LexBlog is a year old. I founded the company with the belief that I knew as much or more about helping lawyers market their legal services on the Internet as the large players. I also knew that lawyers needed a turnkey marketing solution that really worked to enhance their reputation and create an effective Internet presence.
It wasn’t happening with law firm Web sites built by old traditional legal publishing companies, who had no inherent skill in helping lawyers market their legal services and certainly had no skills as a technology company. Law firms were buying Web sites from large companies like Martindale-Hubbell and West (now Findlaw) as they knew who these companies were and the companies had a fleet of former book sales people knocking on law firm doors.
I knew that by assembling a small team of talented and driven people who really cared about the customers we could develop a top notch Internet marketing solution that could compete against the big boys. Heck, unlike employees in large corporations, employees like us in small businesses had to do an excellent job for lawyers – the existence of our company depended on it. We weren’t merely working for a bonus or a larger office at the end of the year.
One year in, we’re alive and kick’en and ready to take on the LexisNexis’ and FindLaw’s of the world. Sure, they may have more people and more money but we have the better part of a hundred clients I deeply care about and are on our way to having two hundred or more law firm blogs by the end of the year. I expect the big boys to come out with blog products in the coming months. But with the team of young tigers LexBlog has assembled in design, marketing, customer support and programming, LexBlog will be delivering a superior product.
- Enron (big) got audited by Andersen (big) and failed (big.) TV advertising is collapsing so fast you can hear it. American Airlines (big) is getting creamed by Jet Blue (think small). BoingBoing (four people) has a readership growing a hundred times faster than the New Yorker (hundreds of people).[…]
- Today, little companies often make more money than big companies. Little churches grow faer than worldwide ones. Little jets are way faster (door to door) than big ones.
- Today, Craigslist (18 employees) is the fourth most visited site according to some measures. They are partly owned by eBay (more than 4,000 employees) which hopes to stay in the same league, traffic-wise. They’re certainly not growing nearly as fast.
- Small means the founder makes a far greater percentage of the customer interactions. Small means the founder is close to the decisions that matter and can make them, quickly.
- Small is the new big because small gives you the flexibility to change the business model when your competition changes theirs.
- Small means you can tell the truth on your blog.
- Small means that you can answer email from your customers.
- Small means that you will outsource the boring, low-impact stuff like manufacturing and shipping and billing and packing to others, while you keep the power because you invent the remarkable and tell stories to people who want to hear them.
- A small law firm or accounting firm or ad agency is succeeding because they’re good, not because they’re big. So smart small companies are happy to hire them.
- A small restaurant has an owner who greets you by name.
- A small venture fund doesn’t have to fund big bad ideas in order to get capital doing work. They can make small investments in tiny companies with good (big) ideas.
- A small church has a minister with the time to visit you in the hospital when you’re sick.
- Is it better to be the head of Craigslist or the head of UPS?
And as Seth says “Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big. Don’t wait. Get small. Think big.” I am not waiting.