Does it make sense for people with high abilities to go to small firms?
This is an impossible question to answer with any amount of certainty, because all people are different. In other words, there are so many variables that I doubt that there is a standard way to answer this question. So, here are some points to consider.
First, if a person is ambitious, then a person with high abilities might want to go to a big firm. In other words, he or she may want to be a big fish in a very big pond.
Second, with this point made, not all people are ambitious in the same way. For instance, a person might want to have a quiet life and pursue other things, such as spending time with the family. In light of this, a person with high abilities might want to go to a smaller firm where the work load is more manageable.
There is another possibility, the small firm may be the best at what they do. So, a person with high abilities may actually want to be there for this reason.
In short, as you can see, there are many variables.