By Jay Maharjan
The rules of entrepreneurship still apply in principle, but the medium has changed drastically. This is probably the best time in our history to pursue entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are defying the logic and business rationale to make things happen individually. Gone are the days when you needed huge capital and veteran management teams to form companies and to wait for another several years to rake in the profit.
Markus Frind is the founder of a free dating site PlentyOfFish.com. He spends about two hours a day in his house managing his website that gets twelve billion page views a year. He is the only employee in his company. By the way, did I tell you he makes $5-6 million per year with Google ads.
Similar to Markus Frind story, another entrepreneur Dave Lu from FanPop also makes millions from his website. Fanpop is a place where fans of anything and everything can share and interact with fellow fans.
One trait that is common with both entrepreneurs is that each of them is leveraging on simple inexpensive tools that are readily available to most entrepreneurs. You might ask how these successful online ventures are relevant to the conceptual economy. Conceptual economy encourages entrepreneurs to use both left and right brains. Technical and subject matter experts like Markus and Dave are not focusing solely on their technical skills. Rather, they are conceptually leveraging on their technical skills as well as testing their creative skills to conceptualize, design, develop and market their ideas – in most cases on their own without any help.
Entrepreneurs must take the lead in conceptual economy. Corporate world usually takes the back seat when it comes to adapting new ventures and most likely will be the last group to realize and accept the arrival of this economy. Microsoft would have never thought of starting Facebook – the highly successful social networking site on the Internet. What it took was the guts of a visionary young entrepreneur by the name of Mark Zuckerberg. Mark was a Harvard dropout with a great idea that was ahead of its time. At Harvard, Mark hacked the Harvard student records for fun and created a networking site for his fellow students. The site became very popular. In a short period of time, the concept has revolutionized the online social networking scene. In the beginning, Facebook was popular among only High School and College students. With the recent change in their policy to include adults, the site has seen a huge surge, providing a great social and networking platform for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Recently, Mark turned down one billion dollar cash offer from Yahoo, validating the notion that this is just a tip of the iceberg and the upcoming opportunities are endless. Potential of social networking sites like Facebook is far from being fully realized. Imagine the power of bringing captive group of individuals from around the world who share common interest, same values and complimenting business opportunities. As large businesses and traditional knowledge workers stay skeptics and try to analyze the concept, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to run with what they believe in and bring them to life. Eventually, this economic model will affect every aspect of the society. But for now and probably for the next couple of decades, true beneficiaries will be the entrepreneurs who choose to take the initiatives.
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