I just read this article on Slate by Esther Dyson called Not Everyone Can Be Bill Gates…
It is sub-titled “The world doesn’t need more entrepreneurs. It needs more people for entrepreneurs to hire.”
This didn’t sit well with me. Kind of like how a 3 day old bean burrito doesn’t sit well with me.
After I read the article I realized where she was trying to go with this, but I think she is completely oblivious to anything that could be called a “start-up” outside the tech industry.
Her argument is that why start a new business when you will have trouble getting qualified people to help you run it? Good point Esther… In fact, why should we start a business at all?
Maybe to add some value back to society?
Maybe to hire people who wouldn’t otherwise get hired elsewhere?
Maybe because we have a product or service that doesn’t require a “high tech” education or experience?
Maybe because the business model makes sense, and won’t require a lot of start up capital to get cash flow positive?
Or maybe people are simply tired of working for big corporations who count them as a number and lay them off at will?
Maybe because they want to work for a smaller yet more sustainable business that is going to see them as a valuable person where they won’t get laid off?
Come on Esther, I think I could do this all day!
Now I will be the first one to tell you that small businesses have a lot of problems that larger businesses or even start-ups don’t have. In a word, capital. But I have news for you, not every entrepreneur wants to start a “high tech” company.
A recent NY Times article reported that “Once a Dynamo, The Tech Sector Is Slow to Hire”
If you want employees then check out where people are most hired…
Here is the BLS listing of the jobs that employ the most people… Occupational Employment Statistics
Now if I wanted to start a business where I was guaranteed to find the labor I needed it would potentially be in one of these categories…
1. A retail store
2. A restaurant
3. A clinic
4. A janitorial service
5. A bookkeeping or accounting service
6. A tutoring service
7. A truck driving company
Now of course all these businesses will have problems of their own, but please don’t say the world doesn’t need more entrepreneurs. Don’t assume a smaller local or regional company can’t service my needs better then a worldwide conglomerate. And please don’t assume your one little sector of the economy, no matter how hot it is, is the only place that start-ups are happening.
So yes, if you are an entrepreneur please go start your business! The world does need you!