Intuit has done a great job writing a series of white papers about current and future small businesses. Their latest, number 3, came out recently. Get it here.
The report verifies my thoughts – big companies are eating the medium size companies and getting bigger. Silicon Valley dreamers used to drool over an IPO, now they realize their best cash-out exit strategy is getting to mid-size and getting bought.
Intuit calls this the Barbell Economy. Many huge companies, few medium companies, and many small companies. And many of the smallest companies are very small or sole proprietors working like the artisans of old. Small companies fill in the gaps left by the big companies while at the same time selling their expertise to the same big companies they compete against for customers.
This resonates strongly now with me because I’m mentoring a high school student who wants to be a journalist. Last week I asked her if she wanted to be a freelance writer like I am, or work for a big company. She wants to work for a big company. I held my tongue, but I don’t believe many college graduates in five years (she’s a high school senior now) will find job openings in huge companies for writing jobs. Based on the artisan idea put out by Intuit, I better keep teaching her about the freelance life.
PS – thanks to Ramon Ray and his SmallBizTechnology site for pointing out the report was now available.