Thinking Small: Lessons Big Businesses Can Learn from Startups

Success is actually one of the hardest obstacles to growth faced by business leaders. After years of growing your company and enjoying the fruits of your labor, you’ve built a business that’s the envy of the competition. You’re profitable, and you’ve given employees rewarding work. Often, however, you have no place else to go.

“Thinking like a startup requires sweeping changes in attitude that cut across many different aspects of how your company works.”

If your company’s success has started to plateau, or you suspect you’re starting to rest on your laurels, my advice is simple: Think small. Re-learn the lessons of your early entrepreneurial days, and you’ll avoid falling into a rut of complacency.

That’s just what I did when I returned to Lifesize, a video conferencing company I founded, after being the CEO of the SaaS startup Bloomfire. Reinventing the business was critical to Lifesize’s continued growth. That meant thinking less like a big company and more like a startup.

Thinking like a startup requires sweeping changes in attitude that cut across many different aspects of how your company works. Business practices, organizational structure, business language, speed and flexibility all have to be re-evaluated. It’s a cultural change for everyone that touches the business.

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