“The Little Guy”

It’s always fashionable to be in favor of “the little guy.” Socialists use the little guy as justification for “spreading the wealth.” Conservatives use the little guy as justification for populism which — when translated — means a celebration of mediocrity and (usually) fundamentalist religion.

It’s wrong to use “the little guy” as a standard of value. Size doesn’t matter, in the context of success. What matters are competence, integrity, effectiveness and efficiency. If a small business practices these principles, it will likely become big over time. If it maintains these values over time, it deserves to remain big. Not all competent people become big. That’s OK, too. But “little” is not an end in itself. Neither is “big.”

Big business is usually a byproduct of success. There’s nothing wrong with success. Size should never be the standard of value. Quality should be. So long as a big business remains big because it pleases the customers — and for no other reason — it should be applauded, not condemned in favor of “the little guy.”