There are lots of reasons big companies suck. Here’s my top 3:
- The law of averages
- They make people anonymous
1. The law of averages
As a company gets bigger, it hires more and more people. They say they want to hire the best people, but they don’t. They hire the best people they can find at the time. Odds are some of them are at or below the current average of the company.
As time goes on, this drags the average down. So you end up with a company full of average or below-average people, and a few stars who are carrying the rest. Sound familiar?
You have to actively work against this, which gets harder and harder the bigger the company is.
“An object at rest will tend to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
— Newtons first law of motion, simplified
Change is hard. The bigger a company is, the harder it is to change.
Once it falls into the black hole of suck, it’s unlikely to come out again.
3. They make people anonymous
“Mistakes were made.”
— every accountability dodging weasel since Nixon
Who is McDonalds? Who is Coca-Cola Amatil? IBM? Texaco?
It’s easy for a person to hide inside a big company. Decisions made by a committee mean decisions aren’t any one person’s fault. You join a team, and coast along. Big companies actively kill individual efforts, calling it ‘teamwork’.
Theoretically, members of the Board of Directors are ‘jointly and severally liable’, which means all of them are equally responsible for any mistake any of them makes.
When was the last time you saw a team or committee like that in a big company?
Got a top 3 of your own? Share them in the comments!