Back to all posts

How to Think About the Businesses of Tomorrow

Feb 15, 2022 | Business

We’re going through one of the biggest shifts in the history of the world:

The businesses of yesterday consolidated power. The businesses of tomorrow distribute power. Understand this and the future is yours.

Need help? Let’s dive in with examples.

7 years ago, Balaji Srinivasan was my professor at Stanford.

He developed an insight nearly a decade ago which looks more obvious by the day.

“Unlocking individual potential is the key to unlocking the world’s potential.”

This is playing out in real time across every industry.

1. Entertainment

Yesterday, you had to be chosen by the kings of Hollywood to make it.

Gate keepers, ladder climbing, politics just to get a chance.

Today anyone can get millions of followers via TikTok, Insta, YouTube.

The kicker? You can do it on a shoestring budget.

2. Finance

Finance used to be powered by the “good ol’ boy” network.

Let’s be honest: it still is—but it’s changing.

Reddit, Robinhood & Coinbase give main street a voice.

The cool part is this is shifting how businesses act. There’s more focus on stakeholders as opposed to shareholders.

3. Print

Everyone is on the watch out for fake news. The institutional news outlets are seen as politicized.

Therefore, writers are branching out on their own. And, instead of following untrusted organizations, readers are following trusted people. Twitter & Substack FTW.

4. Transportation

Transportation was monopolized by major medallion corporations. Or it was a public utility.

Today, Uber and Lyft have put millions of drivers to work. Drivers can use their own cars at their own times.

Ready, set, go.

5. Food

Autism, Chrons, Diabetes, Cancer, Insomnia.

All at all time highs. More people than ever are questioning their mass-produced, processed food.

Many are realizing that by going to a local farmer’s market, they can get better food, higher quality, and lower cost.

6. Commerce

Want economies of scale and access to millions of shoppers?

Since 1999, Amazon was the only choice. Now it’s all changing. From Shopify to Bolt, the fastest growing fintechs are breaking down the barriers to effortless commerce.

7. Health

Our healthcare system has failed us. It prioritizes expensive solutions to symptoms rather than helping the root problem.

The world is waking up as people flock to alternative medicine and healers. People are taking health back into their own hands.

8. Books

Getting a publisher for a book is a two year process and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can have an enormously successful book these days, fully self-published.

Publishing my books Fundraising and Recruiting took weeks and minimal budget. They were both a huge success.

9. Art

There once was a day where being an artist required being sponsored by an aristocrat. With web 2.0, artists gained more power through social media.

Rising the ranks still was no easy task. With web 3.0, artists are now the kings and queens of the Metaverse.

10. Governance

Government is inefficient, problem-prone, and ineffective. It is hard to know what goes on behind closed doors. And, it costs a lot of money to run.

Decentralized autonomous organizations can govern efficiently and transparently. No more black boxes.

11. Money

In most countries, inflation is an enormous problem. You work your whole life to accumulate X dollars, and then one day your purchasing power is 1/10 of what it was.

In the US, this seems to be the inevitable path. As with governance, the people want protection.

12. Community

Clubs and societies used to be run through secrets and power. Now they can be run through tokens.

Used to represent membership, own a token and get access to the club. Use services like Discord to open up your club to the world.

And that’s it!

Looking for the next business to start?

I recommend deeply thinking through these trends.

If you come up with a business idea that helps accelerate one of them,

You might just be onto something truly generational.

And if you work in one of these established industries,

You are doing amazing work. I thank you for that.

For instance, doctors are doing heroic work within our medical system.

I’m critiquing the “system”, not the people inside the system.

The people keep the lights on.

Read More:

Follow me: