In a recent GQ magazine, I found a very interesting article about Gary Faulkner strangely applicable to small businesses and their unique position as guerrilla marketer extraordinaire. A synopsis of the article (full piece can be found here) is below:
You might have heard about the recent spectacular misadventure of one Gary Faulkner. Equipped with little more than a sword he’d bought on a home-shopping network, a pair of night-vision goggles, and the blessing of a vengeful Christian God, the 50-year-old ex-con (and his failing kidneys) traveled to the most volatile region of Pakistan to capture Osama bin Laden. What’s surprising is that it wasn’t his first attempt. It was his eleventh. What’s alarming is that it won’t be his last.
You should read about him; it’s an oddly compelling tale of either a true hero or a complete psychopath. Either way, the story brought me back to an older post here on Armory of Thought (found here) lauding the advantage that small businesses have over the big dogs by way of their ability to be flexible, agile and sometimes off-the-wall weird with their approaches to promoting their goods and services.
In many ways, Gary Faulkner’s campaign was founded on the same principles. The US government, as he saw it, was the Big Brand in this equation. It had all the power one could ask for behind it, but was consistently bogged down by hierarchies, protocols, paperwork, hidden agendas and politics. Gary, on the other hand, had only himself to steer the ship, make the decisions, be held accountable for the results. Much like the small business owner, Gary was in the position to circumvent certain “rules” that the government needed to heed, as well as approach his goal from unexpected angles (hang gliders, samurai swords, oh my!).
Showcasing agility, excelling in between the lines, adjusting plans on the fly. These are the ideals that pushed Gary Faulkner onto an incredible journey – along with many, many entrepreneurs and small business leaders.