Does Size Really Matter?

Craig  McLaughlin

December 23, 2006

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A friend recently forwarded an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal ("Why big high tech companies are losing the talent war") that cited the challenges that big companies are having finding talent. The article specifically calls out Yahoo! and other Silicon Valley giants. Initially I was inclined to jump on the bandwagon and support the framing of these companies as lost behemoths. While Yahoo! and the others clearly have their problems, it’s overly comforting as a small company to think that big companies are inherently inefficient or boring and that smaller firms are more nimble and a better bet.

But what is the real difference between working for an 800 pound gorilla and working for a scrappy start-up venture? The article stresses the advantages of a smaller environment as if to say that big companies were uniquely challenged. As compelling as that case may be, the grass is always greener on the other side. Every company, at every size faces its own set of challenges.

To learn more about the case with Yahoo! see what one SVP identifies as the problems in what he calls the ‘The Peanut Butter Manifesto’.

Any company of any size would be hard pressed to say that they have none of these issues. At the end of the day it comes down to individual choice and the battles you want to fight.