Underdog small business owners turn disadvantages into advantages

Yesterday we tuned in to the American Express OPEN Forum for a talk by best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, who spoke about the immense power of the entrepreneurial spirit. In his recent book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants, he investigates instances where the little guy’s resiliency and unconventional approach wildly outweigh the perceived advantages of the big guy.In other words, successful small business owners are able to shake things up in ways that big business simply can’t.

Gladwell used several examples to demonstrate this idea, but the first and most adorable was a story about a scrappy, uncoordinated basketball team of 12-year old girls who could barely shoot but learned how to win. How? Because they didn’t play the game the way everybody else did. They spent all their energy disrupting the other teams with ruthless full-court press defense (well, ruthless for 12-year olds). Against all odds they ended up making it to the championship that year.

Much like a smart startup, these girls shook things up. They focused on what they could do vs. what they couldn’t. They forced their competition to play by their rules. They took risks. And they surprised everyone.

Watch the full video on the OPEN Forum and read Gladwell's book for more inspiring insights on the underdogs of the world.

We're rooting for you.

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