Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bigger is apparently not better - just look at Wall Street

The current turmoil in the U.S. economy should emphasize an important point for freelancers - bigger is not necessarily better. Mega corporations are failing right and left and leaving disastrous consequences in their wake.

Is bigger really better? Fortune magazine says so with their Fortune 500 list. American Lawyer says so with their AmLaw 100 list. But I don't think so.

Since 1965, development of the internet has provided a classic example of "small and interconnected" being far superior to "big." During the Cold War, it was deemed essential to have communication links via military and university computers that would not be vulnerable to a single bomb or spy. The solution? Decentralize. Have a network that has no central point subject to disruption. Has it worked? Most definitely. Have you heard about any need to "bailout" the internet?

As freelancers, we are part of the "small and interconnected" business model and in a position to create a stronger economic structure within our own sphere of influence. Legal freelancers provide flexibility for law firms so they can expand and contract their overhead costs according to need, thereby making them more able to weather tough economic times. Likewise, freelancers themselves are able to balance work from various sources to create enough business for themselves.

The current economic downturn is an opportunity to market and build your freelance business. Use it!

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