Seth Godin on keeping it small Matt 09 Jun 2005

9 comments Latest by GO7778

Seth Godin’s writing about the joy of small. Small is the new big discusses some of the advantages to being small: the founder conducts more of the customer interactions, the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them, quickly, you get the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs, and you can tell the truth on your blog. “A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big,” he writes.

In a follow-up post, titled more on small, he talks about the impact staying small has had on his own business.

1. the kind of project that’s “interesting” is now very different. It doesn’t have to be strategic or scalable or profitable enough to feed an entire division. It just has to be interesting or fun or good for my audience.
2. the idea of risk is different as well. I can write an ebook and launch it in some crazy way and see what happens. I can build a dot com enterprise with a questionable business model and just see what happens. Because my costs are a whisker compared to a large organization, there’s just no comparison in the way I can approach something (compared to, say, a publisher).

9 comments so far (Jump to latest)

MMI 09 Jun 05

Amen bub.

Randy 09 Jun 05

Seth is just echoing what 37s has said for years and years. Glad to see 37s’ message is finally getting some recognition (but I’m sure they won’t get credit).

pb 09 Jun 05

The question, though, is can a company that gets larger still hang on to some of the benefits of small-ness. I think of Google 20% time, for example. I may be naive but I think it’s much more than a gimmick. When you formally give employees one day a week to work on something that interests them, you get some of the benefits of small-ness.

beto 09 Jun 05

I’m still scratching my head at the thoughts when Jason told me back in August 37s was a mere 3 people strong. “You’re kidding me” I said. “No I’m not” he replied.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have believed it if he didn’t tell me so.

It reminds me of a given CEO of the first dotcom wave who was reluctant to have more than 15-20 employees, because “that’s when all that’s interesting and fun about running a business goes away” he said. Don’t remember his name, but I do remember this quote, and I’ve learned it has a great deal of truth attached to it.

Steve 09 Jun 05

As I have ventured out in to my own businesses, I have pledged to stay small, and outsource or partner out work that would cause me to get big. I have been apart of a few companies that were fun and successful until they tried to grow quickly. None of those businesses are still around in nearly the same capacity now.

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