We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children
(Native American proverb).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big is not...

...better. What big is, is big! It is heavy, cumbersome, slow and proud. It crushes whatever is in its path and doesn't stop to survey the damage. Big doesn't react, it merely labours onward until the force of gravity slows its onward march and then it slowly turns around and goes back the other direction.

Big business is big in every way. Big doesn't care for the employee with cancer or their family. It doesn't know the struggles of its customers in any meaningful way. Big doesn't respond quickly to change, doesn't create from nothing, doesn't give without thought of self sacrifice. Big doesn't care for the loss of 100 customers the way small does; nor does it care for the needs of their suppliers, unless they too are big. It doesn't need to promote its virtues in any other way than big discounts, big volumes... and big margins. Big is excessive, wateful and more likely to corrupt and be corrupt.

Small on the other hand has to innovate, offers real choice, provides value rather than discounted price. Small cares for small and large alike; doesn't exert undue influence; doesn't have time to gloat or destroy its competitors or policy makers. It is the foundation of big, yet has not forgotten its roots like big can. Small creates, out of necessity and also out of choice. Small is the true source of competition, which is the basis of sustainability, efficiency and choice. Small may need some protection from big lest it be crushed by the momentum of cumbersome economic mass.

I'm not saying there isn't a place for big, but NOT at the expense of small. Big can have value when it acts small and doesn't use its weight to force conformity. Vote small with your words, your dollars and your choices, because one day you may be small too, and until then, small will add to our quality of life and true choice.

To be continued...

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