No, I’m not talking about Darren Sproles vs. Philip Rivers (even though I can’t wait for football to start!). I’m talking about companies and the best places to work. I speak from experience thanks to the fact that I’ve been in this industry longer than most of my co-workers have been in this world.
For reference, I’ve spent most of my career in sales. I called on Dell before it was called Dell (they actually started as PCs Limited). I visited Gateway when most of its parking lot was an unpaved pasture in Sioux City, SD and its cow logo was a reminder of what not to step in when you exited your car. I sold to Apple when its stock was worth less than an iPhone case (and had I bought some, I wouldn’t need to write this blog :)).
I’ve also worked for companies of all shapes and sizes. I started my career at a small company called Computer Intelligence, which was bought and bought again until it became just a small part of a big company. I then moved to another small company (ARS), which was bought by a bigger company (Current Analysis), which was bought by an even bigger company (NPD).
I bring all this up because it’s easy for me to look back at the pros vs. cons of working for different sized organizations. I can now confidently tell you that size does matter – and small is the way to go (at least when it comes to work)! The main advantage that big companies offered in the past was stability and benefits. Now days, most companies provide little to no stability, regardless of their size. You can also say goodbye to lifelong pensions, free healthcare, and all the other benefits our ancestors may have enjoyed while working for a Fortune 500 company.
With small companies like gap intelligence, the benefits are many. You know exactly where you fit in the organization and how your contributions impact the company’s success. Small companies also have the opportunity for faster growth, which leads to more opportunities for employees to grow. Also, if you ever question the company’s tactics or strategies, you’re close enough to the decision makers to make your thoughts known.
The irony of course, is that the more successful a small company becomes, the less likely it will remain small. History has a way of repeating itself and I definitely foresee the day when gap becomes a much bigger entity through either growth or acquisition. Until then, I’m just going to enjoy the ride, knowing that someday we’ll be all grown up and look back at these times with the fondest of memories. To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Here’s to enjoying our journey with gap intelligence!