Don’t Stop Innovating Because You’re Big

Scott Monty
4 min readNov 2, 2018

Samuel Moore was born on a farm in the plains. Throughout his youth, his family moved often, as farming didn’t provide enough for them. They picked up and moved from Oklahoma to various towns in Missouri, and as he got older, Samuel eventually got a paper route and event milked the cow to help his family out.

He knew he wanted to go beyond small town farm life, so he enrolled in college and took small jobs to support himself, just scraping by. He even had to wait tables in exchange for his meals.

But eventually, Samuel graduated, moved to Iowa and got a job as a trainee with J.C. Penney. He learned enough that he bought a single store in the Butler Brothers chain. He was a flourishing entrepreneur whose store became so successful that his landlord took notice, refused to renew Samuel’s lease, and raised the rent to five percent of sales.

Young Samuel, still in his 20s, learned his lesson: he would never again be at a disadvantage against a larger, more powerful entity. From then on, he knew what he had to do to fight back as a small businessman. He determined that he would own rather than rent property, and that his stores needed to be consistently stocked with a full range of goods.

Samuel would go on to not only show those powerful franchises and lease-holders that he had the stamina and cleverness to fight them, but to beat them at their own game. He went from a humble and dime store in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas to build the world’s largest corporation.

For Samuel Moore — Sam, to his friends — Walton was the founder of Walmart.

Big Is Bad

What do the Roman Empire, GM, and the Titanic have in common? They were all thought to be too big to fail.

Rome of course overcame Carthage, another empire that consisted of Southern Spain and North Africa — the entire west and south areas of the Mediterranean. GM was humbled into bankruptcy in the carpocalypse and financial meltdown of 2009. And though its makers claimed “even God himself could not sink the Titanic,” the largest ship ever made at the time, we all know what happened.

We’ve even developed shorthand lingo that automatically lumps companies or industries into the same category: Big. As in…



Scott Monty

Strategic communications & leadership advisor and speaker. I build better leaders, communicators & humans. #TimelessLeadership More: