Have you ever gotten the feeling that the company who made your stereo doesn't really care what you think? What about your cable provider, or the corporation that built your car? News flash: they don't. It reminds me of the Belushi-era SNL skit that ends with the line, "We're the phone company. We don't care...we don't have to."
Don't get me wrong. I think that multinational corporations are extraordinarily interesting. But the transition of our economy from small-to-midsize manufacturing companies to a handful of mega-conglomerates has left a pretty big scar across this nation.
What's even worse is when small businesses adopt the trappings of big, impersonal companies. Customer service is either absent or pandering and ineffectual. Communication is sparse--emails are signed with the company name, and you never have a single point of contact. Phone calls are routed through elaborate automated menus. I know guys who run 5-employee companies who think that such a facade makes them seem larger and more professional.
But it doesn't.
Are you a small business owner? Make a stand. Take advantage of your ability to run a personal, responsive company. The big guys won't expend the effort...that's what makes us strong.