“The era of big … is over,” taking some liberties in adapting a line from President Bill Clinton’s 1995 State Of The Union Address. It’s true even more so today.
The mantra is embedded into the American ethos: think big! Big cars. Big business. Big homes. Big dreams. Big ideas. It’s a fool’s errand as those who win in disruptive markets are those whose ten thousand small decisions let to the big win. The goal is not to think big today, but to think small.
In other words, “aim small, miss small.” (Name that movie. The answer is at the bottom of the article)
It is best represented in the timeless idea of “bullets and cannonballs” from business author Jim Collins. He writes in GREAT BY CHOICE:
Picture yourself at sea, a hostile ship bearing down on you. You have a limited amount of gunpowder. You take all your gunpowder and use it to fire a big cannonball. The cannonball flies out over the ocean…and misses the target, off by 40 degrees. You turn to your stockpile and discover that you’re out of gunpowder. You die. But suppose instead that when you see the ship bearing down, you take a little bit of gunpowder and fire a bullet. It misses by 40 degrees. You make another bullet and fire. It misses by 30 degrees. You make a third bullet and fire, missing by only 10 degrees. The next bullet hits—ping!—the hull of the oncoming ship. Now, you take all the remaining gunpowder and fire a big cannonball along the same line of sight, which sinks the enemy ship. You live.
Read more of Collins here.
The answer? The movie PATRIOT.