the growth of an industry

Images-1The last 15 years have been incredibly interesting watching the explosion of the internet revolution.  The first go round in the mid-90's of NYC was incredibly exciting.  The internet provided a platform for new ideas and there were certainly an abundance of them.  Everyone worked 24/7.  The excitement of change with this overwhelming desire to build quickly could be felt at every turn. 

There were many people of that first generation who left after the bubble popped and never returned.  There were others who returned at a later stage of the second generation creating very different business models with the understanding that the web is a platform to create change.  That first generation knew that they had to get in early and that they were involved in watching a growth of a brand new industry but they didn't grow up with the internet or computers in their homes.  In the first generation we were just shooting darts on how people would use the web making it up as we went along.  The second generation grew up with computers in their homes using the internet in their day to day life so they all look at what the possibilities are very diffierently.  This second generation is more creative in some ways because they have a fundamental understanding on how the web is integrated into our daily lives.   

Then there are the investors.  There are many investors who have been around since the begining.  They might not be as in tune to some of the extraordinary ideas that are popping up but they understand better than anyone how you build a business from scratch.  They have seen businesses come and go, they have seen brands blow up, they have seen successes and failures, they understand how stock is distributed from the onset of a company and what is realistic in terms of a valuation, they understand how difficult it is to grow something from an idea, they understand the nuances. 

It is exciting to see so many people become entrepreneurs.  Everyone believes that their ideas are scaleable with large market opportunities but that isn't always the case.  Some of these ideas will be perfect for niche businesses that will satisfy their desire to be an entrepreneur with a business that is perfect for their lifestyle, others will become $10 million or even $50 million businesses and a few will have billion dollar market caps. but at the end of the day any of the people behind these businesses can sustain their lives at entrepreneurs and that is key for economic growth. 

Even from the beginning I was always the oldest person in the year.  Looking back at the last 15 years and seeing where we are now is just interesting and I have been thinking a lot about it as people I know from the first generation have returned with new business models.  It has been fascinating to be part of the internet revolution and watch how it has changed our lives, changed our economy, changed the way people work, changed the ability for more women to balance their lives, given us the ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world and shifted our entire social connection with each other. 

Looking forward to the third generation as they will be entering the marketplace in droves sometime after graduation next June. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Rohan

    Interesting view. I like the idea of many niche businesses. I do believe our civilization and way of working will move towards that.. given we are constantly moving towards increased efficiency and effectiveness as a whole and given huge behemoths with tens of thousands of broken systems are not helping the cause. 

    1. Rohan

      The key though, will be the mental shift. Once we ‘see’ it, it will happen.

  2. Lynne

    I really loved this post, and I feel the same. I discovered the internet pre-browser, while working at a newspaper in Mexico, and immediately “got” what a world-changer this would be. I have, in one way or another, been devoted to technology ever since. I, too, have generally been the “oldest person in the room” and especially in the early days, one of the few women (why, oh why is that?).Today, I believe to my core that anyone who is not fully immersed in web-centric, mobile, social or some other key technology, no matter their industry of choice, will limit their opportunities. Learning the new and thinking about the possibilities keeps me energized day after day.

    1. Gotham Gal

      just love your energetic comment.

  3. tyronerubin

    A wonderful surprise of a post. thanks.It going to be wonderful to see the ‘third generation’.It looks like they have wonderful tools at their disposal and will hopefully continue to create globally enriching companies. Today I was thinking of this transparency phenomenon and wondered to what extent it can get to. I am overwhelmed at the levels of transparency and connectedness we have. And wonder is there post-transparency? 

    1. Gotham Gal

      post-transparency? can’t imagine there will be any privacy at one point.

      1. tyronerubin

        Thats so interesting. Replying to this discuss comment from my phone, through a mail, hoping its successfully, if so then happy with all these ‘frictionless’ tools.

        1. tyronerubin

          oh yeah, wonderful. it worked. now I am def hooked.