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BUSINESS ARTICLE

Digital Entrepreneurs on the Rise

The vast amount of e-tools available to not only professionals but also laypeople has caused industries across the globe to brace themselves for digital entrepreneurs on the rise. Do-it-yourself video/audio editing, social media, online education and crowdfunding are some examples of how this new influx of fresh faced wannabes has begun to set their own stage.

Many talented (and not so talented) regular Joes-n-Janes are stepping up and showing what they’ve got. Forbes discusses ‘Three Ways Entrepreneurship is Changing for the Better’ citing how it is becoming more global; opening up more opportunities for women and how the creativity of design has merged with it. Whether it is a lifelong dream, a hobby or pure curiosity, digital entrepreneurs on the rise could very well be changing the landscape of business hiring and business competition.

Is ‘Creative Destruction’ the Way of the Rising Digital Entrepreneur?

Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950), influential, Australian-born, American economist and political scientist believed in the concept of “creative destruction”. He theorized that this is a "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one."

In other words, something that is new ends up killing something that is older such as in the case of the personal computer. This concept applies to digital entrepreneurs on the rise inasmuch that the old model of entrepreneurial ambition is theoretically being killed off by the digital entrepreneurial onslaught. Thus, according to Schumpeter, a more intellectual society (digital entrepreneurs) would be formed, threatening the bourgeois intellectual class and their bloated, antiquated existence.

Senior research fellow at George Mason University, Adam Thierer, investigates ‘The Nature of Competition in the Digital Age’ mentioning how Schumpeter was ahead of his time,

“The Austrian-born economist had the digital economy figured out seven decades ago. Cascading waves of continuous change, or what Schumpeter called the “perennial gales of creative destruction,” reverberate all around us in the tech economy. Innovative risk-takers are constantly shaking things up and displacing yesterday’s lumbering, lethargic giants. In markets built largely upon binary code, the pace and nature of change has become hyper-Schumpeterian: unrelenting and utterly unpredictable.”

Therefore, we may very well be witnessing (and probably some of us participating in) a new work model being spurned by digital entrepreneurs on the rise.

Examples of Entrepreneurial Turnover

It looks as though not only has the digital entrepreneur continued to rise throughout the Wild West of the internet but that same innovator has risen and fallen several times. This, in turn, gives great credence to Schumpeter’s foresight. Thierer cites examples of this in another piece that looks at ‘creative destruction’ in action.

·       A short 5 years ago MySpace was the prominent social networking site. So much so that self-thought genius, Rupert Murdoch, purchased it for $580 million only to sell it at a substantial loss (about $545 million). Facebook, Twitter and the like took over instead.

·       Remember Palm, Nokia, Blackberry and Motorola? Blackberry is holding on by a thread but the rest have been absorbed into new or far more successful digital entrepreneurial ventures such as Google and Microsoft.

·       Technology such as broadband, fiber optics, web 2.0 and beyond were solely responsible for AOL’s demise.

·       Online search engines were basically relegated to Yahoo and AltaVista a mere 12 years ago only to have been trampled by good ole’ Google, Safari and others.

·       Even Microsoft itself has been wavering since digital entrepreneurs have rapidly filled in the cracks giving consumers faster, cleaner, smarter choices when it comes to how they use cloud computing, social media and search engines. Microsoft has been trying to catch up ever since.

Opportunity Abounds

The influx of opportunities continues to fuel digital entrepreneurs on the rise. As the natural order of Schumpeter’s creative destruction concept seems to play out, it is the unexpected, digital entrepreneur change makers that are becoming an integral part of the big picture. In a New York Times Opinionator commentary by David Bornstein, he discusses The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur stating that,

“Over the past generation — because of historic shifts like the women’s movement, the spread of political freedoms and access to education, and the growth of middle classes in many developing countries — the world has seen a marked increase in the number of people who have the capacity to be change-makers. At the same time, because of the pace of change and the information revolution, more people are aware that institutions — especially governments and businesses — are failing to address big problems in the environment, the economy and education. As Peter Drucker, the management expert, has written: “In a world buffeted by change, faced daily with new threats to survival, the only way to conserve is by innovating.”

Some influential digital entrepreneurs on the rise include the ITU Telecom World 2012 Young Innovators Competition Winners. Here are a few:

·       Omaima Al Muraikhi – Creator of B.IT, a unique system capable of monitoring blood bank levels and finding donors when they fall into emergency mode.

·       Victoria Alonsopérez – This digital entrepreneur created a program that detects disease outbreaks among food-chain cattle before they can spread.

·        Ivan Klimeck – Creator of Excalibur which can “deliver the key technology enabler for solving the question of secure online authentication within a sustainable business model.”

 

Digital entrepreneurs on the rise seem to have already risen and are here to stay. As this phenomenon continues to grow, it may only be a matter of time before America and the world gain ground in combating so many essential issues without the long fangs of corporate fascism getting in the way.