What if "scale" didn't just mean one entity growing ever larger and larger, facing the issues and creating the difficulties that accompany growth for growth's sake...
...but rather could mean many smaller organizations being created, doubling, and spawning new businesses? Metaphorically, what if "scale" didn't have to be the gigantic monoculture of a corporate-owned never-ending corn field but could be the same amount of land covered in a wide variety of soil enhancing (and profitable) crops, tended and nurtured by many entrepreneurs?
Too often, we see investment treated as a means to simply maximize ROI on the shortest timeline possible. This means, the more value a company can add to their business as quickly as it can, and the higher they can sell their company for, the higher the return will be for the investor. This is the same rationale taught in business school that the first concern a business should have is to maximize shareholder value. If a company's main metric for success is how quickly it can increase monetary value, then this will be pursued at the expense of most anything else. Companies that don't have positive externalities built into their businesses will often cut these at the first sign of stress - they are not essential, while scale and valuation are.
When scaling is the main business objective, and ultimately leads to investor returns, it also leads to risky and volatile investment strategies that can lead to huge returns for some investors, and small or negative returns for the rest. Venture Capital is built on the notion that one company out of dozens of investments will be a 'unicorn' and scale to 100x or 1000x their initial investment - thus mitigating the loss on investment with the dozens of other failures. This leads investors to push unicorns to maximize their scale, if they find a unicorn at all. This strategy leaves investors very exposed to failure and risk, and pushes for an 'all or nothing' approach to business.
We contend this line of thinking.
We prefer sensible, prudent, and sustainable growth. Much like in biology - life wants to grow, not scale. In a healthy ecosystem, life can only grow as quickly as their environment will allow. Old growth forrests take time - lots of it - to establish. Salmon must swim 100's or 1000's of miles up rivers and streams to reproduce, despite this inconvenience and 'inefficiency'. But, given proper conditions, salmon populations will grow and old growth forests will establish. They grow because they want to and it requires time. Algae blooms, on the other hand, scale rapidly, but are the result of unhealthy ecosystems.
We enjoy working with companies that are tied to their place and connected to a healthy, regenerative ecosystem that flourishes together. That is why we work with farmers and ranchers who aren't interested in 'scaling' but do, in fact, want to grow their business to achieve there goals an increase their positive impacts in the world.
Companies that embrace prudent, sustainable growth instead of scale are also able to ensure that they are not causing negative, unintended externalities because they are able to see, hear, and respond to their communities more readily. That is why we have speed limits on roads, and that these speed limits change based on their surroundings - these speeds allows drivers adequate time to respond to the environment and to make adjustments accordingly.
We enjoy working with companies that want to grow their businesses for their family and community. We embrace small business and the resiliency that is built into health small business environments. We want to do what we can to support this good work.