Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Life Is Entrepreneurship

I highly recommend talking with today's young entrepreneurs. As an old man of 29, I'm totally out of touch. I went to college in the pre-Netscape days. I can even remember using Gopher to access content.

Today's 16-25 year olds grew up with the Web as an established fact. They all had cell phones in high school and college. They've probably never used a desktop.

On Friday, I met Ben Casnocha, an experienced entrepreneur at the ripe old age of 16. Ben will probably never even consider taking a corporate job. Heck, given his age, he could be starting companies for the next 50 years, or even more.

On Sunday, I went to Steve Oskoui's birthday BBQ. The most amazing thing about the party is how so many of the people there have found success without taking "a real job." Steve, like many of his friends, runs a small and profitable Internet company. It allows him to use his intellectual and engineering gifts, while also supporting a flexible lifestyle.

One of the guys I met, David Weekly, is a programming gunslinger who takes high-powered engagements so he can spend the rest of the time on his ironically named California Community Colocation Project and other activities. Of course, it may be that the name isn't ironic; after all, David was 11 or 12 when the Soviet Union collapsed!

What all of these guys have in common, besides the fact that I'm insanely jealous of them, is that they see life as an entrepreneurial endeavor. The whole concept of work/life balance is unnecessary, because the two have merged.

In my generation, folks proclaimed the "Free Agent Nation" as the old system of lifetime employment broke down. We were admonished to focus on building skills and human capital so that we could move from corporation to corporation.

Free Agent Nation is barely a decade old, and it's already dying. The future belongs to the Entrepreneurial Nation, where everyone works for themselves and the things that they care about.

The future is already here. Get used to it.

No comments: