The hypocrisy of growth

By Michelle Edelman, President @NYCA 

I heard Alex Bogusky speak this week at the AMIN network conference. Once you get over the fame and the looks, he really is just a sweet and well-spoken, kick-ass creative guy. 

He said he joined Crispin Porter back when it was 16 people and he was a senior Art Director. It’s now 1,000 people. 

He said he loves when Crispin ‘gets small.’ When the agency opened up a location in Boulder, the plan was to take 50 people. This was energizing to him. CP+B has just acquired a small digital shop in the UK which is also 50 people. The nimble entrepreneurism and we-can-do-anything optimism of a small team is what he craves.

growthThat’s what we have at NYCA and it’s so funny – we seek growth. We long for new challenges and to explore the horizon we know is out there for us. 

The irony is that at a certain size, we will no longer be small. And we love the feeling that small brings. Our teams are like little schools of fish, supporting each other and swimming to protect each other and the marvelous ideas that get pinned up every day. 

It’s an unsolvable puzzle: how to get bigger without giving up our smallness. Let me know if you solve it and we’ll write a book.

2 Responses to The hypocrisy of growth

  1. Ryan says:

    Nice. I work for a small agency. Always focused on growth, but every now and again, I stop and ask myself, do we really want to be big? What is big? Then we get back to work. One day, maybe, we will wake up and be big. And rich. Then we’ll start wishing we were small and nimble. And poor. Like now.

  2. James Curry says:

    The short answer is no. Paradox of business size vs. innovation is much studied. GM is the poster child for what appears to be a law of physics. You should read Peter Drucker on business life cycles if you have not already. You have a long, long way to go before you hit this wall. This issue is not at all specific to the marketing agency … Read Morebusiness. Look for the rare examples of success and find out how they kept the balance. One basic final thought: don’t get big. Why should you? What is the stupid driving force behind this need? Money? Growth is not about size.

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