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Never forget the advantage that size brings
This article first appeared November 10, 2011.
I fondly look back at the days when Taskmaster Enterprises was just a struggling small business fighting to find its feet in a brave new world.
While I wasn’t as rich as I am now, and I didn’t employ as many people as I do now, the way I could run that smaller business was very exciting.
If we decided something at lunchtime, by close of business it was in place or on the way to being in place.
If we wanted to abandon a strategy or totally shift our list of priorities to suit a new customer or opportunity, we did it, straight away.
This is a huge advantage over large companies, that change direction at a glacial pace, weighed down by the infrastructure and other pressures.
Indeed, as a company gets bigger, hanging on to the advantage that size gives you becomes harder and harder. In an interview Mark Zuckerberg gave recently, he made a point of explaining how he is trying to stay small while getting big.
“We have this culture where we place a really big premium on moving quickly. One of the big theories that I had about that was all technology companies and probably all companies just slow down dramatically as they grow. But if we can focus at every step along the way on moving quicker then maybe when we're around 2,500 or 3,000 people now maybe we move as quickly as a company that only has 500 people, because we've invested so much in building up the infrastructure and tools and also the culture that tells people to take risks and try things."
For most start-ups, the problem facing Zuckerberg remains some way off. For now, use your size to your advantage whenever you can.
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