Reading about, hearing about, and learning about how to build a successful company is not the same as having done it.
Innovation, Change, and the Rest of Your Life – ThinkGrowth.org
Silicon Valley emerged by the serendipitous intersection of:
- Cold War research in microwaves and electronics at Stanford University,
- a Stanford Dean of Engineering who encouraged startup culture over pure academic research,
- Cold War military and intelligence funding driving microwave and military products for the defense industry in the 1950’s,
- a single Bell Labs researcher deciding to start his semiconductor company next to Stanford in the 1950’s which led to
- the wave of semiconductor startups in the 1960’s/70’s,
- the emergence of Venture Capital as a professional industry,
- the personal computer revolution in 1980’s,
- the rise of the Internet in the 1990’s and finally
- the wave of internet commerce applications in the first decade of the 21st century.
- The flood of risk capital into startups at a size and scale that was not only unimaginable at its start, but in the middle of the 20th century would have seemed laughable.
What we’re now seeing is The Democratization of Entrepreneurship. What’s happening today is something more profound than a change in technology. What’s happening is that these seven limits to startups and innovation have been removed:
- Consumer Internet and Genomics are Driving Innovation at scale.
- We’re now Compressing the Product Development Cycle.
- Founders Need to Run the Company Longer.
- You can start a company on your laptop For Thousands Rather than Millions of Dollars.
- The New Structure of how startups get funded.
- Starting a Company means you no longer Act Like A Big Company.
- The last one and perhaps the most profound and one students graduating today don’t even recognize is this — Information is everywhere.
The Entrepreneurial Singularity
Revolutions are not obvious when they happen. When James Watt started the industrial revolution with the steam engine in 1775 no one said, “This is the day everything changes.” When Karl Benz drove around Mannheim in 1885, no one said, “There will be 500 million of these driving around in a century.” And certainly in 1958 when Noyce and Kilby invented the integrated circuit, the idea of a quintillion (10 to the 18th) transistors being produced each year seemed ludicrous.
We may remember this as the time when scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs were integrated into the fabric of society faster than they had ever been before. When the speed of how businesses operated changed forever.
We may remember it as the time when we reinvented the economy and GDP began to take off and the world reached a level of wealth never seen before. It may be the dawn of a new era for a new economy built on entrepreneurship and innovation.