I recently sat down with Sabrina Parsons, the CEO of Palo Alto Software to discuss a concept known as the valley of death. Parsons defines the valley of death as the time during which a company grows from 50 employees to 100–150 employees. Many organizations face a number of real challenges during this period from negative cashflow to difficulty preserving a positive company culture.
You might wonder what makes moving from 50 to 100 employees especially challenging. This stage of growth finds companies with the feeling of a small company transforming into one that “has to implement a lot more policy” while also having to expand physically, says Parsons.