CNBC Business Magazine, March 2012 Issue (Cover Story)
In the micro-multinational age, the agile are poised to inherit the earth
When Jevgenijs Kazanins walked into a hackathon in Riga last March, he just wanted to solve a problem that was bugging him at work. Two days later, he walked out a proto-entrepreneur.
The 29-year-old Latvian media planner had been looking for a software tool that would help him assess the effectiveness of campaigns on social media. He and others attending the Garage48 workshop made a prototype and in the process formed the nucleus of an analytics software company. A year on, Campalyst is based in Estonia, the UK and the US, and is working with several big media and creative agencies in Finland and the UK.
Campalyst is one of the ‘micro-multinationals’ that have emerged over the past few years. With global aspirations from the get-go, enabled by communication technologies, they can set up shop anywhere. “Small is an asset,” says Anne Mettler, executive director of the Lisbon Council think tank, who recently co-authored a policy paper on them. “It means you’re able to respond to consumer needs very quickly. You can be agile without the bureaucracy.” Today’s start-ups will never grow into conglomerates with a staff of 100,000, she adds. “That traditional path is over. It’s ineffective.” Continue reading