What Happened To Entrepreneurs?

What Happened To Entrepreneurs?


I’ve always loved startups. Entrepreneurs are my rock stars, but it seems to me that there aren’t as many of them today as there were a few years ago. I think the most recent generation of movers and shakers (the group that started the “web 2.0” cheese and developed all of our favorite web products today) is starting to disappear. We’re a week into 2013, and it feels very much like 2003 to me.

There’s no innovation, no disruption, no new ideas.

Everyone’s talking about mobile—mobile this, mobile that—but what exactly are we doing with mobile platforms that we weren’t doing in say, 2008? The hardware and operating systems are getting incrementally better, and developers are certainly using that to their advantage, but they’re not disrupting any markets.

It’s all very boring. When do we start thinking again? When do we start innovating again? When do we stop riding off others’ success and earn our own with something new?

I don’t want to read (or write) another story about Facebook cloning something they couldn’t buy, or about Google’s FTC issues. And I certainly don’t want to read another iPhone vs. Android or Mac vs. PC post. Snore! Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft. These are all companies that my colleagues and I write about on a daily basis. Why? Because there’s nothing better to write about. It’s all the same handful of companies with the same handful of so-called “revolutionary” products.

I want someone to do something completely new. The kind of thing that changes the way we think about a market, an industry, or the world. Something that inspires a whole new generation of crazy entrepreneurs with crazy ideas.

Now of course it’s not all bad, with CES kicking off today. [Editors Note: This article was written at the start of CES] I expect to see a lot of cool new gadgets and technologies unveiled there, but we need more. Lots more. Previously unimagined stuff that almost definitely will not succeed. Which is fine. Because whoever tries this stuff will have some great stories to tell, and some great lessons learned.

I’m still waiting for hovercars, artificial human memory, and a completely realistic VR interface. You know, stuff from the old sci-fi movies that we were supposed to have by 2013.

For the first time in history, we’re living in an age where we can expect to experience exponential change in tech over a relatively short period of time. Today’s common everyday items were just fantasies (if anything) decades ago. We’re living in the same futuristic age depicted by science fiction thirty years ago. Things are slowing down, though—we need a new wave of startups to do something totally different. Anyone care to start a movement?