Mark Leslie was the founding Chairman and CEO of Veritas Software. During his tenure as CEO, the company went from 12 to 5,500 employees and from annual revenue of $95,000 to $1,500,000,000. Currently he is a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Sales Organization.
So why write about him? It is actually about his premise (law) of how historically the small and nimble cornered the behemoths. This article in FirstRound Review starts off with hardware and IBM and brings us uptodate with ZenPayroll. The attitude of the larger player is always the same – ‘a mix of denial, innovator’s dilemma and dismissive arrogance.’
The application for saas is evident. In my third post, on 3rd January I referred to Tomasz Tunguz’s assertion that a startup taking 1% of Salesforce market share can create a Unicorn and this article by Mark Leslie actually extends the thought to all sectors in technology – ‘Leslie’s Law is about this cycle in technology: small, simple and cheap supplanting large, complex and expensive solutions.’
It is a wonderful read. And worthy of serious attention.
Where I learnt this # 267
Leslie’s Law: When Small Meets Large, Small (Almost) Always Wins