We live in Southeast Asia and let’s be honest, you’ve most likely grown up with a single goal in mind – get a job in a large company and earn a solid wage. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it sure isn’t that way now.

The year is 2018 and startups are now the kings of the news cycle. Replace Goldman Sachs with Google, replace Microsoft with Grab or Uber, and you’re not going to be laughed out of the room like you would have been, not 10 years ago.

This isn’t a random change, but a gradual change in education and how startups have actually taken the time to educate the general public about themselves.

Here are a few things that make startups way better than MNCs.

Flexibility and easy communication

The larger a company gets, the more processes are needed to keep it running efficiently. However, though they help keep things running smoothly, they can also slow down a company and make it difficult to get things done quickly.

Startups are different. Often they first identify any processes that no longer add value and through trial and error, create new processes that work. They’re nimble and can adapt on the fly.

Metrics mean different things to startups and MNCs

Large companies often measure the wrong things, because they are so large and departments oversee large portfolios. Metrics often fall under this term ‘Vanity Metrics’ that focus on unnecessary numbers and measurements that don’t actually result in business outcomes.

Startups, on the other hand, while they have issues with vanity metrics, but every startup also has a list of very clear and precise metrics that they measure. These often correspond directly to important business goals like revenue, user engagement, and other quantifiable metrics that define success to a business.

Too many layers

The best ideas often come from employees on the front line— salespeople, developers working with third parties, purchasing managers. However, most large companies don’t have effective communication channels to allow their suggestions and frustrations be adequately heard.

Most startups have their key personnel right on the front line from day one. CEOs and CMOs aren’t afraid to be talking directly to customers to find out exactly what they need and want. Not only that, most startups use technology-based systems that allow for easier access and sharing of information and suggestions.

Large companies hire people who fit their culture

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, different and diverse backgrounds, experiences, and stories allow for a more creative and innovative work environment.

While we are all more comfortable working with people that have similar backgrounds and viewpoints, hiring people with diverse vantage points eliminates groupthink and bias while stimulating healthy discussion leading to a more informed decision-making process.

Fear of Failure

The larger a company grows, the more risk-averse it becomes. This breeds caution and rigidity, stifling a culture of innovation and potentially leading to long-term failure. Startups are built on a make-and-break model, where failure is often the only way to learn. This leads to innovation and growth, as well as an understanding of how things really work.



There you have it. Despite a lot of resources, power, and potential, any MNC can fall behind in an evolving marketplace. We’re seeing larger companies fall to the wayside, but a lot of MNCs are borrowing from their startup cousins or building cultures that foster growth and change to mimic the success of a startup.


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