Few days back, I discussed about how technology has added to ease of starting a new business and how it is helping first time small business users in growing it and making it easier for them to work. Of course much of it is true for large businesses as well. Large businesses though have the option of acquiring manual labour which a startup or an entrepreneur does not have the luxury of.
Today though, I want to discuss a completely new type of entrepreneurship that has overtaken the world in the past few decades. I know a few decades might sound like a lot but considering that entrepreneurship or in simple English doing your own business is hundreds of years old, I think I can safely say it is relatively new.
This came with the advent of Internet.
I am not saying computers, because in many ways, computers still are in the more traditional business segment. Meaning they still require hardware selling or in case of software a particular niche knowledge of programming. Though, the success and the number of billionaires made by that too is not less in any sense. Be it Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, anyone who realised the true potential of technology boom reaped well.
Internet though brought with it a new freedom. Suddenly, learning a computer language became optional. This has become even truer with Web 2.0. In fact Web 2.0 has changed the way we interact with the computer itself. And along with Web 2.0 came services like Youtube, Blogs, Podcasts, Vlogs and so many other services.
Some services like Facebook, Twitter etc required the knowledge of programming. Even making apps for any platform requires a good knowledge of programming. But now other set of skills like writing, sketching, music are getting there share as well. People are making short films and getting fame.
Yes, Internet is a big ocean where it is easy to get lost but so is the real world. And the threshold of money that needs to be spent on internet is far less than in the real world. I am seeing the dawn of web comics, online music and of course short films. There are bloggers whose content is better than many professional writers out there.
In the midst of this of course is the programmer. A person, who can create and modify this virtual world better than others. There are many start-ups that are focused on this as well. A plethora of start-ups like these are present and many of them are successful as well. Sites are there like online radio, sites that give you the best apps and other informative sites (be it about movies, softwares, science or anything under the sun). Sites like Khan Academy or Code Academy are giving people an opportunity to learn. These can be called social entrepreneurship if you please.
Of course, how can I forget ‘Online selling’. Be it being a hardware retailer on ebay or setting up something like Jabong or Flipkart. The focus is not finding a shop. It is maintaining the supply chain. It is no easy job but it reduces the entry barrier and increases the reach.
So, what is your take on this? Do you agree with me or you believe that the new challenges that are faced by people in this kind of entrepreneurship overshadows the benefits?