The inventors of today’s world have unleashed more resources and equipment of a technological kind than any previous decade or generation, and that blessing is only widening exponentially as startup companies are empowering hundreds as they sprout up in many areas. There are more entrepreneurs, technology developers, social media experts, and business gurus than there ever were just a few years ago. There are also hundreds of unprecedented publications, websites and products that are tailored for and by these individuals.
In a general sense, entrepreneurs have often found a welcome home in the U.S.’s atmosphere for business development and risk-taking. But it has only been recently that the demographics for the founders and investors of startup companies began to reach previously uncharted territory.
The ubiquity of information available through the Internet has leveled the playing field of launching a new business. Investments in U.S. startups reached $9.47 billion in the first quarter of 2014, which is a $3.46 billion jump from the first quarter of 2013. Software companies have often received the most funding, with Dropbox collecting $325 million this year for their fourth round of financing.
Piaw Na, a software engineer who worked at Google for more than six years, encouraged new graduates not to work for a large and well-established company, through his comments on Quora. He noted that experience with startups gives people the opportunity to understand the full range of business dynamics, not just how to sharpen one particular department or area of a company. Hundreds of intelligent and ambitious students who are pressed with diverse opportunities after college are empowered as the options arising from startup companies sprout quickly and prove to be more viable every day.
Financial backing in startups by angel investors is also seeing an unprecedented increase. Both seasoned investors and newer ones are realizing that there is greater flexibility, more options and deeper enjoyment when investing in startups, because both the investor and the company get to experience the entire journey alongside each other. Both parties are learning that market power still resides with the choices of everyday consumers, and that niche startups can be as successful as longer-standing companies with the correct comprehension of one’s market.
While project crowdfunding has been around for years through platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe, equity crowdfunding for startup companies is just getting started. 2014 is seeing the dawn of the ability for accredited investors to pour into startups. This allows them to own a percentage of the startup’s property, as well as have access to exclusive events that report the innovations and progress of companies, both on an individual level and industry-wide.
Soon, these types of opportunities will be at the hands of the public. Citizens across the world will eventually be able to identify the exact businesses that they want to help propel towards success, and then pour as much money as they desire into those companies. This will undoubtedly continue to shift and uproot entire sections of both the U.S. and world economy, but for the better. Industries will slowly restructure themselves in the hands of consumers, and businesses will become custom-built, instead of simply being organizations that hope to solve problems with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Google was listed as Fortune’s best company to work for the fourth time in a row this year, and this is no doubt due to a variety of their company dynamics. The software and technology giant is known for their engaging and unorthodox company culture, nutritious food available to their employees 24/7 at the Googleplex, and their generous provisions of exercise and recreational equipment.
With a job growth rate of 20.1 percent and over 42,000 employees, many of Google’s new hires are naturally going to be on the younger side. Some of those employees may find that, after working for a large business, they have the experience and knowledge they need to fashion their own plans for a startup. And whether there continues to be an explosion of software startups or the scales are slowly balanced out with other industries, the future of hundreds will be empowered as startup companies keep sprouting quickly.
Opinion By Brad Johnson