I just received my copy of Fortune. It’s Fortune 500 time once again. I often hear businesspeople speak of landing the Fortune 500 as clients. Browsing the list, I suddenly realize why.
The Fortune 500, culturally, simply have so much money that they’ve lost all perspective on value. In startups—the world I’m from—every penny counts. You don’t spend a boatload of money on something without at least some idea what the return is.
In my work with the Fortune 500, even so-called cost-cutting would qualify as abundant extravagence in any other world. I’ve seen companies fly three vendors across the country and put them up in a hotel for a one-hour meeting to decide whether or not to meet again the following month to proceed with a contract. They spent as much deciding whether to spend money as I would spend on the entire initiative.
So for those of us who are in the Fortune-below-2000, let us say a word of thanks for Exxon Mobile (still hasn’t paid the Valdez penalty), Wal-Mart, GM, Chevron, Ford, ConocoPhillips, GE, Citigroup, and all the rest. If it weren’t for them, the rest of us wouldn’t have access to the free flowing coffers that comes from overabundance.