Small Giants is a case study based business book (similar to “Good to Great” ) and talks about companies that make a conscious decision NOT to pursue endless growth, acquisition, public offerings etc.  Our author takes us through example after example where a business owner learned the hard way that it’s not always the best route to take their business ‘to the next level’  in size and production.  

The real thesis of the book is that no matter what industry or what business you choose to build, construct it to suit the kind of life you want to live.  This is often incredibly hard for most entrepreneurs to do because when they start off they’re simply trying to make it.  Singular focus in the beginning can cause you to lose site of the overall direction of the company, and that seems to be where most of these case studies ran into problems.  

Ultimately most if not all in the book were able to re-evaluate their priorities and learn to be content disappointing those that pressured them for endless growth.

A huge key for many of these entrepreneurs was maintaining ownership.  The more investors you bring on, the more your company gets away from you. Not just in terms of voting rights but also in terms of goals.  Investors come onboard (usually) solely to earn a return on their monetary investment.  If that return comes at the expense of your lifestyle and personal life it is not really their concern.  Only by keeping complete control of your company can you guarantee yourself the right to dictate the reason your business is even in existence.  

Overall I enjoyed the book, but it’s message sunk in within the first 50 pages and I didn’t glean a ton of value in the rest.  Worth skimming but not a re-read.

Categories: Book Club