We are at the end of about a ten to fifteen-year cycle of entrepreneurship being sexy. And now is a good time for disruption.
This is evidenced by current exits, acquisitions, and even the folding of companies. And while some VC dollars are drying up a little bit in traditional geographic locations, other dollars are moving to non-traditional geographic locations.
In those places though, where the culture of Silicon Valley (“fail fast, fail hard”) has yet to completely penetrate, two distinct phenomena are going to bump up against each other over the next few years. And this friction will occur even as breathless articles—and blog posts—will be written about the death of entrepreneurship in the major media, political, and social centers of the United States.
The first phenomena will be the mismatch between a traditional VCs perception of what the culture of investment should be, and the perception of culture in places geographically, (and culturally as well as ideologically) removed from that culture of investment. There have been a few businesses built like this in the Midwest (Basecamp, formerly 37 Signals, comes to mind) but there will be more friction in the coming years.
The second phenomena will be the mismatch between a “small business” mentality, and a “entrepreneurs” mentality. This will manifest in all kinds of ways, including work ethic, employee education level, and other localized influences. Many of these are unquestioned and “in the air” in Silicon Valley, and the mismatch is already acute outside of Silicon Valley.
Both of these mismatches can be overcome, managed, or eliminated completely through the effects of numerous, gossamer like transactions, but they all represent disruption.
That is, disruption for both the end of entrepreneurship being “sexy”, and the beginning of something else, even greater taking root in unexpected places.