Wednesday, November 16, 2005
A mesh of relationships
In an excellent piece on Tech Central Station, Glenn Reynolds (who blogs as Instapundit) writes:
A while back, I wrote on the question of whether small is the new big. But I think we're really too hung up on bigness, and smallness. Instead of focusing on size, we should probably be thinking more about relationships.And that way, Reynolds goes on to explain, is changing. Read the full piece.
One of the things we teach law students is that a corporation isn't really a thing, but a web of contracts. A big corporation is a bigger web of contracts than a small one, but lots of times the differences aren't as significant as they might seem. A small corporation that contracts out its design work to another company, its manufacturing to various others, and relies on other corporations to do the actual retail selling is doing pretty much the same things as a big corporation that keeps all those activities under one roof. The shape is different, but the web of contracts is just as big either way.
That doesn't mean that there's no difference at all. In fact, for a variety of technological and sociological reasons, the different configurations might behave pretty differently. But it's not really because of size, but because of the way the different components interact.