Scaling a Startup
- CloudFlare: Running Hot? (HBS course materials)
- Scaling a Startup: People and Organizational Issues (HBS course
In July 2012, the cofounders of CloudFlare, a Silicon Valley startup
that protects websites and accelerates their traffic, are considering
the implications of five employees' resignations over the prior three
months. Was this natural attrition for a high-tech venture with a
staff of 35 experiencing explosive growth, or were the resignations
symptomatic of bigger issues with CloudFlare's culture and management
processes? After describing CloudFlare's early history, business
model, organization structure, and human resources policies, the case
presents first-person accounts from employees regarding their reasons
for resigning, and then asks whether CloudFlare's cofounders should
take any corrective actions.
- What business is CloudFlare in?
- How does CloudFlare recruit new talent?
- What characteristics attracted key talent to CloudFlare?
- What kind of company culture did the founders cultivate at
- What phase of company evolution is CloudFlare in? What evidence in
the case supports your assessment?
- What internal and external pressures are the senior management at
- What are the critical communication and decision paths at
CloudFlare? How are they currently managed?
- Review the five resignations. What caused each to resign?
- What steps has CloudFlare taken to alleviate these concerns? Are
- What is the root cause of the resignations at CloudFlare?
- What more should CloudFlare do to recruit and retain key talent?
- What advice would you give the CloudFlare founders to help the
company grow into a major force in the Content Delivery Market?