty one percent (31%) of organizations already fully automating at least one function.

I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

For every “one function” that has been automated via code, there are likely dozens – or hundreds – of interconnected flows that take place within and between departments and make the engine go.

Said another way, the market is massive.

Good for Employees AND Businesses

As I write this piece, landscapers mow the massive lawn of a business across the street.

Their tool of choice? A zero-turn industrial riding lawn mower that cruises at (in my estimation) 10 miles per hour.

I’m fairly certain that if I walked across the street and asked if they would like to trade their gas-powered vehicle for a horse-drawn version or a manual push mower, they would politely decline.

Better tools make employees more efficient. They make their jobs faster and more comfortable. That’s the point of technology.

The same is true of office workers. According to Zapier, ninety percent (90%) of knowledge workers have said that automation has improved their lives. Two out of three believe that automation has made them more productive at work.

Like the landscaper, once you experience a better way, there’s no going back.

What is ScaleWell?

ScaleWell automates the manual, repetitive parts of your business so you can grow profitably. We are a partner that optimizes your operations without adding headcount to your payroll, and we can cut costs within 100 days.

This is in contrast to the countless B2B products and services that focus exclusively on growing the top portion of a P&L. Increasing leads, growing social media accounts, driving new website visitors, helping salespeople close more meetings, automating marketing, and boosting app downloads are all critical parts of operating a successful business. And I get it: revenue solves (most) problems.

But for companies who actually care about profits – how much they keep, not just how much they make – ScaleWell keeps your costs low by systematizing the work it would take multiple full-time employees to complete.

Why Now?

In a weird way, launching a service like ScaleWell seems obvious – maybe too obvious. It feels like one of those opportunities hiding in plain sight. The principles ScaleWell is based on are not new. I’ve been thinking about this concept for years. Today, I keep asking myself, “Why isn’t this more widely adopted?”

For example…

Digital shops build websites and apps for companies all the time. Advertising agencies help brands scale their paid efforts. Creative agencies and video production shops help produce quality content for online distribution.

Why is no one focused on the bottom-half of the P&L?

Maybe I’m nuts. But mostly, I think I’m just early.

I believe businesses are fundamentally interested in:

  • supporting their employees by reducing workload and complexity,
  • keeping teams as lean as possible to preserve alignment,
  • providing better customer experience, and
  • making more money

Either way, I’m thrilled to shine the light on this massive opportunity.


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