Is Small the Future?

Everywhere I look it seems that small companies are taking over the world – not individually but collectively.  Here are some examples:

Farms. Small farms are on the rise again.  People want local food, they want to know that the meat and vegetables they are eating were raised with care, they want to see the farmer and look into their eyes.

Beer.  Microbrewed beer is everywhere.  People like the diversity of flavors, the artistic labels, and the hometown pride or the relationship to the location (Seattle, Portland, Fort Collins, Kona, HI and so on).

Software/Application Companies.  More applications exist now than ever before.  Many of these companies start small with small investment and then grow through grassroots just like the breweries and farms.  Some stay small intentionally.

Media. Blogs, online sitcoms/cartoons/shows, and bands.  You can find just about any topic of interest on the web.  Media is no longer about the big companies broadcasting their chosen programming to you.  It is now about a long tail of creators broadcasting with an open door for conversation.

Why is this happening?

On the consumer side, I think it points to the fact that people desire a more intimate relationship with the products (and the creators of the products) they are purchasing or consuming.

On the business side, I think more people want to work in an environment where they can be a part of creating something they believe in and generally that is easier to feel in smaller businesses.

On the community side, smaller companies seem to integrate more easily into their surroundings.  From what I have seen, smaller companies are more likely to reach out or get involved with the larger community.

Where is it all going?

I don’t think that big businesses are going anywhere soon.  I can’t imagine the economy without them at this point.  That said, I personally feel much better dealing with small businesses where I can meet the owner eye to eye, see and touch their product, and develop a relationship.  That feels more real to me and it’s where I put my dollar every time if given the choice.

P.S. If you know of any articles on this topic (of “small being the future”) could you please include them in the comments below or drop me an email: ben(at)theartistfarm.com?  Thanks!

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