Big Changes with Small Companies
2005 December 7 by Josh
A few days ago I was chatting with a friend about cell phones and whatnot, and I mentioned how I was impressed with Firefly Mobile, a mobile phone company that makes simple mobile phones for children. It's just a really great idea.
My friend remarked how he thought Firefly was really great too, and how it must be part of some really large company, and how they've probably been working on the thing for five years, because small companies just can't move that fast. Incidentally, my friend works for another popular phone manufacturer. He knows about this stuff.
But that's just not the case. Firefly isn't big. They haven't been around for five years. They're a private company in Chicago that just raised a second round of financing earlier this year. They're small, lean, and have moved quickly to occupy a space that no other phone manufacturer has toyed with. With most large companies, if somebody had the idea for a children's mobile phone, there's no telling how much red tape would need to be cut in order to flip a project like that. Firefly has done it fast, and they seem to have done it well.
While we're no Firefly, we realize the benefits of being small on a daily basis. Decisions are made quickly and efficiently. We're all in tune with the inner workings of our company, and we have a great feel for what's going on. Last month we redesigned our corporate website (the one you're on right now) in under three days. It's not quite finished yet, but you get the gist.
Two days ago we changed our corporate logotype to reflect a bit fresher look than our previous (classy, serif) font. These kinds of changes would take weeks, if not months, to accomplish in a larger company. You might pay a design agency tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to contemplate decisions like that. And then, after all that, if you wanted to change back (or change again), you'd be wary of it due to the time and money spent on previous change. Big ships take a lot of effort to move.
Is your company small and efficient? If so, what benefits do you derive because of this?