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Following the Rules

How The Rise in Technology Is Changing the World

Note: This is part one of a multipart series on getting permission and why now is the best time to start a business (especially if you’re still in college).

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter.
Image via Wikipedia

A New Generation

I was born in 1991, a few years before the Internet reached mass appeal. The kids of the nineties have always had instant communication, personal color printers, and computers. We can hardly remember standard definition TV, and we have had cell phones since we were eleven. This is the world we live in thanks to the entrepreneurs of the past, and it is up to you to get us to the next level.

The Future of Tech

What connects the Blackberry, the rise of social media, and the Roomba? All of these were technological leaps forward, and an entrepreneur started every single one of them. A guy like you decided one day to stop playing video games or stop reading Cracked, and start changing the world. A simple mindset tweak set these people on the path to greatness. These people are not different than you.

We have the same brains and physiology, the only difference is that they changed the world, and you haven’t… yet.

Where You Come In

On this blog, I define an entrepreneur as anyone who has the balls and the determination to break the rules. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean working alone. In fact, getting a job and learning the industry for a few years before branching out is the most common path to becoming an entrepreneur.

The thing that sets you apart, in an age where anybody can title himself, is proof of what you can do. The proof starts with having world changing ideas, moves into acting on them, and ends with leaving bits of your accomplishments for others to find online.

If you want to get to the point where people are tearing down walls and offering up their siblings to meet you, you need to learn to take action and move forward, regardless of what ‘society’ says you should do.

The Leadership Gene

The reason some people are in power and others aren’t doesn’t have anything to do with a magic leadership gene. The people in power are there because they stood up and did something different than anyone else. These are the people who push themselves to be better.

Companies get into power for the same reason. The principle of the first mover advantage states that the first company to get their product to market is the company who ends up with the largest portion of market share. They are the people who move in first, and introduce the world to the concept of their product.

First movers include IBM with the personal computer, Google with the simple search engine, and FedEx with hyperfast shipping. Society rewards innovators and initiators with prize after prize, and it leaves everyone else behind. In a society that is constantly moving forward, if you stagnate, you lose.

On Passion and Entrepreneurship

If you want be entrepreneur, you need to learn to care. Jack Dorsey had a fetish for connection between people. Every single day, he thought about how he could make communication simpler. He planned and he worked toward solving his problem, and when he told his boss about the concept he came up with, a website called Twitter, his boss was happy to give him a hundred thousand dollars in seed funding. The company is now worth billions.

A Second Passion?

But Dorsey isn’t done. After his communication fetish had been satiated, Dorsey became obsessed with a new idea. He wondered why setting up an account to accept credit cards was so much work. He created the company Square to solve that problem, and they have already been quite successful. Jack Dorsey epitomizes the entrepreneurial mindset. Instead of starting Twitter to make ten billion dollars, he started Twitter to solve a problem, and he just happened to make ten billion dollars with the solution.

Being an entrepreneur means chasing what you think is valuable. It means taking what you think should be happening, and making it happen.

What’s the next great innovation?