Distributed Entrepreneurship

Photo by garrett parker on Unsplash

A few years ago, it was much harder to build a website for the rest of the world to use. There weren’t all these free web hosting tools like AWS and Heroku. There weren’t all these hackathons giving away free credits for a bunch of services. There weren’t all these powerful API’s that do everything you could want from payments to machine learning.

Now, things in the tech world are different. Everything is more ‘democratized’. It’s a lot easier and cheaper for anyone to launch a project. You can do something that cost thousands a few years ago for free.

In addition to the increase in ease of launching a product, there’s also an increase in the amount of people capable of developing good software. Everyone’s teaching their 4 year olds how to code, which means that a lot more people know how to build projects now than a few years ago.

This allows for something that I call distributed entrepreneurship. Right now, the internet is ruled by these mega corporations like Facebook, Google and Amazon. But with projects becoming cheaper to launch, and more people gaining development skills, there’s the possibility for a totally different way of doing things.

Instead of having one big product that serves the needs of a billion people, smaller communities can develop their own solutions to their own problems and solve it far better than any more ‘general’ solution could. They don’t need to worry about scaling since they’re only solving the problem for their community. And because they don’t have to worry about scaling, their total production costs are minimal.

That’s powerful because it means that instead of having these few big corporations that try to do everything for everyone, we’ll end up with many small projects that solve specific problems for their community. This gives the community a better solution, and the developers a good reward for their work. Not the ‘billions’ they would make from an IPO/acquisition, but more like the money that a small business owner in the community would make. Maybe this is the next logical progression for the tech world after the startup hype dies down. Maybe it’s not practical. We’ll find out soon enough.