Entrepreneurship: The new status symbol or a beacon for opportunity?

Everywhere you look, there's media attention and limelight heaped on entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur has come to represent an almost superhuman figure who is able to rise from mediocrity, through a baptism of fire to build the companies we see with valuations previously unfathomable.

This new world order, where great fortunes are made seemingly overnight, and praise and recognition, those two most valued of human desires, are publicly showered on a new breed of entrepreneur-rockstar. The media column inches usually reserved for actors and entertainers now feature 25 year old hackers. In this digital era, successful tech founders seemingly sit at the top of the totem pole, akin to a hedge fund partner at the height of the 80s, but with the social media reach of a Kardashian. It's a golden age for technology start-ups. Vanity Fair's 'New Establishment' list confirms this and reads as a who's who of tech founders.

Read: How easy is it to be an entrepreneur in 2015?

What's even more confusing is the persona attributed to entrepreneurs. We're told entrepreneurs are born, not made. What no-one discusses as openly is that the majority of tech founders coming out of the Western world are born fortunate. Considerable financial backing, family support and superb networks are three key ingredients that effectively champion an early stage tech entrepreneur. 

Owing to this, being an entrepreneur becomes a subtle status symbol. It demonstrates the luxury to take considerable risk, unshakable self-belief, and the ability to magic resources, apparently out of nowhere. It's no wonder, 'founder' is a hot career choice. And it fits well with Generation Y's belief that we are all uniquely special. 

But when you take a step back from the hype, and keep the media coverage and accolades in perspective (not to mention the failure rate), the emergence of the tech entrepreneur is incredibly hopeful.

Read: Are UK entrepreneurs becoming more fearless?

In essence, small teams are now able to reach millions, perhaps billions of mankind via ideas conceived in garages and bootstrapped to life. Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos created a company so compelling she convinced Henry Kissinger to join her Board, determined to change healthcare via affordable blood testing accessible regardless of citizenship, geography or privilege. 

We can all feel inspired as we enter an age where new companies are born at an unprecedented rate, and with this, the opportunity for great changes to benefit all of humanity, and with any luck, the planet too.

Check out this uplifting venture Liminal, which was created by two members of our community at Ideapod.com, who met while sharing their ideas online.

Let's remember this: while there may be overblown hype around entrepreneurship, we have never lived in a time more hopeful for rapid paced change. Innovation is at every corner, and rightly, should be celebrated. Sometimes you need to look around and feel inspired by the feats achieved by humanity living now.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.


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