Last time, we introduced this idea of reverse entrepreneuring the Industrial Revolution and the Information Revolution. We concluded that we’re ready for a new revolution – the Individual Revolution.
There’s a convergence of forces behind this. Let’s look at two of them as an example:
Social media is on the rise
This one’s a man-made phenomenon. Entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to tap markets worldwide. And they can collaborate with other entrepreneurs around the world. Anybody can go global, creating an individual revolution for media!
We’re at the beginning of a long growth cycle
This is a natural occurrence. Economies grow in the long-term. In the short-term, they have their booms and busts. We’ve definitely seen the bust.
But there’s another cycle that fewer people know about. We recently discussed it. It’s called the Kondratiev Wave. It’s a forty to sixty year wave that rolls through capitalistic economies.
We’re at the point in the Wave where BIGG opportunities present themselves. We’ve witnessed companies “too large to fail” – we just can’t put “bigg” with that!
We side with Warren Buffett who said ”too large to fail” really means “too large to manage”. We might even extend that by saying they’re “too large to exist” but that’s a whole different post.
Our point is that we think there is a movement against large organizations. Small businesses have the competitive advantage now, which plays into the individual revolution.
The evolution within the Industrial Revolution
Having said that, large companies can do some things better than small companies. So a natural evolution is from small company to large company.
Innovations usually come from entrepreneurs. As the market for his or her products reach critical mass, the entrepreneur may find it worthwhile to sell to a large company who can take the product to maturity.
Another evolution is from developed countries to emerging ones. As production of an item becomes standardized, there is less need for skilled labor. So it makes sense to move production to the emerging market.
We think large companies will get more entrepreneurial because they will have to. We even think governments should behave more entrepreneurially for the benefit of the constituents they serve.
The Individual Revolution is a marriage of the old and the new
Change is occurring more rapidly than ever. Technology is available to the masses. Centralized command-and-control systems are struggling.
It’s the beginning of the Individual Revolution.
The Individual Revolution will marry modern technology with timeless business models.
And it will be the individual who makes it all happen.
How the Individual Revolution will affect business
1. Products are important.
Successful entrepreneurs focus on delivering products or services that solve a problem for a group of people.
2. Profits are critical.
If a business doesn’t make a profit, it won’t survive. These profits are used to pay off debt, to invest in equipment that makes its people more productive so they can earn more. Profits also go to the entrepreneur as a return on the time and money invested.
3. People are essential.
This is what many large companies – the kinds of companies that have been the outgrowth of the Industrial Revolution and the Information Revolution – sometimes forget.
In the Individual Revolution, it won’t be forgotten.
People, not consumers, buy products and services.
People, not employees, produce profits.
People, not investors, provide capital.
Great relationships with people will be the single most important asset you can have during the Individual Revolution. To paraphrase a Dove Promises wrapper:
“A person’s trust is the most valuable thing you will ever earn.”
Earning trust, then, precedes earnings.
That’s where we’re at with social media now. It’s making it possible to focus on people – building relationships by building trust – while we pursue profits.
In the first generation of a new technology, wealth is created by those who create the technology. In the second generation, it’s created by those who figure out how to use it productively.
Marry the modern technology of social media with the timeless principle of a people-centric business plan and you’ll be a BIGG success!
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(Image from Picserver.org)