Thanks to Milo Yiannopoulos and Jason Calacanis http://www.launch.co/blog/the-age-of-excellence.html
for pointing out some interesting consequences of the internet on polarising society. The web has the potential to create an elite of entrepreneurial product designers who will be measured entirely on merit and customer reaction to their innovations.
I see this happening in the case of startups. The reason Silicon Valley still leads is that they have grasped this simple fact. They are designing products that are good enough to change the world we live in. Sometimes these products are technically simple. However, the founder has had the vision and ambition to act boldly even when the business model is not obvious at the outset.
Contrast this with the UK where the young generation is fooled into thinking that they too can be Richard Branson or that Alan Sugar is a role model. We are told that it is a good thing to have shows like Dragons Den or the Apprentice. It encourages participation. These shows simply promote mediocrity, instilling the idea that anyone can become an entrepreneur and downplaying the hard work and intelligence required.
Then we have a low quality network of ‘business advisors’ with generic business skills and little knowledge of technology or social media. These advisors do more harm than good by encouraging young entrepreneurs to play safe in the areas they personally understand. It seems that the credentials to be a mentor is the ability to ask the question’what is the business model’. This question alone has become such a clique and adds little value to the businesses being advised.
We should look towards US, and UK internet entrepreneurs as role models if we want to have any degree of success in this field. As Milo and Jason intimate, unless we start to promote serious product design the internet will consign our startups to a lower tier.
We are applying these principles to our www.dreamstake.net startup platform, where startups are evaluated on merit and the best are identified by the ratings system. We measure the personal profiles of the founder teams and the maturity of the startup. We are improving the algorithm constantly and this will do a lot to encourage quality.
Dreamstake is an online super-connector for startups. We combine data from Linkedin and Crunchbase with other startup related details to provide a startup launch platform. A key feature is advanced profile search which allows entrepreneurs to find resources from across the 6000 members. We also connect entrepreneurs at our regular events and in the workspaces we partner with The Workspace Group.