One of the defining legacies of the Industrial Revolution is the idea that more is good and less is bad; that bigger is stronger, and better, and that smaller is weaker and inferior and something to be grown out of as quickly as possible. Big houses, big stores, big stars, and big brands, all receive automatic legitimacy and respect simply because of their unrivaled and unbeatable scope and scale.
The industrial internet is now turning the notion that bigger is better on it’s head. Thanks to the technological wonders of the era of engagement, the individual entrepreneur, the latest viral video sensation or the fledgling emerging market nation are all on a level playing field with the superpowers. Size is not a leading edge or an enduring benefit any longer. In fact, in our sharing economy, size is a liability. Smaller, more agile micro-brands able to co-create artistic, custom product and build communities around their brand points of view are flourishing. It is these bespoke, artistically driven micro-brands that are the model of success for the future, when the mantra won’t be too big to fail, but too big to succeed.