Indisputable: We live in a global work space – an economy where timing is everything and competition comes from every which direction, blindsiding us, especially where Tech is concerned. There is tremendous pressure to be first out to fill a market niche and tremendous pressure on innovators around the world to become instant entrepreneurs OR to give up the lion’s share of the economic benefit of their innovation to others who can get them to market in a hurry.
If there is a lesson from the Blackberry debacle it’s that being first gives you a head start but the pack quickly turns to finding ways to do it different and better. There is no time to rest on your laurels. Your advantage is short lived- even much less than ten years ago when Blackberry was first riding high.
Are the expectations of the market achievable or are we simply seeing a new reality where companies come and go with a greatly reduced life expectancy. Apple did fail once. How much longer will it stay at the top this time?
When you visit an incubator/accelerator you will often see tired young people committed to a 24/7 work ethic, working in small space shared with other start-ups focused on perfecting their innovation with little understanding of the fundamentals required to operate a business or build a foundation for a company that can last. Did Blackberry ever establish that foundation? After all it was always in a dynamic state of rapid change initially positive but for the past three years negative.
Can humans really continue to cope with the rate of change that technology allows? Are we being forced to abandon stability in favour of short term success? Overall we find ourselves in an integrated global economy, still wrestling with the ongoing effects of the Great Recession, managed by leaders who are challenged at best, incompetent at worst, where the only sure thing is uncertainty.
For all of these reasons becoming an entrepreneur is an important option. The economic world will place increasing value on resilience and adaptability. In the face of instability and uncertainty the most important skill we may develop will be the ability to create our own job. Big will not be better. Small and flexible will become the key to individual success.