Best Of Times

What guerrillas will take into the new millennium.
This story first appeared in the December 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

As we move into the future, no self-respecting guerrilla will disregard the lessons of the past. Guerrillas will bring the best of the past to join forces with the best of the future. Examine the best of both worlds so you'll know what to mentally pack for the 21st century.

The Best Of The Old

1. Work that satisfies your soul. In the past, people engaged in work that generated honest passion. Much of this work gave way to dispassionate work, soulless and rewarded only financially. Look for a resurgence of passionate work.

2. Family togetherness. Modern times have replaced family pursuits with financial pursuits. Watch for families to become close again as people reassess their priorities.

3. Time for leisure. When we entered the 20th century, the word "workaholic" wasn't in anyone's vocabulary. Guerrillas make time for both work and leisure.

4. A sense of humanity. If you don't think we've left our sense of humanity in the past, talk to one of the people being laid off each day.

5. An achievable American dream. The American dream of old-a family, a home, job security-isn't as easy to attain these days.

6. Short commutes. The growth of homebased businesses is reducing or eliminating commutes, giving us more time for business and family.

7. Personal business relationships. There was a time when sellers knew buyers, when customers were greeted by name. New modes of business have removed this. In the future, warm relationships will be the name of the game once again.

The Best Of The New

1. Speed. New technology saves more time than ever before, and saving time will continue to be a hallmark of the future.

2. The Internet. It means speed, convenience and streamlined business. It opens doors to new information that can dramatically increase profitability.

3. More data. Data will be the currency of the future.

4. Easy communicating. The astonishing growth of communications technology makes getting and staying in touch easier than ever before.

5. New work styles. Telecommuting, working at home, freelancing, consulting, job sharing-all will provide new freedom.

6. Growth of the entrepreneurial spirit. It's happening all around you, and it's going to happen even more as we move into a new century. The future belongs to small business.

7. The new American dream. This one is achievable, a dream that can be attained. The reasons: I've listed them above. They will combine to make the dream come true.

Out With The Old...

Just because you're a small company doesn't automatically make you a guerrilla company. Are you a traditional firm, stuck in the past, or a guerrilla firm, looking to the future? Check the following list to find out:

The Traditional Firm

Stable and entrenched




Reveres efficiency

Hires employees on aptitude




No customer follow-up

No referral program


Middle management

Accessible 8 hours a day, 5 days a week


The Guerrilla Firm

Dynamic and learning




Reveres effectiveness

Hires employees on attitude


Lateral and networked


Intense customer follow-up

Active referral program


No middle management

Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week


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