is Your Startup Being Sabotaged from Within?


Building out a team is one of the trickiest hurdles for new Startup founders. You start out with just yourself and maybe a co-founder, but sooner or later you’ll need to start hiring people. Unfortunately, getting the right mix of people isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have any experience with hiring and team building.

The good news is that in the beginning, you’ll be able to handle things directly. Any team you build will be small to start with…probably just a handful of people. With less than a dozen employees, it’s fairly easy to oversee everyone and take a direct hands-on approach to managing your people.

You’ll be able to get to know your employees, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and head off any problems before they spin out of control and destroy your business.

But over time, your business will (hopefully) grow and you’ll be forced to hire more and more people. Slowly but surely you’ll have to delegate the management of your employees to…well…managers who will be responsible for their own teams.

Before long you might find yourself in the strange situation of not really knowing most of the people who work for you. And that’s when you have to really start worrying about sabotage!

What’s a Startup founder to do?

Luckily, we have a recently declassified top-secret government guide to business sabotage that shows you definite things to look for. It’s called the “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” (also referred to as “Strategic Services Field Manual No. 3”) and the CIA just de-classified it. It was written in 1944 and you can actually download it for free right here

Destroying businesses in hostile countries was something the CIA (or OSS as it was called back then) was definitely interested in; so they created this field manual to teach people how to do it the right way.

It teaches anyone how to sabotage a company from the inside, step by step. It was written for citizens of foreign countries back in the 1940’s who might be fed up with their country enough to want to do something about it…but oddly enough, the techniques it describes seem eerily familiar even today.

Read the complete story in ScaleUp Magazine Issue 4

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John Elder
John Elder is one of the original pioneers of Internet Marketing. He created one of the earliest Internet advertising networks back in 1997 and sold it to a publicly traded company at the height of the first dot com boom and then went on to create the best-selling Submission-Spider search engine submission software that's been used by over 3 million individuals and small businesses in over 45 countries. John recently founded an online interactive school that teaches people to code using a unique blend of video courses and hands-on help. His latest book, "The Smart Startup" is available at


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