"There won't be any 'Corporate America,'" predicted Chris Steffen, former Honeywell Chief Financial Officer. That assertion became part of a speech I was writing for him during the early 1990s. Well, it seems that Steffen has disappeared from the C-level but he was right about the end of Corporate America.
Today in his blog in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Peter Lattman posts a piece titled "Are Corporations Going the Way of the Edsel?" In just about every state in the US, filings for Limited Liability Companies (LLC) are up and filings for the corporate structure are down. Most of us small businesses adopt the LLC structure primarily because it provides, as it name indicates, limited personal liability for debts and the actions of the enterprise.
Larger organizations now also see other benefits of being an LLC. Those include features that are more similar to those in partnerships. And those provide flexibility despite the organization's size. Another attractive feature is pass-through taxation. In such volatile times, the benefits offered by an LLC are obvious.
So, why do we still have corporations? Lattman quotes Larry Ribstein of the International Association of Commercial Administrators (IACA). Ribstein observes that corporations are "what most practitioners know." So, they're still around. This answers my questions about why so many media pros are sticking to pitching to print instead of online outlets. It's what they know.