Entrepreneurship from Edison to Elon

2017 Rohit Chaturvedi

Each time shopping gets a top notch at our priorities, we don’t just buy things, we Flipkart them. Each time we have needed a getaway, OLA’s the goldmine and every single time we have landed ourselves in “Go big or Go home”, we have relied on PayTM-Not just a wallet for its fraternity. The idea of Startups and entrepreneurship has gained such a level of omnipresence but we can only try to “ungoogle” ourselves from their colossal dominion.

When we hear this word entrepreneurship, what is the first thing that passes across our minds? Money? Suits? A risky profession? or just a bunch of people who got the route to the island “where magic happens” while swimming in the “sea of unknown”. If it is either of these, then you can't be any more further from truth. Whatever may it be, we cannot deny that when we are given a chance to exchange places with that person, we would do it in a heartbeat.

Many people in this profession would call themselves entrepreneur rather than businessmen. What makes the basic difference between the two? Colin Jensen says, "Most entrepreneurs are in some sense or other businesspeople. But businesspeople are not often entrepreneurs. Tim Cook does not assume the risk associated with his actions at Apple, he does not engage in any personally risky activity to benefit the company, he did not start anything. He is a gear in a machine. In a sense, the ideal of every entrepreneur is to create a company that no longer needs an entrepreneur."

To understand better let us roll back the years to when it all started. Entrepreneur is a French word coined by the economist Jean-Baptiste Say, and usually is translated as, "adventurer".

When we talk about entrepreneurs and history, Thomas Edison is a name we can’t skip upon. The personality himself stands as the perfect example of the spirit of an entrepreneur. When he failed numerous ways to make a filament, he said the he had discovered numerous ways how not to make a filament. When his company burned down on 5:30 evening on 10 Dec 1914, Edison was quoted in The New York Times as saying, "Although I am over 67 years old, I'll start all over again tomorrow." He told the reporter that he was exhausted from remaining at the scene until the chaos was under control, but he stuck to his word and immediately began rebuilding the next morning, without firing any of his employees. His continued persistence at his work shows us the basics on which entrepreneurship is defined.

From those 1900s to 2016, the environment, people and the whole of business sector have gone through major changes, which calls for regular change in shoes for our fellow entrepreneurs. There have been changes in the total setup of the market such as technology, transaction costs, increase in competition along with risk and uncertainty. Globalization as a whole has created a situation where everyone needs everyone else’s money and the spirit of entrepreneurship has resurged.

The New York times says that the valuation of successful start-ups has hit an all-time high. Where 100s of companies required to coalesce to make their cumulative valuation of $1billion 4years back, now just 25-40 companies cakewalk to these billion dollar figures. Thus a record number of entrepreneurs are getting rich.

There’s enough motivation for people of all ages to “start-up” on whatever’s there in their heads with funding of early-age startups being more available than ever. Angel investors are now interested in 1 out of every 40 funding requests put to them according to David Rose, CEO(Gust).

The Internet has made it possible for people anywhere in the world to connect instantly. Suddenly, the world has become a treasure trove of possible investors, partners, employees and customers ripe to plunder with unlimited resources and once you are into it, the world is yours to message and engage with.

Well, there’s also a flip side to the fast rise of tech startup superstars: most of them end up fizzling out. Most entrepreneurs fail, and thanks to accelerated tech growth and fickle consumer trends, it’s hard to stay relevant for longer than a few years.

When the early man got his hands on the “wheel” for the very first time, never did he know of the “Wolf of the Wall Street”. With telegraph into the making, iPhone 7 was galaxies apart from being even a dream. Entrepreneurship becoming an art this day and Elon Musk, the Picasso to it, every day we realize that whatever did we know about this ever inflating balloon till the last day, was just a grain of sand in the universe of beaches. The idea of creating and managing and finally gaining from an enterprise has seen numerous rollercoaster trips over time but still remains a shot worth trying. One of the reasons for entrepreneurship becoming contagious is more people seeking satisfaction to make the world a better place than rather than just tolerating brain-numbing work to buy enjoyment elsewhere.

The joyride and adrenaline rush the entrepreneurial market gives to its players isn’t going anywhere now or in the centuries to come. People ages ago dared to question and change how stuff works around them and that has made all the difference at the epitome of which lies our cozy existence. For every pack of wolves there’s an alpha and for every society deserving betterment there will be people unsatisfied with the bird in their hands, craving for excellence ,who could afford to stay hungry and stay foolish forever-The Entrepreneurs.