Chapter 1. Grow Your Business Now

In the emerging real-time business environment, where public discourse is no longer dictated by the mass media, size is no longer a decisive advantage. Speed and agility win.

In this chapter we examine a "Dave versus Goliath" contest that shows how even one individual can outgun one of the largest, most "scientific" marketing, PR, and customer-service organizations on the planet. We also discover how other agile players quickly harness the momentum of Dave's slingshot.


Now, more than at any other time in history, speed and agility are decisive competitive advantages.

"My God, they're throwing guitars out there," said a woman in a window seat as passengers on a United Airlines flight waited to deplane in Chicago on March 31, 2008.

Singer-songwriter Dave Carroll and fellow members of Sons of Maxwell, a Canadian pop-folk band, knew instantly whose guitars. Flying from home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a one-week tour of Nebraska, their four guitars were in the airplane's hold. Sure enough, when the bass player looked out the window he witnessed United baggage handlers tossing his bass.

The band did not have to wait to retrieve their luggage in Omaha, their final destination, to start complaining, because they had actually observed this abuse of their equipment. As they made their way out of the plane, they told the flight attendants what they had seen. "Talk to the ground staff," they were told. But the O'Hare ground staff said, "Talk to the ground ...

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