Are there too many people trying to become entrepreneurs right now? Will the field become too crowded? Could it take away opportunities and limit success?
Entrepreneurship has been on the rise for the past couple of decades or so.
- Starting your own venture is easier than ever.
- Most countries allow for conducting business in different ways before starting a company.
- Also, founding a company is quite easy in most places.
- The digital revolution has enabled tens of millions of people who can provide digital services.
- The remote working trend has also opened opportunities for freelancers and entrepreneurs across the world.
Yet, there are other economical justifications that we should keep into account.
For starters, let’s review the two edge cases—lack of entrepreneurship opportunities vs. “everyone being an entrepreneur themselves”.
The Dark Ages—No Entrepreneurship
The first concept resembles the corporate days from the 19th century (or earlier). A limited number of corporations. Large business entities with tens of thousands of people—or thousands at least.
If we review the history closely, we’ll find out that “solopreneurs” weren’t uncommon, either. Mercenaries used to work for themselves. Housewives were taking care of the household, working alone at home. People turned their houses into pubs or inns. Stables became hostels.
It was probably similar if we account for witches, healers, or other roles that were experts in a given field within the village.
This still had a major impact on the lack of progress in different areas. It also increased corruption since fewer businesses meant more control from the government (or their equivalent legal and shady organizations).
Science Fiction: Entrepreneurial Heaven
Imagine if no company had more than, say, 10 employees (for enterprises).
- Everyone is a freelancer, contractor, consultant, limited service provider.
- Businesses would boom and bloom at every corner.
- Corporations would contract everyone in a different capacity for each role instead of hiring them on a payroll.
That could still work if suddenly the entire population quits and opens their own independent shop. But it would likely fail miserably, still.
- Freelancers and contractors are not entrepreneurs. By definition, entrepreneurs are creative and innovative, penetrating new market opportunities and providing a new, unique solution for a given industry.
- Most people are not entrepreneurial. Sure, everyone wants to be their own boss – but very few are willing to give up the comfort of a warm office and the 9-to-5 lifestyle.
- Legal and financial constraints will turn corporations into defensive entities that are very picky for their selection of choices.
- Money is limited. The global capital is the same–and an entrepreneurial society will attract the hardworking people willing to hustle while ignore those who don’t put too much effort in their job.
- This would increase the tension and pressure on paychecks and survivability of less entrepreneurial people (and those who are in disadvantage, or taking care of their family, etc.)
- This will have an indirect impact of other businesses dealing with entertainment, sport, after hour drinks etc—since hard workers would work even harder and everyone else would be unemployed.
Is Entrepreneurship Oversaturated?
There are still plenty of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, a healthy business is profitable, thus dependent on a lucrative business opportunity that people are willing to pay for.
Only those entrepreneurs who find their right product-market fit will survive. Bland replicas would not succeed. Ventures that don’t put the time and effort won’t differentiate themselves, either.
Another problem that aspiring entrepreneurs struggle with nowadays is the lack of adoption within conservative organizations. Plenty of corporations is not open to self-driven, motivated hustlers willing to work hard and contribute to an organization.
Intrapreneurship is another recent trend that’s been popular over the past years. Given the rise of entrepreneurship, some organizations put more effort into their hiring and retention process in order to outline possible employees who can take over an entire department or a new product. This is a really sweet spot for people who would like to build something on their own without going through the hardcore process of starting from scratch and working 100 hours a week for years until generating some notable profit.
My guess would be an ongoing, slower growth of entrepreneurship until organizations become more vocal about working with entrepreneurial profiles. This would make it possible for self-driven people to join existing organizations without detaching from an organization.
It happens in a handful of companies now. The future would tell if we get wider adoption to similar applicant profiles which would turn the trend around.