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With technology accessible to all, business opportunity is not solely dependent on money, but the ability to transform creativity into a business. Take the success of Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb as examples. These businesses prove that we are in the era that not only can a little man can become self-employed, but he also shock large corporates. The accomplishment of Facebook, Twitter, and Airbnb has brought to light “startup”, a business model that focuses on idea. A startup can be started by one man or a few more. It does not require big money. It grows fast in a short period of time, but stands a chance to achieve shockingly high value.
Silicon Valley is, a part of the U.S. state of California, is the most populated place in the world in term of startup population. The success of many startups in Silicon Valley has led to the misconception that startup is limited only to IT industry. In fact, technology is only a part of startup. The important thing about this business model is having new ideas and the commitment to make it grow fast. “Startups have different way of making them grow, because they think they need to grow ten times bigger, or they have to grow 5% per week. SMEs, on the other hand, do not have this kind of thinking. For another thing, SMEs require quite a lot of investment or assets unlike startups. That is because startups know how to utilise technology at a certain level, not a complicated one. The key to success of a startup is innovativeness”, said Rueangrot Phoonphol.
Technology advancement is one factor that fosters startups and shifts the focus to this business opportunity. The Internet allows entrepreneurs to explore new ideas by opening them to an endless database. As a channel to release the product to the world and attract investors, the Internet is the media that makes possible crowdfunding which does not limit the business only to personal savings or bank loans. A startup man can raise fund from the crowd through online fundraising websites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. When business is more feasible, more people are turning back on working as office employees and become self-employed instead.
With technology, the commitment of an average Joe to run a business, and the potential to exponential growth, more investors are attracted to invest in startups, including venture capitalists and angel investors. Makerbot, the world’s top 3D printer manufacturer, started from being a startup. Such an outstanding potential and performance attracted the famed investor Brad Feld who later contributed 10 million dollars to fund the business of Makerbot. “Our key propeller is the entrepreneurs who we invested with. These people are so preoccupied with the product that they eyes could pop out, and that makes us excited”, Feld commented.
Although there are many case studies that startups can grow really fast, they are also exposed to the risk to fail like other business models. Statistics shows that 9 out of 10 startups fail. The high risk to failure has led to building the startup-supportive environment such as co-working spaces which allow an entrepreneur to use working spaces with others. The essence of co-working spaces is not having a working space, but opening a chance for business learning for entrepreneurs. TechHub, a British co-working space, does not only provide a space to work, but a chance to learn and develop businesses, and the opportunity to know more startups and investors through seminars, which will help new startups grow quickly and stably.
When business operation is not limited only to the traditional model, startup is an alternative for a general person to realize the dream to start a business. It only needs a new idea for a little man to create a gigantic shock to large companies. On how a man causes such an earthshaking phenomenon, let’s stay tuned and follow up in our next article.
Documentary movie “Print the Legend”
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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