The world is about to change for the better and you can be a major part of it. I attended the annual Singularity University Global Summit last month, which is a conference that aims to bring together a world-class collection of leaders to better understand the future through exponential technologies, creating meaningful connections among colleagues, and empowering every individual to go out and build a better world. One of the main takeaways I got from the conference is that now is the best time to start a business. Not just any business but a business that will help shape our world for years to come.
“Now is the best time to start a business. Not just any business but a business that will help shape our world for years to come.”
When we think about it, the world is now more connected than it has ever been. As we speak, there are 3.8 billion people who are connected through the power of the internet and as we continue to make technological strides the whole world will be connected by 2022-2025. That’s an additional 4.2 billion new consumers, 4.2 billion opportunities to provide solutions to, and 4.2 billion ways to do good.
Once upon a time and not too long ago, building a business was about maximizing profits no matter if the business was helpful or hurtful but now social good is at the root of a successful business. In fact, the world’s biggest problems are the biggest business opportunities. As Singularity University’s Executive Founder, Peter Diamandis stated, “Doing well means doing good.” The best way to create a billion-dollar business is to help a billion people.
“When we think about how companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB have disrupted industries, they’ve done it by creating platforms, whereby they connect those with supply with those with demand.”
And today, thanks to technology, reaching a billion people has become much easier. Additionally, there is more capital available today than available in human history to help start your business… In 2017 global crowdfunding sites raised $34 billion across just 375 platforms worldwide, venture capitalist invested $84 billion globally, and initial coin offerings raised a total of $6.6 billion and we anticipate this number to keep on rising.
So what kind of businesses are likely to drive the most value in this era of exponential growth? According to Singularity University’s Amin Toufani, the biggest drivers of value are digitization, just in time delivery, and hyper customization. Additionally, he believes creating a “platform” business connecting multiple sides of a market will continue to create a lot of value. When we think about how companies like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB have disrupted industries, they’ve done it by creating platforms, whereby they connect those with supply with those with demand. These companies also take underutilized assets and provide a market for utilization that can benefit everyone. For example, studies show that the average cost of a car in the US is $9K but the car is only used 4% of the time. Companies like Waymo (Google), GM, and Tesla have been on the forefront of creating autonomous cars and as this industry begins to take off that 4% usage of cars will likely increase exponentially. It’s also anticipated that the need to purchase cars will diminish once autonomous cars make a full debut. This will likely lead to a shift from car ownership today to a subscription model where subscribers can get access to an autonomous vehicle on demand providing them with better use of their time and money.
“Will you use this power to change the world? Change really starts with you…”
This is just one example of the way business and technology can create more value in society, but what ideas can you think of? What business can you create that can appeal to the 4.2 billion people who haven’t been connected yet using technology? We now have the power of Kings and Queens in the palm of our hands. Will you use this power to change the world? Change really starts with you… Let’s create the change that we want to see.