Review of Company of One

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  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


Most companies want to get bigger and earn more. They hire more people, set up big offices and seek more buyers. A “company of one” stays small by design. In this bestseller, Paul Jarvis, himself a company of one, shows how to start and run a small firm, though not necessarily a one-person operation. With a small company, you know what your clients want because you talk to them. Jarvis raises one caveat: Staying small sounds ideal, but consider how much time you’d need for marketing, administration and such to live small and thrive.

About the Author

Paul Jarvis worked in IT with Microsoft, Yahoo, Mercedes-Benz, and other clients. He teaches online classes, hosts podcasts and develops software from his island home off the British Columbia coast.


The leader of a “company of one” questions the mind-set that more is always better.

Most companies want more – more customers, more employees, more profit – but getting bigger, Jarvis warns, comes with a higher cost. You can actually do more with less. A company of one enables you to take control of your business and your life. Being a company of one isn’t the same as being a freelancer. Freelancers get paid only when they work. A company of one, Jarvis explains, uses systems and automation to make a profit even when its owner or owners aren’t working.

A company of one needn’t be only one person.

The author details how a company of one can be one person, one person within a larger organization, or a small firm with a few employees. Jarvis provides the example of employees or board members who can become a company of one inside a much larger organization if they desire autonomy and question the more-is-better mind-set. “A company of one,” the author writes, “is simply a business that questions growth.”

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