Technology has made modern entrepreneurship more accessible.
As with all things school, there are some things you use and some things you cast into the place of the lost and forgotten. Recently, one of those things rose from the abyss during my time as an MBA student.
The proper term is Barriers to Entry.
Some may not be familiar with this term so let me define it for you.
According to Investopedia, ‘barriers to entry are ‘the existence of high startup costs or other obstacles that prevent new competitors from easily entering an industry or area of business.’ 1
So I know you are thinking…”what does this have to do with pursuing ones dreams?” Well, let me explain. Technology rears its head in many different forms but has the same motive behind it: easier, cheaper, faster, and more efficient. In this short expose,’ I will explain how technology has evolved to such an extent today that one is left with little excuses for why they do not pursue their dreams. I will share this in the form of a story. One that many are familiar with. The story of how the Bible disseminated to the masses.
As with all good stories, it starts many, many years ago. This is the story of a nations history that was passed down generation to generation…the story about the creation of the world. The device used to help this story go viral was one of the oldest technologies known to man, verbal language, or storytelling. It was not until later, around the year 150BC, that the story was communicated through a new viral technology, pen and parchment. Bedouin teenagers discovered the Dead Sea scrolls in 1946 and dated them back to the year 150AD 2. As time went by, the story continued to grow but there were many who had not heard. It was not until 13th century when it truly went viral with the invention of a groundbreaking technology called the Gutenberg Press. The first printed Bible ran through this press around 1450 AD. Since then, books have been translated into over 3,312 3 languages and over 2.5 BILLION copies worldwide 4. Today, you can find not only the Bible but also thousands of writings on the topic. So what was it that helped this story be disseminated throughout the world? Technology.
The achievements of new technologies lowered the barriers to entry so that anyone could hear the story.
So how does this apply to your dreams?
In the past, if someone wanted to start a clothing business they would have a variety of barriers to entry including needing to either hand stitch or build machinery to stitch and sew, grow/find materials to make clothes, and travel to a local market to sell/barter. Today, in order to start a clothing company what you have to do is: come up with a catchy name and logo, build an online storefront, and upload your brand onto a clothing manufacturers white-labeled items (products that allow you to put your own label on), and the manufacturer will directly ship the clothing to the consumer. If Levi Strauss had these tools at his fingertips who knows what he could do?!
Technology and barriers to entry have an inverse relationship, as technology increases, barriers to entry decrease. Technology has been increasing leaps and bounds over the past 25 years and is only predicted to continue. To give you an idea of a few challenges that have now been solved, let me list a few:
Need money? Check out Kickstarter.
Need co-founders? AngelList.
Need hard skilled talent? There’s an Upwork for that.
Need office space? Check out Wework.
Need manufacturing? All things Alibaba, made in China.
Trouble with Bookkeeping? Bench.co has you covered.
And the list goes on and on. Since the invention of the Internet, entrepreneurs have solved many of their own problems, and those often were ones that hold businesses back from growth.
Of course, I am not delusional, there are still barriers in certain geographic locations and industries. However, the moral of the story is: do not let the opportunity of a lifetime pass you by without considering….should I start NOW to pursue my dreams? Let’s bring those dreams back to life.