Posted by Jesse Braunstein


What matters for small business (SMB’s)?  Where should you focus? Tim Ferris, the author of The 4-Hour Workweek, recently did an article on his blog, titled: “Why Grow? and Other Wisdom from 37Signals”. Ferris writes about the excessive materiality of the workplace, stating that “too many people obsess over tools…fancy office space, lavish furniture, and other frivolities.” Not only is the acquisition of all of these things time consuming, which bars you from maximizing your individual productivity; they are costly in two different ways:

1. the actual money spent on trivialities; and

2. the opportunity cost, or “the cost of any activity measured in terms of the best alternative forgone” of your purchases and choices.

Consider what you would or could have spent the money on instead and you’ll quickly realize that that’s where it should have been spent.

Another valuable tidbit from the post is the statistic, that more than “3,000,000 people worldwide use 37Signals products”, while the company has “fewer than 20 total” employees!  This is extremely remarkable because of the sheer numbers, but it taught me a lesson in itself:

“Size doesn’t matter!”

Typically, we are impressed by a company because of its well-known name, or the massive number of employees it has, but in truth these things are not important.  We must keep in sight, the key factors and end goals of any business which are efficiency, productivity and profitability–goals that can be innately easier to attain for a small business than for a large one, because of the lean and more precise nature of an SMB operation.  Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What we think, we become” and Ferris echoes “Small is a great destination in itself.” Two fundamentally separated men, both say the same thing: the key to accomplishment is adjusting your personal viewpoint to accommodate the reality that this goal is in fact attainable and within your power to reach and realize.

Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market.  Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook.