THERE WAS AN INTERESTING QUESTION on Quora recently, posed by an entrepreneur who is feeling the pressure of competition from large multi-national corporations. It’s very worrisome for him, and he’s struggling to figure out how to compete against those with more resources and shady tactics.

But every advantage has a weakness built in.

When I worked for a huge Fortune 50 company, I saw this exact situation – but from the inside. I was working for a team that was chartered to find new products and services to invest in.

But it was an almost impossible situation.

The criteria handed down from our bosses included things like getting to $1B in revenue in three years. And working with existing sales channels.

That sounds really cool, and sometimes it was, but it turned out to be almost impossible in the culture of the company. After a time, we came to realize that these kind of criteria would only be met by adding an amazing new feature to an existing product line, or by acquiring a smaller company who had been working hard on its idea for a few years.

So what are the weaknesses in a large company?

  • Any opportunity that’s “too small” just gets ignored.
  • You can’t do anything which disrupts the core of the existing business.
  • You have to fit in with the way that the company currently thinks.

This is precisely the opportunity for the smaller entrepreneur.

  • Start small.
  • Find things which will disrupt the status quo, to the benefit of customers.
  • Think differently than the norm in your industry.

BUT – and this is the reason I chose this picture – you’ll end up following a twisty path. You can compete against the big guys, but primarily because you can learn and adjust faster. You can develop better relationships with your customers.

Stay true to your deeper mission and move, move, move.