WHALE HUNTING. The name itself conjures up images of whales breaching in icy seas, harpoons slicing through the frosty nighttime air, and groups of people, clothed in massive furs, huddled along the shore waiting for the hunters’ glorious return. How do such images relate to rapid business growth?
Directly and powerfully.
Ever since Tom visited an Inuit museum in the northwestern United States, we’ve been exploring the analogy between whale hunting and business growth. In the process, we’ve learned a great deal about the remarkable whale hunting processes of the Inuit people of northwest Alaska. At a turning point in their history—born perhaps of desperate need or of opportunities made possible by new tools, skills, and knowledge—the Inuit ceased to wait patiently for the occasional whale to beach itself during the spring migration. They ceased to be satisfied with a diet of fish or seals or the occasional caribou. Rather, they set out to hunt whales—deliberately, strategically, and mindfully, utilizing every resource that their village could offer. We believe they did so because while a smaller catch might feed one family for a week, a whale would feed the village for a year.
In our lexicon, a whale is a very big deal, 10 to 20 times larger than your average deal, typically with a company that is bigger than yours. Whale Hunting is about small to midsized companies accelerating—even exploding—their growth by learning to sell and to service whale-sized deals as a matter ...