In 1997, I was young and unprepared for what was about to happen. I had just finished my degree at the University of Oregon and I was on my way to Los Angeles. Netscape had been around for two years, but I didn't really see tech as my area.
While I was distracted by the shiny entertainment industry, the Internet was changing everything. I noticed but I didn't pay attention. I did start my first company in 1999, but I was late to the game. I didn't have the network. I didn't know how to execute. I had much to learn.
Many people think 1997 was their (last) big chance. The big chance to "make it". It was, perhaps, for some. People got rich with bullshit. It was a bubble of course. A real bubble.
Today, some people think the recession can last for another 10 years. They are wrong. Dead wrong. It's 1997 again, but this time it's much much bigger. This time, the disruption is real. This time, the market is 10 times larger. Now, the whole world is connected and smart phones bring endless opportunities for entrepreneurs everywhere.
Consumer behaviour have changed and platforms for true social communication have connected a billion people - for the first time. Smart entrepreneurs can launch companies and products to the entire world in weeks. Millions of users - real customers - can be yours in less than one year. It's incredible! Yet, not enough people see what is about to happen.
Massive distruption of most industries are happening right now. People act differently. They consume media and content unlike anyone before them. They buy more things, virtual or not, faster than ever before. An example from my own experience: Tweens and Teens spend 80% of their waking hours clued to their phones, entertainment companies (yes, even TOY companies - we know them) spend 20% of their budget on digital. It's crazy I tell you. Crazy.
And in the middle of all this... THE JOBS ACT is here. For the first time since 1933, American's 99% - yes, those people - can invest in small startups through "crowd funding".
I'm Norwegian. We are risk averse. Americans? They LOVE risk. They LOVE startups. They think they can WIN. They are optimists. This is part of why I came here. This is why I stayed here.
In six months, all of these Americans that together hold 30 TRILLION in long-term investments can FOR THE FIRST TIME take some of that money and put it into startups. Games, entertainment, tech, web, mobile... you know, the stuff that THEY buy. The stuff they read about in the news. The stuff that makes people - and perhaps people like them - billionaries.
What do you think is going to happen? Are you prepared?