Startups – Fad, trend, megatrend?

There is no doubt that 2015 started with a bang! Optimism everywhere. Probably the most spoken about word and equally inspiring too is ‘startups’. With the world attempting to emerge out of a seemingly never ending slowdown, entrepreneurship is rightly touted as the tool / lever for help. While entrepreneurship in its limited form seems to represent ‘startups’, this word seems to have gained epic status. If you were to roam around the campuses in India (i’m sure it is the same everywhere), one will be surprised by the number of people involved in ‘starting up’. It looks like you will be looked down upon if you are not part of some startup. Having seen this entire phenomenon and been part of it for over a decade now; i’m glad all this is happening! But the discussion today is – Are ‘startups’ a fad, trend or megatrend?

For this, one needs to know what is the difference between the three. Here is a short (extremely) definition of the terms:

Fad: is a widely shared enthusiasm for something, albeit one that is short-lived. At times these short spurts are so intense that they seem to take a large group along with them quickly. Rationality has no place during this period.

Trend: something that is emerging or tending to form with slightly more certainty than a fad. There is a little more rationality in this as there are some indicators. But the breadth and depth of their effects are only probabilistic.

Megatrend: these are trends that are slow to form, but have large scale effects over a period of time. Catching them early needs tremendous alertness and ability. These are visible as they are usually backed with facts.

With that extremely short introduction to three terms which you must have last learned in your marketing class, ask yourself which category ‘startups’ belong to today? Personally i believe we are moving past a stage where it seemed like a fad to a stage it seems certain like a trend. If certain actions are visible at the level of the ecosystem, it could very well become a megatrend to watch. What are these ecosystem changes: government intentions and catalysts; economic policies; societal changes; cultural mindset shifts; education makeover; amongst others.

A lot of things have to be altered, changed and at times revolutionised if we have to enable ‘startups’ turn into a real megatrend. There is no question that at some point  in time all governments will be forced to resort to ‘entrepreneurship’ as the tool to usher in large scale changes. While the ecosystem can only create a better environment, it can also enthuse and equip the youth (in body and mind) so that they can act to make the change happen.

Everything looks right now for us to move this emerging trend into a megatrend! What else do you think needs to be done to make entrepreneurship a phenomenon in India? Share your thoughts as we do our bit to build an entrepreneurial India.

Happy Starting up in 2015!


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