Bo Burlingham is editor at large at Inc. magazine. He has also written for Esquire, Harper s, Mother Jones, and The Boston Globe, among other publications, and is the coauthor, with Jack Stack, of The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome."
What do the Anchor Stream microbrewery and underground rock star Ani DiFranco have in common? The two are among Burlingham's examples of privately held businesses that have become "giants" in their field without becoming huge corporations. (And if you don't think being a rock star is a business, consider that DiFranco's dealings with local vendors in her Buffalo neighborhood have led to the creation of more than 100 new jobs.) For the 14 small companies profiled here, success comes by getting richer, not by getting bigger. Burlingham's central conceit, that these are companies that excel in generating "mojo," may seem abstract at first, but he carefully demystifies the term by focusing on issues like community relations and customer service. The owners he interviews speak from hard-won experience about resisting the pressure to simply keep expanding or sell the company to the highest bidder and staying true to their original visions for excellence. Burlingham, an editor-at-large at Inc., closes his account with a tribute to the magazine's late founder, Bernard A. Goldhirsh, whose celebration of entrepreneurship and loose managerial style clearly provided a lasting influence. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
This well-written book should inspire thousands of entrepreneurs to
reject a mantra of growth for growth's sake in favor of a
passionate dedication to becoming the absolute best. Bo Burlingham
reminds us of a vital truth: big does not equal great, and great
does not equal big. (Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great")
It aims to do for small private companies what "In Search of Excellence" did two decades ago for big public companies: shine a light on a handful of business practices the author admires, and which he believes are the reason some companies consistently do better than others. (Joseph Nocera, "The New York Times")
"Small Giants" is one of the most relevant and articulate arguments for staying bold and creative, intimate and manageable as I have ever read. I guarantee that expression and the arguments for staying small will cause a collective sigh of relief from thousands of entrepreneurs. (Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop)
With new management books arriving by the boatload, Bo Burlingham has somehow managed the near impossiblehe's given us a true original. Moreover, in the process he may have discovered' the most interesting and under-reported corner of the U.S. economy. In short, "Small Giants" is a Large Masterpiece. Bo's reporting is stupendous, and his writing and storytelling skills make the book equal parts fun and profound. (Tom Peters, author of "In Search of Excellence")
The fourteen companies that Bo Burlingham... features in his new book "Small Giants" demonstrate conclusively that a company can resist the temptation to keep getting bigger and biggerand wind up better for it. (Cecil Johnson, "The Fort Worth Star- Telegram")
For all you harried entrepreneurs out there, Bo Burlingham has a reassuring message: Relax. Bigger isn't necessarily better. The wonderful stories in "Small Giants" show you how to prosper by retaining the vision of excellence that got you into business in the first place. (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of "Confidence")
Bo Burlingham's done for private companies what Jim Collins did for public companies in "Good to Great." (Steve Pearlstein, "The Washington Post")"
"Burlingham crafts a beautiful collage and analysis of companies that focus on being the best instead of growing like cancer into huge corporations...Bigger is not better, and this book proves it." Tim Ferriss, in The 4-Hour Workweek
"In short, Small Giants is a Large Masterpiece. Bo's reporting is stupendous, and his writing and storytelling skills make the book equal parts fun and profound." Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence
"Small Giants is one of the most relevant and articulate argumetns for staying bold and creative, intimate and manageable as I have ever read." Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
"Small is the new big. If that feels like an offbeat idea to you, you need this book!" Seth Godin, author of Purple Cow"