Stay Small to Be Big

My NY apartment is pretty small. Nevertheless, there are a lot of benefits I can be proud of comparing to apartments with bigger space. Here are a few ones that come to my mind:

  • Less space -- the rent is lower
  • Lower rent -- can consider better neighborhood
  • Less stuff -- easier to move
  • It takes 30 minutes to clean up the whole apartment
  • Forces me to create fabulous and compact design

I'm sure more benefits can be added to the list. Now let's imagine that instead of a small studio I have two bedrooms in Manhattan. First of all, the price will be tripled. Yes, tripled! You may say, price is no issue but think about all the cleaning. Do you really want to spend two more hours of your time to clean two more rooms, which may never be used by anyone at all? Time is money.


Similar statements can be said of the business world. The bigger you are the more energy required to stay stable. It's like cleaning an apartment -- the bigger it is, the more energy required. The business world changes fast. And you have to keep up with it unless you decide to retire. Staying small gives you that flexibility that millions of companies are trying to achieve. Do you remember "less stuff -- easier to move"? This is agility. Staying small is like having a small car and being able to park it at places where others only dream of. Like having more neighborhood options when requiring less office space. If your company does not have that level of flexibility, believe me, you'll always be two steps behind. Forget about latest technologies. Forget about conceptual management practices. Forget about passion. You are too big to adapt. I would like to quote Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of "If you can't feed a team with two pizzas, it's too large". I agree, do you? Instagram had 13 developers when Facebook bought them for $1 billion. SnapChat, photo messaging application and $4 billion company has 20 employees. What is the root of their success? Well, one of the most noticeable reasons is the size. Having such a small team gives them the advantage over those enterprise giants.

  • Easier to change business-model
  • Changing priorities takes much less time
  • Internal and external changes are adopted easier and faster
  • Less meetings required to spread knowledges/updates

Stay small to be flexible enough. If you are looking for what could be optimized in your company, then reduce, see how it goes and then reduce again until things get better. By saying reduce, I mean either cut people or split the teams as much as possible. It can be hard. It can take some time. It can also be tough. But in the end you will be happy you did it and reap great rewards.