- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; Updated edition (March 27, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591841496
- ISBN-13: 978-1591841494
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 130 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big Paperback – March 27, 2007
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"Burlingham crafts a beautiful collage and analysis of companies that focus on being the best instead of growing like cancer into huge corporations...Bigger is not better, and this book proves it." —Tim Ferriss, in The 4-Hour Workweek
"In short, Small Giants is a Large Masterpiece. Bo's reporting is stupendous, and his writing and storytelling skills make the book equal parts fun and profound." —Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
"Small Giants is one of the most relevant and articulate argumetns for staying bold and creative, intimate and manageable as I have ever read." —Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
"Small is the new big. If that feels like an offbeat idea to you, you need this book!" —Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow
About the Author
Bo Burlingham is editor at large at Inc. magazine. He has also written for Esquire, Harper’s, Mother Jones, and The Boston Globe, among other publications, and is the coauthor, with Jack Stack, of The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome.
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It is a collection of well written stories of various US businesses that decided to stay manageable in size so that the owners keep control over what they worked hard to create instead of bringing tons of investors that he would become a slave of.
It does NOT make much POINTS besides the implicit idea that you can have a business of reasonable size and still enjoy your life and that this is all highly respectable.
So I would say, if you are used to read novels, you'll be fine, but if you are reading mostly to gain insights, find tips and rules/principles on what to do, you want to be highly repaired.
These stories are great though.
Burlingham identifies several patterns in the case studies, and lays out three imperatives for companies that want to make an impact and stay small:
- Articulate, demonstrate and embed a higher purpose into the company, completely integrating that purpose so that it becomes an everyday presence and not just a vision statement on a piece of paper.
- Create a culture of intimacy that continuously reminds people unexpectedly about how much the company cares about them
- Foster collegiality.
If this sounds as a kind of the place you would like to work at, grab the book and transform your organisation. Essentially, this book is Good to Great, but for organisations that do not want to go public. It's not a particularly new book, but I discovered it recently, and I think it will be valuable for anyone working in startups or thinking of starting one. The book is written in a very clear and engaging style, with lots of great stories, and gets five out of five stars from me.
I understood that this is a topic-related approach and it’s not that big of a deal, but for me the reading might had been better if it might had been written company by company, not topic by topic with refferences to all the companies adressed in each chapter.
But, I DO RECOMMEND this book for the sake of it’s great idea behind. Thanks
As a small-business owner, I've often thought of growing my business much larger. But, with the help of this book, it's clear that growing for growth's sake only makes absolutely no sense. I would highly recommend this book to any small business owner who is on the fence about whether or not to grow their company.
One of the more interesting aspects is that the author delved into a number of diverse industries including sandwich and dress making, manufacturing, the video effects business.
1. Legal protection is a poor substitute for innovation. I and the book's author are not big fans of patents.
2. If you have no profits, you've got a hole in your business somewhere. If you can't find it, ask for help.
3. University National Bank & Trust, one of the small giants featured in the book, defined their culture BEFORE they defined their strategy. Their leaders were aware of what Peter Drucker often mentioned, "Culture eats strategy for lunch."