Turn Entrepreneur in 2016 (8 Reasons), Published on 2016-01-08 12:15
This is part 1 of the 3-part series and has appeared on Money Control SME news recently.
Is 2016 the going to be the year of the Entrepreneur? There has never been a better time to act on your “big idea”. And these 8 reasons will tell you why!
1. Entrepreneurs are the new black
In 2015, USA breached $70 Billion in Venture Capital Funding ($47 Billion in 2014). In 1H2015, Indian start-ups raised a massive $3.5B funding, record of sorts.
Today’s news makers are the 30-something year olds like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook, 31y), Elon Musk (Tesla/ 44y), Brian Chesky (Air BnB/ 34y), Travis Kalanick (Uber, 39y). They are quickly replacing the likes of Ginni Rometty (IBM), Mary T. Barra (General Motors), a Christopher J. Nassetta (Hilton) or John P. Tague (Hertz), who would have dominated the news just a decade ago.
2. The age of Garage Entrepreneur is dead
Entrepreneurs are no longer just two guys starting in a garage. They are everywhere – in Starbucks, in McDonalds, in Airport Lounges, in Wi-Fi Hotspots or even at our work or college environs. They come from all parts of the world. They capture markets across the globe in months and are not limited to looking at US markets. We are going through a global entrepreneurial renaissance as evidenced by the explosion in entrepreneurial programs offered in universities the world over, as well as start-up accelerators, and corporate incubators.
3. Student unemployment is helping new ideas take shape
Student unemployment of those graduating is higher than ever before in the industry. On one side education has become expensive and on the other, there is no assurance of a campus placement. There are just not enough jobs in big corporates to cater to the millions of students passing out. It is not surprising that more students are instead seeking out entrepreneurial experiences while in college – many with aspirations to build the next Facebook, WhatsApp or Tesla. The others go through entrepreneurial education simply to better equip themselves or perhaps, in anticipation of one day taking that big leap from a cushy corporate job.
4. Lifelong employment is a myth busted, forever.
The age of lifelong employment is dead! Period.
With the security of lifelong employment and associated pensions gone, more people are looking to get into the driver’s seat and take control of their destiny. Side business start-ups are on the rise.
5. Disruptive innovation seldom happens in large companies.
There is a lot more scope for disruptive innovation today than ever before. Technology has flattened the world and we all want to see the same changes and fear almost the same things.
The pace of disruptive innovation has been accelerating since 2005. We are not seeing 10-year-old companies any more, let alone 100 year legends. New comers are disrupting previous disruptors. Who could have imagined Facebook forced Google to close Google+? Who could have imagined Samsung and LGs get Nokia to close shop? Such incidents have carved out an amazing window of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, though, the larger the company, the more they are forced to maintain status quo. Not that they wish to, but that is how they are structured. They are too big to choose a new path and jettison the past. They face too many roadblocks – shift in power centres, employee disillusionment, painful experiences and crumbling organization structures.
6. Failure is the new badge of honour
The Silicon Valley have always prided in its entrepreneurial spirit with the phrase ‘Failure is a Badge of Honor’.
The rest of the world, including mostly Asian economies like India, China and Indonesia that constitute over half of world’s population rewarded formal employment and had a social stigma attached to failure.
Their iconoclastic generation is going back with a vengeance and challenging the tenets of the older generation. The likes of Jack Ma (Alibaba), Sachin Bansal (Flipkart), Bhavish Aggarwal (Ola) have only helped the cause in creating that aura around entrepreneurs.
7. There is no Better time to start
Internet has flattened the world. Since 2005 the advances in mobile telecommunication, increased bandwidths and broadband penetration have led to convergence of idea centres, funding sources and user clusters. Technologies like Cloud Computing and Mobile Applications have further democratised our world and have given the power in the hands of the common man.
Today, for the first time in history, people all over the world from New York to New Delhi, Amsterdam to Amman to or Jakarta to Johannesburg, London to Leningrad, have access to similar tools, knowledge, funding and people. It is cheaper, faster and less risky than ever to launch a new business, and there is no better time to start than now.
8. You don’t even need that permission to start
The world has changed and it has changed big time. The approach of Governments has changed. The social structures have changed. The sources of funding have changed.
Just a decade ago, starting up a business was both painful and expensive. Getting Government licenses, software licences, an office space or building team or those dozens of visits to the bank for capital infusion. Today, most of these things are extremely simple or even, free.
The question today isn’t: “Can we build this?”, but rather, “Should we build this?”
You don’t need lots of money, people, or time to answer that question. What are you waiting for? 2016 is waiting to see that disruptive entrepreneur in you!
You might also like Part 2 of this – “Why Do Entreprenurs Fail? (8 Reasons)“
The author has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry and is now a serial entrepreneur. As Managing Partner at Futureshift Consulting, he often advises large businesses and new start-ups to take advantage of their innate potential and generate traction on their ideas to maximise impact.