The three routes of trailblazing

In some cases trailblazers scale at such a high rate that they change the industry through their own market share. These are hyperscalers. These companies can inspire followership, but if they reach their position as the main industry player (like Facebook or Amazon), they will have a major impact on their industry merely through their own market share. This is the only type of trailblazers for which industry followership is not a prerequisite for trailblazing.

However, in most cases, trailblazers need to inspire industry followership in order to change their industry. They need to have an impact beyond their own market share. Some trailblazers are frontrunners. They put all their effort into showing that it can be done and becoming so successful that others have to follow their lead. Other trailblazers take a more proactive approach to inspiring change beyond their own market share. In addition to showing it can be done, they encourage industry followership and guide others along the way – they’re the enablers.

Read all about the three routes to trailblazing in the latest research article from ScaleUpLab.

Read the article

Liselore Haverman

Sr. Researcher

Anna Fenko


Afroditi Terzi




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In our research of trailblazing we interviewed 45 impact scale-up CEOs and analysed 3,500+ organisations. We thank the Goldschmeding Foundation for the ongoing support.