The future of business is unleashing an entrepreneurial explosion from unexpected places, ushering in a new era unlike anything before. It will be uncomfortable for many, but personally, I’m incredibly excited!
Why? Because it will mean cheaper, more accessible, and more meaningful pathways for people to come together to support great ideas, solve important problems, and enjoy the rewards.
We’re entering a time when all platforms will be built, operated, and owned by passionate users coming together to create amazing things.
We all now have the opportunity to build great communities, offer them value, and be rewarded according to the merit of our contributions.
What’s Driving the Explosion of Entrepreneurism?
Multiple transformational technologies are simultaneously converging, creating a cascade of paradigm shifts that will rapidly surge through society, changing everything about how we work, play, and interact.
Blockchain, machine learning, biotech, and virtual reality are just a few areas where technology is accelerating the revolution, driving critical changes in business and innovation. Yet most of today’s companies and startup systems aren’t built to cope with the coming scope and speed of disruption.
At the same time, people are fed up with the old ways of building and running companies. We want purpose and flexibility in our work:
- 76% of people report wanting flexibility in where they
- 93% report wanting flexibility in when they work
The next generation is especially passionate about creating a new reality for their working lives.
- 54% of Gen Zers plan to Start A Business
- 78% need to do something creative daily to feel productive and engaged
The desire for a new, more creative and meaningful way of life, combined with the technology to make it happen, means the next great companies are likely to come from places that have been often marginalized, until now. The next great innovation leader is a kid playing Minecraft in New Delhi or an artist collective in Lagos. The power is finally coming to the people, and they’re ready.
So What Does This Entrepreneurial Explosion Look Like?
The barriers to become an entrepreneur are falling. If you have a great idea and communicate it to the world, you can fund it, build it, and have people join it far faster and more easily than ever before.
The power to create—and to enjoy the benefits of those creations—is in each of our hands.
To show you how this is unfolding, I took a queue from Peter Diamandis’ 6D’s of disruption and identified a new set of trends that are defining this new economy.
Remote teams, pocket-sized supercomputers, cloud computing: we live in a world of miniaturization and digitization where the need for massive co-located teams, physical assets, and spaces of connection is rapidly diminishing. You’ve got a phone in your hand that’s more powerful than most banking systems were 10 years ago!
This means we can push processing and engineering out to the edge. Individuals and small teams spread across the globe can now accomplish in days or weeks what used to take months or years for large, heavily-funded organizations in an office building.
People can now organize around purpose and passion, problems they want to solve, and solutions they want to see in the world. Instead of hierarchical structures in which a small leadership team dictates the work to be done, we can start to push decisions down to the people closest to the context.
An increasingly popular way to codify these projects is through a Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO). These are digitally connected groups that gather around an idea, funding and organizing it using blockchain technology. They can invest in assets or projects they care about or manage their own projects. These groups are exploding in participation, value, and impact.
Acclaimed entrepreneur Mark Cuban called DAOs, “the ultimate combination of capitalism and progressivism.” A couple of examples to check out are Friends With Benefits (an exclusive social/cultural club) and HerStory (an “art collective dedicated to preserving and incubating the stories of marginalized crypto creators”).
People can align their passion to purpose, principles to a codified smart contract, and a self selecting team picking up whatever tasks need to be completed. Never seeing, meeting or being in-person—it’s fascinating.
Key barriers to entry are disappearing. First, technology is no longer a bottleneck. The no code/low code movement, for example, is giving people without deep technical knowledge the ability to build and launch products in a fraction of the time.
Startup costs are also becoming far less of a hurdle. For example, no code/low code can help you build and launch a product without a full development team. Wells Fargo conducted a study just a few years ago on the costs to start a business, and reported an average of several tens of thousand dollars. Today, that number is under $10,000 and shrinking.
Creators and entrepreneurs no longer need large middleman platforms to access customers. Instead, anyone can build locally at a small scale and connect directly with their first early niches to start creating a community. And those community members not only use the product, but actually have ownership in it. Cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) can act as digital shares, ownership stakes and early investment letting entrepreneurs crowdfund their entire business independent of a third-party platform.
A great example is what’s happening in the music industry. Historically, artists have been forced to give up ownership, agency, and upside from their creations—first it was record labels, and more recently it’s been streaming services like Spotify.
Now musicians can bypass the middlemen and fund their work directly from their own community of supporters using blockchain technology, sharing the financial upside with those supporters. Musician Timbaland, for example, offered NFT chunks and clips of his music to be remixed from his upcoming EP, titled “Opera Noir.” Daniel Allen recently launched a new crypto-native EP, and offered to share royalties from the EP with those that supported him.
Direct to customers, and community is truly back for creators.
Democratization (a.k.a. Access for All)
As prices to play tumble, technology tools to get started become cheaper and easier to use, and innovative, community driven approaches to funding become normalized, entrepreneurship becomes increasingly democratized.
Around the world, people with bright ideas and bold creativity can start building products, companies, and services to offer their communities and make a real impact.
People everywhere are going to have the opportunities to reach millions, through the creativity of connecting with their customers and their communities at significantly reduced costs.
“Ask anyone who’s worked in a startup, few individuals experience massive wealth creation from any success. But that’s about to change..”
Greater Equity (Based on Merit of Contribution)
More individuals are going to have ownership of the quality in the products and the content they create. Therefore they’ll have more equity based on their contributions to that community.
In most companies today, it’s the executive team that see the majority of the upside. Ask anyone who’s been involved in a startup: a few individuals experience massive wealth creation from any success. Most people get, at best, the equivalent of an annual bonus for all the effort they put in.
That’s about to change, because we can truly start to push power down to the people creating products right at the frontline. We can measure the merit of contributions to those communities and allow for people to see meaningful upside for their code commits, content created and used—all captured by technology.
One example is Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), a DAO that started in April 2021 with a collection of NFTs selling for a couple of hundred dollars each. At the time of writing less than eight months later, the tokens are selling for over $225,000 minimum.
But that’s actually the most boring part of all of this. What’s really interesting is the ability to build and create meaningful products, solutions, art, and experiences on a massive scale with the BAYC community members. For example, BAYC is organizing high-profile events and developing deals for films, television, games, and music. It even partnered with Rolling Stone Magazine to produce its first NFT magazine cover!
Owning a BAYC NFT is your access pass to this community, as well as its self funding mechanism. The more valuable the community you create, the more valuable the NFTs of that community become.
What Will Your Stake Be in the Entrepreneurial Explosion?
To succeed and thrive in this new era, we’re all going to have to ramp up our Unlearning. My own assumptions and habits are tested daily as we develop our systems at Nobody Studios—and I love it! It gives me the opportunity to walk my talk and refine my thinking at a level I’ve dreamt of for years.
But I know a lot of people are already finding the pace and scope of change uncomfortable. If that’s you, remember that the fundamental principles of business are the same as ever. If you have an idea you want to test, build, and scale, you need talent, influence, and capital. What’s changed is the array of mechanisms and technologies to access and harness them.
So I encourage you to start exploring some of these new developments. See what draws your interest and where you can make connections. Join some conversations, or just start your own small experiment in order to learn.
And if you’re not sure where to start, and you’d like to become part of a company at the forefront of innovation, join us at Nobody Studios!
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