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Book Review: The New Small

book-review-the-new-small.jpgWhat was once an insurmountable competitive chasm between big companies and small businesses is shrinking and, thanks to the help of continuous advances in technology, is doing so at an increasingly exponential rate. But technology is only part of the story.

In The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies, Phil Simon explores the key drivers that made the “new Small” possible and profiles 11 interesting companies—a broad cross section of industries and service providers. Along the way, he shares his own insights and perspectives, calling upon his 10+ years of experience as a technology consultant.

My favorite part of the book is the section on selecting a CRM system in Chapter 8. There, Phil dissects one company’s attempt to identify and implement a cost-effective web-based solution. I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought back to a situation where I was part of a team tasked with evaluating a handful of CRM providers. After 5-6 hours of dog and pony shows by different vendors, we weren’t able to identify key functionality that would cross all business units—so we continued with our ineffective system of tracking touch points in Microsoft Excel.

The New Small is a great resource for, as the name might imply, small- to medium-sized companies who are committed to using technology to level the competitive playing field with their larger, more established brethren. And don’t worry, you don’t need a PhD in computer science to grasp the content of the book—Phil goes into just enough detail to help you understand a concept or principal without having to resort to too much “tech speak.”

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