David Omoyele of Ink Audio read REWORK and had a beef with a passage in the book that suggests big companies don’t teach. He sent an email pointing out three examples to prove his point: 1) Apple offers free workshops at its retail stores. 2) Microsoft teaches via online lessons. 3) Gibson, one of the largest guitar sellers, offers “tone tips” like this one on how types of finishes affect the guitar’s tone.

More examples come to mind too: Nikon offers digital tutorials on its cameras. Dove conducts free Self-Esteem Workshop for Girls 8-12 years old designed to “promote new ways of thinking about beauty, body image and self-esteem.

So David’s got a point that big companies can and do teach.

Still, what percentage of these big co. budgets are going toward teaching vs. traditional marketing/advertising that hypes features? Big companies may be dipping their toes in these teaching waters but small businesses have a unique chance to dive in all the way and deliver more direct, personal lessons. And that can be a great way to turn customers into superfans. It remains one of those areas where small definitely has an advantage.