Millennials get a bad rap. The media thrives on negativity, and so naturally the upcoming generation is depicted as bunch of coffee-swilling hipsters who spend more time posting images of their breakfast on Instagram and tweeting banalities than doing anything useful for society. But, a comprehensive survey from Deloitte paints a different picture of the generation that came of age around the turn of the millennium.
Millennials are certainly different from the hard-working prior generations, for whom loyalty to a company and careful saving was seen as the route to success; the report reveals that people in their 20s and early 30s are far more likely to want to start a business than work their way to the top of an established enterprise. Millennials have different priorities, with many stressing innovation, creativity, and having a positive influence on society as core concerns. The sectors that they think are most active in innovating are technology, media, and telecommunications. 70% of those surveyed said that they wanted to start their own businesses.
For older generations, it was more difficult to start a successful business. The costs were high and without the backing of established capital it was usually not possible to experiment, to fail, and to try again. In the modern knowledge and service economy, with the technological foundations provided by the Internet and the cloud, the picture is much different.
Innovation is being driven by millennials, and core to experimentation and iteration is the cloud. By removing the barrier between potential innovators and infrastructure, and reducing the capital investment that entrepreneurs require to bring their ideas to market, the cloud gives them the freedom to fail until they succeed.
It’s hard to overestimate the freedom that IaaS platforms and cloud technology offer to young business people. The cloud is a value multiplier: by allowing entrepreneurs the freedom to build products at low cost, the cloud enormously increases the access that innovative minds have to markets and the speed at which they can iterate.
Consider Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google. They are exceptionally bright people, but they were also in a position to make the most of their brightness: they knew the right people and attended the right college. Without that Google may never have happened. How many world-changing ideas have never moved beyond a concept because their originators didn’t have access to capital and people who would help bring their ideas to fruition.
IaaS, which puts powerful infrastructure and tools in the hands of anyone with Internet access, enough money to pay for what they use, and an education that can be had for free, is an egalitarian technology, enabling entrepreneurial millennials to carve out their own piece of the pie by creating products and services that benefit them and their communities.
Moazzam Adnan is the Director of Business Development at Atlantic.Net. His approach to business development is innovative and active, he is always looking for pioneering strategies to grow their business via partnerships and new revenue opportunities.