Goldilocks effect
(GOHL.dee.loks uh.fekt) n. When something succeeds or prospers because it is neither too big nor too small.

Example Citation:
Size does matter. Up to a certain point, the more widgets you produce, the cheaper each widget becomes. But you no longer have to be General Motors to reap economies of scale. Several recent studies suggest a Goldilocks effect: medium-sized companies enjoy the benefits of scale more than the big ones do.
—James Surowiecki, "The Goldilocks effect," The New Yorker, May 27, 2002

Earliest Citation:
The new funding rules are creating a "Goldilocks effect," explained Henry Savath, vice president at A. Foster Higgins Co., the employee benefit unit of Johnson & Higgins, New York. "It can't be too great, it can't be too little, it has to be just right."
—Nicky Robertshaw and Joel Chernoff, "Budget details pummel funds," Pensions & Investment Age, December 28, 1987

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