Where Growing Companies Fail

Only 10% of companies successfully exit No Man’s Land – the growth stage where companies are too big to be small, but too small to be big.

Is your company in No Man’s Land?

Entrepreneurs have big ideas. This is no secret. Transforming your big idea into a growing business is a real challenge. This is why so few companies survive the startup phase and enter No Man’s Land, and why even fewer exit No Man’s Land whole, healthy, and thriving.

No Man’s Land is a pivotal stage in a business’s life cycle – we call it adolescence – when a growing company is too big to be small, but too small to be big. It’s a moment of transition when strategies that worked before work no more, and when owners and their teams are faced with challenges they have never faced previously. The result can be frustration, confusion, stagnation, loss of confidence, and even financial failure.

Tales from No Man’s Land

Announcing the eBook companion to No Man’s Land, the top selling business book for CEOs. New stories on how your company can avoid the pains of being too big to be small and too small to be big will be coming soon.

The story begins with the Craft Brewery industry. If you want to be part of the story or know a brewer who is interested, click below. You can also sign up to receive an early edition.

Become part of the story

We have watched emerging growth companies of various sizes and in various industries enter No Man’s Land only to stumble over the same set of fundamental issues. Some have been unable to innovate their products to stay relevant to their customers. Others have not understood the importance of or been able to afford to develop the infrastructure needed to service increased demand. Many have failed to address the weaknesses of family, friends, and close confidants who made up their management team and inner circle.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Understanding the unique realities of No Man’s Land can help you make informed decisions about how, and even whether, to grow your business.

Our research shows that the challenges facing adolescent companies fall in 4 management areas. From this we’ve derived a set of navigational principles for managing a rapidly growing company:

  • Understand the transition that will occur in your business’s Market.
  • Address the changes that will be required to your Management.
  • Test your economic Model to assure continued profitability as your business scales.
  • Understand the practical requirements for attracting the Money you need to grow.

How can you tell if you are in No Man’s Land?

Take two minutes to answer these 10 questions and learn if your company is in or heading toward No Man’s Land.

Take Our Survey

The Four M’s Model

Market, Management, Model, Money - will help you understand where to focus and what steps to take to exit No Man's Land successfully. It is based on our work with thousands of entrepreneurs over the past 20 years.


Market misalignment, or getting out of touch with customer needs, is the most fundamental challenge for your business in No Man’s Land.


Experienced Management is required to build and oversee the infrastructure and processes a company needs to scale, and you must delegate responsibility to them.


An economic Model that allows you to generate profits at scale, and then rigorously measuring the performance of that model, is critical.


Most companies enter No Man’s Land without enough capital, i.e. Money, to exit it successfully. Undercapitalization is only the obvious symptom of the underlying problem – risk.

NO MAN’S LAND, a case study

Newport’s Benchmark Button Strategy Scoreboard

The Newport Benchmark Button Scoreboard is a simple, efficient, and impactful tool for the business leader and core team to get aligned on the growth strategy. Over the course of a day, the Benchmark Button Scoreboard will help the team design a plan to accomplish key objectives uncovered by the Newport Benchmark Button survey. The team will identify a primary objective, priorities, action points and KPIs to create a one-page, team- aligned, execution document.

“All of our people are moving at such a fast with so many opportunities that the Scoreboard has been invaluable. We continue to meet weekly to make sure that we stay aligned with our priorities and action steps. Additionally, it was great to have the team establish and buy into our primary goal as commitment remains high regardless of the swings in our business. It's hard to believe that this is the third time I've used the Benchmark Button Scoreboard. It remains a fabulous and seamless goal setting and accountability tool.”

Elliott Resnik , CEO , Winning Streak Sports, LLC AND

NO MAN’S LAND, a case study

Newport’s Benchmark Button Team Version

The Team Version invites the company’s leadership team to anonymously offer their opinion on the company’s position on the No Man’s Land operational issues. The report, sent directly to the CEO/Business Owner, identifies the degree of misalignment between the leadership team members. With over ten years of data, including hundreds of companies we have identified a critical pattern.

“The Private Equity firm said that they had never seen anything like The Benchmark Button Team Report, and that it reduced their perceived risk of my company. I received the money I needed.”

Peter McAlindon, Ph.D., CEO Blue Orb, Inc.