Scaling - Slow And Steady

Chris Steele

Engineering Manager at Affirm



"When we started out, we received a lot of seed funding. We had done a great job of hiring, and we scaled out our engineering team very quickly, to a point where it was much bigger than it needed to be."

Actions taken

"We didn't have a lot of structure regarding how we would scale out. The way we had built teams and assigned them with product verticals had been a little lackluster. Our new VP already had an over-stretched budget for what we wanted to accomplish, so this made the issue even more difficult."

"It would have helped to have slowed down and to consider why we were hiring and the projects we were hiring people for more tactfully. Ultimately, we were able to become a profitable company, but it was far more painful than it needed to be because of our need to scale back."

Lessons learned

"If you're trying to scale a large engineering organization, it's much easier to stay closer to the middle of spending all the money you want and spending no money at all until you make more money, than it is to bring an organization back from spending all the money it wants."

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Chris Steele

Engineering Manager at Affirm

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