The frog in the throat.
The block in the road.
Whatever the creature, big or small, real or imagined, which is in the way, you need to find a way around it.
I listened to Shane Parrish’s interview with Stratechery’s quite fast talking founder Ben Thompson - https://fs.blog/ben-thompson/. He made some great points. Maybe that's not surprising, given his business - his blog - is predicated on his ability to see interesting things (in the world of tech/strategy/business). One observation was the need for universal health care so people have confidence, freedom enough to go forth and create their own micro businesses. The internet, technology in general, need not exclusively be the land of fruit and forests worth in excess of $1trn.
I was reminded of Peter Thiel’s book ‘Zero to One'. Peter Thiel for those of you unaware was a founder/creator of Paypal and something like four other companies worth in excess of a $1bn - some of which you’ll never have heard of. Anyway, clearly a smart, successful guy.
My overriding thought - a few great insights aside - was that it read like a guide book to creating a $1bn+ company. Now, he’s clearly a man who knows how to do it, so you’re going to learn from anyone, he’s a good starting point.
But one has to ask, do I really want to try and create a $1bn company? The chance of it succeeding is certainly pretty low, but maybe a more important question: does the world need more $1bn companies?
Maybe, rather than more $1billion companies, we should aim to create one billion tiny companies. Companies which you and I can run, own, ‘do’ on a daily basis. Companies which are for few people, rather than the whole world. Companies which might even employ one or two people. Companies which are geared to providing value to a small but large enough number of people - what might this be for you? - that mean we can earn well, live well and enjoy turning up for work everyday. Companies where you know your customers/clients.
As we race towards a global population of near 10 billion and a pool of robots ready to do the work we used to do, we need a shift.
Maybe we should aim to empower people, feed their confidence, help them tap into their pools of ingenuity and imagination so that they might be inspired to create these one billion little businesses. Little businesses which connect small groups, which solve problems for a few rather than the many, businesses which work with their customers and clients, rather than for them. And a bonus, if each of these little businesses employed just one person, the world would be abundant in work, in jobs and, maybe, in joy. We’d certainly be better focused on creating value, rather than just extracting it.