Page 16 - Network Magazine Fall 2018
P. 16

            SMALL
is Different from
BIG
WAYNE BARZ MANAGER OF ENTREPRENEURIAL SERVICES,
BEN FRANKLIN TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA
If you’ve ever wanted to read a story that compares the study of business with the study of physics, this is the story for you. And it’s about the difference between small and big.
For more than two millennia, artists and scientists have been grinding big materials down into small materials for both artistic and scientific pursuits. What they did not know until the early 1960s, was that they were working in an area that later became known as nanoscience. What they did know, however, was that grinding down materials into ever-smaller particles changed the way the materials reacted to their environment. A micro- or nano-sized par- ticle of gold, for instance, melts at a different temperature, has a different tensile strength, and adheres to objects differently. Current generations of nanoscientists now routinely quantify all the ways small materials are differ- ent from big materials.
Entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank made the discov- ery that businesses follow the same rules as materials: small ones are fundamentally different from big ones. Blank’s 2010 blog post brilliantly documents how small companies (i.e., startups) become big. There are funda- mental properties that are different between the two. Here are four:
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