When I meet with founders and startup supporters across Des Moines, everyone has a similar vision for their company: scale, then scale and scale.

On a popcorn-fueled blog-binge Friday night, my favorite non-tech blog A Beautiful Mess introduced me to the business concept of reverse scaling. Although I don’t subscribe to the Oui Fresh Beauty Box, I was surprised to read that sisters Elsie Larsen and Emma Chapman would be capping the number of subscribers who can receive the curated box of natural beauty brands – other small businesses that the sisters have developed partnerships with to promote a more natural beauty routine.

That goal is part of the problem, Chapman wrote in a blog post: if the subscription service became too large, the small brands they feature won’t be able to keep up with production demands.

“The siren’s call of scaling big is ever present and sometimes totally appropriate, but when it means losing sight of what you set out to do, it’s just not the right choice,” Chapman wrote. “…For the goals of our beauty box, reverse scaling is what ultimately makes the most sense.”

Has anyone here faced a similar business decision? I’d love to hear your story. Email me anytime at katehayden@bpcdm.com.