By Joe Pulizzi published December 11, 2014

How Entrepreneurs Can Conquer Goliath with Content Marketing [Announcing Content Inc.]

Content Inc Cover“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

The legend of David and Goliath never made sense to me until I read the version as told by Malcolm Gladwell. First, let’s take a closer look at Goliath.

According to Gladwell, Goliath was indeed a giant, who also moved extremely slowly. Add to that, the 100 pounds of armor he wore. There are medical experts who believe that Goliath was suffering from acromegaly, a hormone imbalance that causes a human to grow to an extraordinary size. If that was the case, Goliath’s vision was most likely impaired as well.

How about David? Yes, David was small in stature, but he was an accomplished “slinger” and could target and strike large beasts from great distances. Light on his feet, David could move unsuspectingly on a target and still win an attack from far away.

For all these years, humanity has been made to think that David, the underdog, was shown favor by God and defeated Goliath, the heavy favorite. In actuality, Goliath had no chance to win. God favored David by helping him discern a better strategy. The fight was over before it ever began.

Changing the game

David won because he played an entirely different game than Goliath. If David had fought Goliath as tradition stated, one warrior against another in hand-to-hand combat, he would have lost.

And this is what happens to almost every entrepreneur dreaming an idea. Entrepreneurs, whether bootstrapped or funded, have literally no resources compared to the large enterprises with which they are competing.

To succeed, entrepreneurs and startups have to play a different game. If they compete with larger enterprises on the enterprises’ terms, they will most certainly fail. We, at CMI, believe that there are thousands of Davids out there who can and will be successful … but they need a bit of guidance.

Announcing Content Inc.

If you are reading this, you most likely know that Content Marketing Institute focuses on helping marketers in larger enterprises with complex content challenges. This will not change.

At the same time, we’ve had thousands of smaller businesses come to us for help, and we believe we need to address this audience also.

Enter Content Inc. – CMI’s new platform dedicated to entrepreneurs who want to be big. The hypothesis behind Content Inc. is simple – that small businesses should launch, not with a product-first mentality, but with a content-first mission. This means that the initial days, months, and perhaps years will be spent building a loyal audience. By focusing on building an audience first and defining products and services second, an entrepreneur can change the rules of the game as David did, and significantly increase the odds of financial and personal success.

We are launching Content Inc. in four phases. The first phase launches today, with my podcast, appropriately entitled Content Inc. The Content Inc. podcast will be delivered twice a week and will run less than 10 minutes. The goal of each podcast is to give entrepreneurs one thing that can help them grow their business. We launched Content Inc. with quite a few podcasts in the queue. Please check them out here and get the latest podcasts delivered to you directly by subscribing via iTunes or Stitcher.

The second phase of Content Inc. will be a digital content platform, a sub-site of CMI. Here, you’ll get multiple articles each week from myself and some of the leading experts and entrepreneurs on the planet, on how to take a Content Inc. approach to your business.

The third phase will be my fourth book, also entitled Content Inc., which will be published in late August 2015. Content Inc. – the book – offers a look inside high-growth companies that got their start with content. These are non-media (or not exclusively media) brands that began life as content engines. The book explores whether startups can or should focus first on content (and related audience research and development) and second on developing non-content offerings. For example, Brian Clark started his business, Copyblogger, as a blog about the craft of writing, but he’s since built a successful content marketing software and web-hosting business from those content origins.

And the final phase will be a Content Inc. one-day event, which will occur immediately after Content Marketing World on Sept. 11, 2015, in Cleveland.

Once again, I want to reiterate that we are not changing the CMI platform in any way. We still love our enterprise marketers who need plenty of help on content marketing integration, culture change, staffing, and measurement. Content Inc. is our new baby sister, and we are excited to have her join us to help CMI with the content marketing revolution.

If you have any questions, please let me know, and thanks again for all your support as we embark on this new effort.

Be one of the first to join Content Inc. by subscribing via iTunes or Stitcher or listening to them.

Image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

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  • Jay Acunzo

    Congrats Joe & team! From the VC world’s perspective, I can say we don’t really have resources to send startups around marketing from scratch unless it’s all the growth hacker noise. Most advice involves lots of time or budgets. Excited to have something to share with our startups. Good luck launching!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks for all the support Jay. Means a lot. I agree…lots to do in this area.

  • Brian Gomski

    Thats exciting! The resources CMI provides as well as the way you market yourselves is truly inspiring. I’m Looking forward to getting the new book when it comes out as well. Hopefully you will do another Audible version!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      For sure Brian. The book will definitely have an audio version.

  • Brooke Lark

    Downloading that podcast Thank you for giving your audience exactly what we need!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thank YOU Brooke!

  • Mike Myers

    Joe (and team): This is awesome and makes a lot of sense! Perhaps there will be opportunities for your current (enterprise) community to lend a hand with your new, entrepreneurial audience. If I can help, please let me know. Best of luck with Content, Inc.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Now that’s a great idea Mike.

      • Mike Myers

        My gift to you…happy holidays!

  • Michael Shearer

    Joe, Definitely looking forward to this! I think it’s an excellent approach. Thanks!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Appreciate that Michael…spread the word!

  • Rob TheGenie Toth

    Sounds fun. Also looking to grab the book… hopefully (and I anticipate) it will be available in Audible format as well.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Absolutely Rob!

  • Melissa

    I loved the story you tied prior to introducing Content Inc. It grabbed my attention! This is great idea and I cannot wait to listen to your podcasts.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Wonderful Melissa.

  • rogercparker

    This is all exciting news, Joe. Content Inc–podcast, book, and event–sounds like a great and will undoubtedly attract an enthusiastic audience. The only question…where do you find the time?

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Ha. Thanks Roger. Answer is this = I have a great team.

  • Fernando Labastida

    This is great guys! I think the phrase that went through my head is “it’s about time!”

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Ha. Love it!

  • Robert Gibb

    Reminds me of Brian Clark’s messaging, specifically behind and the training that he offers at

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Robert…Brian and I are on the exact same page for this. Actually, he is going to write the Foreword to the book.

      • Robert Gibb

        Dig it, Joe!

  • Jeff Neasmith

    This is exactly what CMI needed to do….get ready for a lot more subscribers!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      I’m ready!

  • Michael Ward

    Wow, very exciting Joe. Being the David of marketing automation I’m anxious to soak up the content wisdom!

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks my friend!

  • Deana Goldasich

    Yay! This will be a fun crowd.

  • rogercparker

    This is all very good news! I look forward to what develops. As Michael Ward said, below, “we are all David’s up against Goliath’s.”