Make Complexity The Enemy: The Simple but Proven Methods Behind Duo’s Growth

As you scale a business, there’s no shortage of tactics and advice. But how do you decide what to do, when to do it and in what order? Today’s guest, Dug Song, will tell you: “Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. The list of all the things you could be doing are probably the right things to do….at some point in the company.” He warns that doing things “too early will literally kill you…you just can’t afford it when you’re small.”

Dug is a co-founder of Duo Security, which was recently acquired by Cisco for $2.35 billion. In the previous episode, Dug talked about why he built Duo Security. In this episode, he dives into a great amount of detail about how he thought about and protected Duo’s growth by knowing what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to in their journey to scale.  Dug shares specific details and tactics about how he and his team are very intentional about ushering out complexity.

He shares some of the real tactics he’s implemented at Duo around employee motivation, employee development, all-hands meetings, leadership development and much more. Don’t miss this episode:

Other topics include:

  • Why he struggles to find advice in business books – and what he does instead
  • The unlikely reason why you should coach and help other companies
  • What Dug does to keep his sanity, especially in difficult times
  • The simple framework he uses to explain different stages of the business as it grows
  • How he communicates change to the business
  • The different mechanisms Duo has for employees to give feedback and ask questions
  • How – and why – Duo does their DLT’s – Dual Lightning Talks (Duo’s All Hands Format)
  • The role the CEO as Chief Storyteller and the power of narrative in a business
  • How to prepare employees for growth
  • The unique way Dug looks at motivation
  • The right time to start career development conversations
  • What happens when you do not have career development conversations
  • How to view career development should be a lot like product development

All of this and much, much more! Don’t miss the final episode in our conversation with Dug, coming soon. He talks about vacation policy, how he leads and manages his board, the operating model of Duo and how he operationalizes many of the tactics discussed over the previous episodes.

If you have a question or comment, please leave it in the comments section below. Make sure to subscribe to the For You Leaders Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Leave a Comment