wheel - 2:18 pm on Nov 20, 2011 (gmt 0)
The problem is that: if you do something really innovative, a bigger company will figure out how to replicate it, and then they will do it 10 times bigger, and throw a super marketing team on it and spare no expense on the marketing, and you're toast.
My experience has been the exact opposite.
Big brands are hamstrung by beaurcracy and people who's jobs do not encourage innovation. I am not held back by either one of those.
I've got a short consulting gig shortly for a large 'brand'. they've already indicated that they have only limited ability to modify onpage stuff just as a basic example. And any changes they do make have to be approved by their mothership - on a different contintent that's got a 12 hour time difference.
If that's not advantage-small biz for the web, I don't know what is.
It's worth remembering two points:
1) Big brand offline is not a necessary condition to be a big brand online. It may help, but is not a requirement. Get rid of that notion.
2) Many of the online big brands did not start as offline big brands - they started out as a small website.