The End Of Big – Book Review

The End of Big

This is an important book. We’re going through the fastest period of change in human history and one that’s accelerating – everything we’re used to is going to alter in some way, and if you want to survive with your job, finances, health and sanity intact, you have to be prepared for what’s coming. The End of Big is your road map.

Nicco Mele, who sits on the faculty of Harvard’s Kennedy School, examines the changes that are rushing through different sectors: business, the news media, the entertainment industry, politics and government, universities and education, the army and warfare, while touching on other sectors too. As he says: “We’re at the beginning of an epochal change in human history. Scan the headlines every morning – through your Facebook and Twitter feeds – and you can feel history shifting under your feet. Every day I find more and more evidence that we are in the twilight of our own age, and that we can’t quite grasp it, even if we sense something is terribly amiss.”

As the title suggests, the author’s evidence shows that ‘big’ cannot survive – whether that’s big political parties or big companies. We’re not only moving from serving the general to serving the specific, but economies of scale have less impact with the technology that’s emerging. For book lovers, Mele shows, for instance, why the big publishing companies have little hope of continuing in their current form. Don’t get the impression that this is all negative. The author indicates that there are a great many opportunities coming up fast. If you’re a creator, or have particular skills, you’ll thrive. Small businesses and independent retailers are well-placed for success. (The subtitle is: How The Internet Makes David The New Goliath.)

Don’t be deterred by what may seem heavy reading matter; it’s really not, and Nicco Mele writes with a very engaging, popular style. Because of the scope, this is necessarily a broad-brush approach so you aren’t going to get bogged down in the detail of a sector that doesn’t interest you. I have minor doubts about a couple of the author’s conclusions, but that’s exactly how it should be. The book tells you exactly what *is* happening, right now, and what’s coming up in the near-future, and then lets you answer your own questions about whether those changes are good or bad.

The pace of change is so great that The End of Big is going to be out of date very quickly. All the more reason to buy it now, so you’re fully prepared for those changes and can plan your own future effectively in these turbulent times. Highly recommended.

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