This is a thought provoking article, recently posted on Venture Beat’s Entrepreneur Corner, regarding a direction for entrepreneurs. Well worth the read.
2011 | Josh Green
No, not that kind of bubble. The bubble we’re living in is actually much more dangerous than the classic tech bubbles that inevitably come and go, because this particular
bubble may well prevent American entrepreneurs from playing a leading role in
shaping the future.
The bubble I’m worried about is much more dangerous precisely because it constrains our
thinking about what’s possible.
Today, most American entrepreneurs continue to be focused on building businesses that are fundamentally about serving the American middle class (daily deal
entrepreneurs, you know who you are).
That’s fine, except for one thing: the defining economic event of the 21st century is likely
to be the rise of the global middle class.
Who’s going to shape this next century (or, as President Obama might put it, “win the
future”)? Sadly, at this point, I wouldn’t bet on American entrepreneurs, most
of whom are living in a 20th Century Bubble. No, I’d bet on entrepreneurs in
emerging markets, the folks who deeply understand the growing global middle
class — because they’re a part of it.
But American entrepreneurs do have a shot — if we have the courage to learn about markets half-way around the world. Only then will we be able to create products and
services that address the needs of the global middle class. Or products and
services that address the needs of other companies that are in turn serving the
global middle class.
Will we be at a disadvantage, because we are not truly of these markets? Yes. On the other
hand, we’ve had a century to accumulate knowledge about how to serve those who
hunger for a better quality of life — and knowledge about how to serve
companies that are in turn serving those who hunger for a better quality of
life. Why can’t we take this knowledge and apply it in new markets?
Here’s hoping that the next wave of entrepreneurs has the courage to look to the future. Here’s hoping that the next wave of entrepreneurs has the courage to look beyond our
borders. Here’s hoping that the 20th Century Bubble bursts soon.
To read the entire article including specific examples of companies that are breaking out
of the bubble go to http://venturebeat.com/2011/11/06/hey-entrepreneurs-we%E2%80%99re-living-in-a-bubble/
(@joshuabgreen) is the co-founder and CEO of Panjiva (@panjiva), an intelligence platform for global
trade professionals that got its start by helping companies serve the American