- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Motion Publishing; 1st edition (November 25, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982930232
- ISBN-13: 978-0982930236
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 63 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,006,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies Paperback – November 25, 2010
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From the Author
From the Inside Flap
"From arrows to gunpowder, from ATMs to email, technology has always been the great equalizer. In this powerful and indispensable book, Phil Simon shows how small and medium-sized business can out-duel the big guys through smart and sharp adoption of nimble tech. The New Small shows precisely why, what, and how inexpensive technology can improve every facet of your business. It's not a book, it's an investment in transformation."
Top customer reviews
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I did not find the New Small to be nearly as good as the Age of the Platform. My primary criticism is that too much of the book focuses on how small businesses use technology - especially the 130 pages of case studies in the center section of the text.
I was looking for a more well-rounded perspective on all the things that make small businesses great - from how they approach human resources and finance to culture and leadership. While there were numerous references to non-technical matters, the book seemed to always come back to discussions of SaaS and open source. Think Google Docs, Drop Box and Skype. I would caveat my comments by stating that I do work in the technology industry. So perhaps my familiarity with these technologies is not the norm.
Nonetheless, I would still highly recommend reading the New Small. I took pages and pages of notes while reading it. During the text Simon introduces you to hundreds of companies, ideas and terminology that you may not be otherwise familiar with. You will learn about companies such as Tatum, 5anhour and fivesecondtest.com. You will learn about concepts such as co-working, co-employment and the acceleration trap. I spent hours and hours browsing the web afterwards to research some of these ideas further.
And that's just where The New Small hits it out of the ballpark. Every concept and approach in this book is demonstrated through real-world use. It's these kinds of example case studies that connect with small business owners and make the possibilities and opportunities come alive.
I highly recommend this book for those who want to see how concepts such as cloud computing (online software) and social media work successfully in the real world.
While the book is full of examples of The New Small companies using technology as a competitive advantage, my favorite example is Chaotic Moon Studios, which helps organizations with their mobile strategies and development. Chaotic Moon is not only interesting from their use of technology (which you would expect from a development company), but also in their use of technology to improve their business model. The term mobility brings to mind smartphones, but Chaotic Moon also helps companies re-publish content and applications across different platforms (for example, from the Microsoft XBox to the Wii). Not only do they help develop "mobile" applications, they also will handle development, marketing and distribution for a share of the revenue if they feel it has a viable market. They helped News Corp. develop the first ever fully digital daily publication with The Daily iPad application. Using technology as a competitive advantage is at the heart of Chaotic Moon's business model (even technology companies can find new ways to use technology competitively).
My overall thoughts:
Pros: The New Small is a pretty easy read. Each chapter covers a topic, starting out with an overview and includes a case study from an actual small business, closing with a summary of main points. If you're a small business owner or entrepreneur (the target audience), this book does a great job of explaining and showing how small businesses are using technology as a business strategy, as well as giving ideas of how technology can be used for any business (who is willing to try). Even for those with more technology experience, all the case studies in the book are helpful for spawning new ideas or using to show the value of technology to clients or management.
Cons: As someone who is very connected to new technologies and how companies are using them, the main themes of this book were nothing new (but they may be for less technological folks). The structure of the book can be a bit difficult to read at times (in the digital Kindle version), since some of the footnotes run into the content and the headings don't stand out very well. Since the book is about The News Small, the sentence structure "The New Small knows..." was a bit overused and got a bit tiring to read after awhile.
Verdict: If you're a small business owner or entrepreneur who is curious about how technology can be used, not only for cost savings and efficiency, but also as a competitive advantage, then I recommend taking a look at The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies. Unlike many books which just explain how small businesses should be doing something, Phil uses a ton of examples of actual small businesses who are doing exactly what he's talking about in the book. The proof is in the pudding, and Phil's book is full of proof. As an easy read, with good explanations and summaries, Phil makes it easy to understand the advantages of technologies so that anyone can figure out ways to apply them to their own organization.
Which emerging technologies does the New Small use?
How does the New Small select and deploy these technologies?
How and where can we find meaningful work?
There's good business people out there that are bamboozled out of all this talk of cloud and social media marketing. Phil does a really nice job of providing some examples as to how to get started, and how to pull together some nice light, elastically priced software in order to make your business a better one.
The best way to learn and improve is to get started, look beyond the status quo (I'm hearing Microsoft Office, Outlook, Exchange Powerpoint) and go make some mistakes and enjoy some wins. Small bets, huge rewards, controlled failures - I think we're talking the same language Phil.
Highly recommended for those who need a primer for getting on with the new journey.