The subtitle for “The New Small” is: how a new breed of small businesses is harnessing the power of emerging technologies. So first it is important to understand which sorts of companies have become “The New Small” – to be able to appreciate the lessons and guidance provided by Phil Simon in his new book. The New Small are forward-moving, interested in varying degrees of business innovation, reasonably tech savvy, deeply interested in customer success with their services or products, and take the life of their businesses very personally since they are usually doing something they love.
The New Small companies do a better job of understanding needs and goals of their businesses – and their customers – before bringing in technology. These New Small-ers want to use tech when it makes sense for their businesses but want to find tech that can provide what they need on an out-of-the-box basis. Then the New Small spend their extra time on customizations – not for the technology – but for the experiences that their customers have with their products and services.
And so in defining the characteristics of companies that adhere to the New Small, Phil also has had the smarts to let the customer stories educate his readers on how the New Small works. Extensive detail is provided in each story to show the business context, how each company embodies the New Small, as well as what worked, what didn’t work – and very importantly, why for each. These real world examples serve to inspire other potential New Small-ers while providing the how-tos.
Phil presents in each story all the salient points to consider when looking at technology as an enabler of the “business of the business”. Risks, rewards, trade-offs are considered, and the questions to ask for decision-making. “One size does not fit all” when it comes to tech and the New Small – Phil very wisely shows possibilities without proselytizing a sole path to success.
In some ways The New Small is also a very useful compendium of recent publications that cover biz + tech since Phil makes rich use of material from these publications, in context with the different sections of the book. The structure of the book lends itself to a workbook use – in fact I’d love to see Phil add a companion workbook to The New Small, to further aid business innovation through the smart use of tech.
Phil Simon’s third book has a special place in my world since I helped bring it into “being”, along with many of Phil’s friends and colleagues. Phil chose to completely own the publishing process and started that process by raising money on Kickstarter to help fund the publication. Phil also had a direct role in the design of the book, and is now busy promoting, which undoubtedly has presented many adventures in further exploring the potential of companies that want to embrace New Small-ism.
About the author: Julie Hunt is an accomplished software industry analyst, providing strategic market and competitive insights. Her 20+ years as a software professional range from the very technical side to customer-centric work in solutions consulting, sales and marketing. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitive and on Twitter: @juliebhunt For more information: Julie Hunt Consulting – Strategic Product & Market Intelligence Services