Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Birchbox

Having a clear-cut long-term plan isn't necessarily essential, according to Katia Beauchamp, one of the founders of Birchbox, a subscription service for beauty products that has about 400,000 customers. "I believe a big reason we are successful is because we did not have the time to obsess about the long-term strategy," she said. The rapid pace of growth kept the team focused on short-term goals and on creating a high-quality customer experience, she said.

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