"fail often to succeed sooner"
Being big means that you don't move as fast as you could when you were small. Take for example Yahoo's changes to their homepage. Scared of alienating anyone with website changes Yahoo is slowly making small changes.
This is in stark contrast to how you operate when you are small. When you are small there is no one to alienate so you simply make the changes and see what happens.
Both approaches are the right approaches to take and both have there drawbacks.
In a big company small changes mean big dollars so you need to make sure you know what you are doing (remember new formula Coke?). When you are innovating along the same s-curve the danger is low. Conversely because you are moving slow you are unable to see a disruptive innovation (ala Kodak who actually invented the digital camera).
In a small company you have no resources and no large install base so making changes is not as big deal. Therefore in order to survive you need to iterate rapidly in order to find a formulation that works. The drawback is that you may change too often for the likes of you customers or find a solution that is easily copied by the large incumbent. In either case you risk being vanquished.