Large companies can be entrepreneurial, but as a company scales up it is difficult to maintain entrepreneurial momentum. For example, several promising employees left Google for the relatively entrepreneurial environment of Facebook. 1 This is a natural phenomenon in high-tech enclaves such as Silicon Valley, but there was reason for concern because Google had grown to 23,000+ employees. Google was being viewed as slow and lumbering, too bureaucratic, and too slow to respond to the innovative possibilities of emerging technologies. Google has taken several steps to retain entrepreneurial talent by permitting them to work independently and letting them recruit individuals with relevant skills.
It does not matter if a firm is a gigantic monolithic multinational or a small start-up company manufacturing kazoos or even a mom and pop organization designing and launching Web services. The objective is the same: design products and services that are new and unique, easily differentiable, and adaptable to the needs of consumers. Entrepreneurial guru, blogger, and author Guy Kawasaki describes the situation perfectly:
A great company anticipates what a customer needs—even before she knows she wants it … the key to driving the competition crazy is out innovating, out servicing, and out pricing … Create a great product or service, put it out there, see who falls in love with it … 2