Back in college and even during the start of business school not too long ago in 2011, the concept of entrepreneurship was really
entrepreneurship = small business
Many didnt want to take the risks involved and corporate jobs seemed like the better bet if you were young, smart, ambitious and wanted to set yourself up for a good quality of life and a socially rewarding career.
Flash forward to 2015, the height of startup and VC since the 2000's.
entrepreneurship = venture backed, huge tech company
Raise lots of money, grow like crazy with revenues of $10 - 100MM, sell for at least 10x.
The costs of starting an internet-enabled business plummeted in the last five years, venture money flowed and resources abounded from shared working spaces to incubators and mentoring programs. Everyone wants to work at a startup now and have their own startup. BUT, not all that glitters is gold. VC-backed companies can be a burden to manage if you are the CEO, the priority of growth and the exit comes before anything else oftentimes and.... talk about pressure!
So, IMHO, times are a changin'.
Not only have some of the biggest bets already been made (uber, airbnb for example), but the next wave of innovation is going to require huge capex and huge amounts of VC dollars (space travel, AI, VR, transport). VC dollars are more cautious but moreover, more startups due to the ease of starting a company means more competition, which means more VC dollars will funnel into single companies (like Uber) to make them the market leader.
So, what is the future of entrepreneurship then? To quote Stefano Bernardi, co-founder and managing partner @missionmarketvc:
entrepreneurship = SIB (small internet enabled businesses)
Niche businesses that generate $1-10MM in annual revenue, perhaps sell for $50MM (if they exit at all), mainly in ecommerce, saas and services are the new wave of entrepreneurship. In fact, this concept parallels well with the growing trend of "side hustles" among millennials and even middle schoolers putting on innovation conventions where they present their own small businesses and startups.
I am, personally, so incredibly excited for this future.
More entrepreneurial thinking + cheap costs of starting a business + lower bars for what it means to be a successful entreprenuer ($1-10MM in revenue) = an awesome future for innovation.
These business will still create tremendous value to their customers. The concept of SIBs will allow entrepreneurs to work for themselves and provide themselves a fulfilling quality of life and career at a scale that is easier to achieve than a VC-backed company. More accessible entrepreneurship, hear hear!
You can read the full article that inspired this post here
You can read about millennial side hustles here