7 Reasons Big-Company Executives Fail in a Startup – Forbes

Very interesting contrasts between large and Startups. Most are well stated and true, but somewhat exaggerated as is always true for all comparisons. For example, to a certain extent, demanding for resources rather than contributing to them is a no-no even for large firms. Not all startups were born equal and I may argue that for them thinking of big picture  is even more important than big firms as vision and insights help them survive. All in all, an interesting map of the two sides.

Establishing and wielding influence may help you move resources in your direction in a large business. Similarly, acquiring a larger footprint of direct reports is often a sign of success at large businesses. These instincts kill you in a small company, where requiring more resources is a negative.

Small-company heroes are consistently self-reliant. At a small company, if you’re constantly demanding more support, you risk turning your net impact into overhead creep rather than value creation.

Large companies move slowly because they are usually in reasonable financial condition, with less urgency, have a lot to lose from making bad decisions, and have built layers of management sign-off over the years. These conditions don’t apply in a small business. Speed gives you the greatest chance of success.

Managers at large companies often have the obligation and luxury of thinking about problems that may arise at some future time if things go well. Startups spend little time on this — the risks of enormous success are so remote they aren’t worth major planning.

Large companies usually operate with annual budgets, and often the budgeting process is locked down months before the start of the fiscal year. At start-ups and smaller businesses, budgeting can happen opportunistically, monthly, or even on an ongoing basis.

Larger companies rarely face life-or-death opportunities or threats. Small companies can face them daily. The most practical way to adapt is to focus on learning to evaluate and trust your judgment.

On the other side of the ledger, big company executives tend to be demand-driven by initiatives handed down from the top. In contrast, when you are a startup executive, nothing happens unless you make it happen.

via 7 Reasons Big-Company Executives Fail in a Startup – Forbes.

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