The Startup Revolution

Priestley_Entrepreneur_pbk.pdf
The Revolution
There is a revolution going on and it is sort of hard to notice this revolution because revolutions take more than a week. For 150 years we lived in an industrial economy. The industrial revolution led to industries, right, now that era is over, now there is a revolution going on and the industrial economy is declining.

We are moving away from a world where you used to be cog in a machine, fitting in, doing what you were told, following instructions, being cheap and fast and that world is being replaced by a world where the only people who are winning are indispensable, they are the little pieces that holds the system together. Our economy is now revolving around individuals who do the work that matters and people who choose to make a difference.

Race to the Bottom
There has been a race to the bottom, how can we be cheaper, how can we get more stuff into Shoprite, Wallmart or Pick’n Pay, how can we make the packaging bigger and more average to get average customers in mass.

The problem with the race to the bottom is that you might be right and win it and when you win it you end up at the bottom.

So now we are left with the race to the top. People who do the work that is different, that is innovative and that matters. The really good news about this revolution is that the people who are qualified to do such work are entrepreneurs and small businesses because they are close to the customer, because the person who started the organisation is still there and still cares about making a difference.

Let me be more specific, let’s say you are tasked with selling insurance, in the old days all you would do was make calls to as many people as possible, interrupt as many people as you could, network at the local chamber of commerce dinner, take customers to a golf game or buy some adverts on the local team’s soccer shirts to have your logo or brand on. The idea is to sell, sell sell. I don’t think this is where we are now. Today what we do for a living as an entrepreneur selling insurnce is to help the community, to organise, to contribute and your side-job is to sell insurance, not the other way round. If you become the indispensable member of your community, the leader or participant in the local community forum, the person who organises this or that in the community, solve this or that problem and you are there and people know it, then selling insurance become easy.

There is no map, create your own map
Big companies don’t create jobs, entrepreneurs do, we know this. The government doesn’t pay attention to this because they are financed by big corporations. What we know is that our future is described and built by entrepreneurs.

I think the challenge that entrepreneurs have is to stop looking for someone with a rule book, stop looking for a map on how to get there, stop looking for some franchise, or a how-to book, or the dummies guide that says send me this money, do this and you will succeed because that’s not where growth comes from, that’s being a pawn in somebody else’s game.

What I am arguing for is doing the hard work of being original and the difficult work of navigating without a map. If you can do that, that’s when you are earn money and that’s where you create value

Don’t just think about it, do it.

No one ever got paid for something they were thinking about. No one ever got noticed for writing something in a little book and putting it away.

The challenge of this revolution, the challenge of the new economy today is did you implement it, did you deliver, did you get it out of the door to the market, did you put it in front of people to critise, did you extent yourself in the market.

The revolution doesn’t really care if it’s something you have been thinking about, but if it’s something you are implementing and delivering, then I’m applauding you.

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