Grow Like a Lobster

by Joshua Dick

Grow Like a Lobster is a framework for no-nonsense business building following the insights and ideas learned throughout Josh’s career. The book shares tips and guidance Josh wishes someone had shared with him when he was getting started. The book’s primary metaphor equates the painful and exhausting process a lobster experiences with each molt of its shell to the ups and downs between security and vulnerability every business encounters. Through the reminder that good times are followed by challenging ones, we learn to plan and prepare ourselves to achieve extraordinary results.


A Message from the Author

During my time as CEO of Urnex, I relied on metaphors to communicate priorities and unify our team. While some were from movies and others from the coffee industry we served, my favorite was that of the lobster. Remembering that the molts always come was our team’s way to keep focused and prepare for the inevitable. Through discipline and high expectations, we built an organization of extraordinary value. In the process, we created a workplace experience unlike any other.

With each molt, a lobster grows 15% — the rate of growth we targeted and achieved for 15 consecutive years.

The book is divided into three sections:

  1. Larval – Building Our Base: We are young and nimble, enthusiastic and filled with energy. It’s time to invest, define our identity, create our mission and values, understand our customer, and set the foundation for the future we envision.
  2. Mature Adult – Fishable But Stable: We're now a real business with an impact on the world around us and within the markets we serve. It is time for big risk taking, confidence, tough decisions about our team, and determination to push forward.
  3. Market Leader – Can’t Catch Me: We’re now a leader in our industry and thinking about growth at a scale that is multiples upon multiples larger than where we began. We're adding discipline to our organization, managing crises, and thinking about exit.

Grow Like a Lobster cuts through the academic doctrines and delivers actionable concepts that readers can immediately implement to focus on achieving extraordinary results.

The Lobster as a Business Metaphor

Josh Dick is that rare entrepreneur with the complete package: he had the courage and strategic vision to shut down five out of six product lines to focus on the one with potential; he had the sensibility to build a premium brand by telling a story that resonated; he had the operational acumen to build a lean manufacturing engine; and the leadership to grow an effective organization.

Will Bachman, Managing Partner, Umbrex, Founder Bachman Group, Host Podcast “Unleashed,” Former Naval Officer, McKinsey Alum

Josh is an inspiring entrepreneur, whose experience is a model for business leaders in small and big businesses alike. He’s inspired me to never rely too heavily on past rules and to always question and test assumptions. Yesterday’s truth could be exactly what’s holding your business back today. Try and test continuously. Small but clear wins snowball into big success.

David Rubin, SVP and Head of Brand, The New York Times (former Head of Brand Pinterest)

Josh's advice has regularly helped me manage the challenges faced by our fast-paced  global business. His ideas and insights have inspired our team to think strategically and focus on what's most important. I especially value his logical thinking, straightforwardness, experience and ability to advise on almost every subject.

Lukasz Wichlacz, CEO Coffeedesk / Poland

"Grow Like a Lobster" presents a very human and self-aware approach to growing a business. The organizational processes presented are succinct and real-world ready. What resonated for me was Josh's assertion that key to success is building a business that you love - your own "dream job." In a world focused on cash outs, this is so refreshing.

David Snyder, President of Snyder Group Inc