Chuck Blakeman

Author, speaker, and founder of the Crankset Group.



You Can Be Small, and Also Be An Industrialist

Take the Test – Are You An Industrialist?

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This article was published on April 15, 2013. Have thoughts on the article? Share them below.

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People think they despise Capitalists, but they’re actually angry at 21st century Industrialists. There are six major values and beliefs of the new Industrialist. You can be a new startup with no employees and get sideways out of the gate with these beliefs. Are you practicing any of the six?

Many of today’s companies, big and small, are simply Industrialists who forgot which century it is. Industrialism is not something that happened in the 1800s. It still dominates a majority of business practices today. Industrialist values can infect a business of any size. Take the test – see if you are an Industrialist.

Value #1 – Motivated to Be Big The number one value of an Industrialist is that they are more motivated by being big than by making a contribution to the world around them. They might talk about adding value, or creating and innovating, but the motivation for doing so would be – to be big. Do you want to create something that adds value to the world around you, or are you more motivated by using existing innovations simply to get big? Capitalists don’t try to be big, they try to be good. And big follows if big is what will help them be even better. If you’re driven by being big instead of being creative and innovative – even if you have no employees, you’re an Industrialist.

Value #2 – Closed Markets The famous Industrialists of the 1800s, did not believe in a Free Market. They believed in a market that would allow them, the elite, to control everything, at the cost of every other business owner’s freedom. The Industrialist’s goal was to destroy everyone else; to be the last man standing in a zero sum game of dog eat dog. Do you invite others into your industry or do you wish they’d stay out? If you’re not welcoming others in with open arms, you’re not about free markets, and you’re in Industrialist.

Value #3 – Resistance to Progress – Status Quo Industrialists are brilliant at creating efficiencies around their present product and their present position in the market. They are fanatically obsessed with squeezing the last dollar of profit out of the present market, and are very aware that the next great invention could likely destroy their power by simply refocusing the consumer on a newer, better product or service. Are you afraid somebody might come up with some new idea that could make your “legacy” system obsolete? If so, you are an Industrialist. Stop running scared and become the guy who creates what destroys your own legacy system.

Value #4 – Destroying Jobs – Industrialists get bigger by acquiring other companies, then stripping them of “redundant” people who the buyer already owns. Capitalists do it more by organic growth based on having been creative, innovative, introducing new products and adding value to their offering, which sells more product and requires that the grow and hire. Are you thinking you’ll grow your way to success by buying up other people’s creativity? If so, you’re an Industrialist. Instead, get creative and innovate your way to “Big”.

Value #5 – Be Users, Not Creators – The Cash Cow Rule
The thing Industrialists are best at is creating cash cows from other people’s inventions. They don’t look for opportunities to create, innovate and push the world forward. They look for a potential cash cow that can be controlled and spun up to great efficiencies, with bigger opportunities to dominate and be powerful. Besides using existing inventions rather than creating new ones, Industrialists also use people, local economies and resources. Are you using the innovation of others and other people to create a cash cow for yourself at the expense of the world around you? If so, you’re an Industrialist (and a really uncreative one at that).

Value #6 – Focus on the Competitor (Destroy, Mimic, or Buy)
Chris Peters, when he was head of Excel Development in the very early years wrote, “We didn’t write Excel to make money, we wrote it for the sheer joy of putting the largest computer software company out of business.” Industrialists worry a lot about what the other guy is doing, because the other guy could end up creating something that will take market share away from their fiefdom. Capitalists are so busy creating and innovating that they have very little time to worry about what the next guy is doing. Are you focused on creating something amazing for the world around you, or are you focused on mimicking, buying, or destroying the “competition”? If so, you’re an Industrialist.

Don’t fool yourself. Industrialists aren’t giant corporations, they are people who have the wrong view of the world around them. How a company starts their journey has a lot to do with their permanent DNA.

How are you starting your journey?



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