The year 2020 is coming to an end. Before it began, we believed we were living in the golden age. In his “Homo Deus” Yuval Noah Harari declared that we’d conquered death, eliminated hunger, and tamed wars. But for the larger part of the Earth population 2020 has been the most disruptive year of our lives.
While many nations are struggling with the next covid wave, others feel hopeful that the worst part is over. Singapore and Hong Kong report few new cases, and the population, as well as businesses, find themselves cautiously exploring the new post-covid reality. Their findings, together with the general hopefulness the entrepreneurs feel globally, offer a positive insight into the uncertain future in front of us.
This uncertainty is the new Wild West. It creates chaos, and chaos means opportunities. And this is exactly the kind of environment where The Entrepreneur thrives.
The redefining moment
It might seem cynical to speak of anyone thriving during these turbulent times. Yet many businesses we love have sprouted from previous crises. Disney was founded during the Great Depression. And the more recent recession of 2007-2009 gave birth to a whole generation of tech unicorns, including Dropbox, AirBnB, Evernote, Venmo, and Pinterest. It is after all The Entrepreneur’s job to see the world’s issues and build businesses to solve them. And the world seems to have invented some new issues.
Entrepreneurs have always defined how we live by giving us Ubers, Netflixes, Airbnbs, and Lazadas. They are now redefining it again. True, there is no way of telling what will work. But as they keep testing, some will turn out to become visionaries.
Henry Ford said “I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.” He said it in 1903.
We all feel that the change is happening. Some of us are shaping it right now, guided by restless experiments, gut feeling, or dire necessity. We decided to talk to those in the heart of the change and see what they think is going to be crucial in the new reality.