We love the democratization of tech, right? Smartphones for all! Cheap netbooks! Wireless access speeds of 5G or higher! You know what else democratization of tech has democratized? Being the CEO of something. I cannot throw a Muji pen at a newsstand without hitting issues touting the “newest, hottest, fastest, young entrepreneurs that are going to CHANGE THE WORLD!” Is part of this jealously? Yes. By my analysis, I have approximately two more years to reach CEO-dom, or I will have failed my demographic group (highly-educated, middle-class, white women with straight teeth).
With the acceleration of technology, plus access to micro- and crowd- funding, it seems like everyone can be killing it, becoming over night successes, before they’re 30. Don’t get me wrong, should there be more start ups, small business owners and women helming game-changing firms in rapidly-growing industries? Absolutely. But I never anticipated feeling such intense feelings of career envy. It seems as though the socio-cultural/economic divide is not just pan-region anymore. The fragmentation of success and net-worth has crept into demographic groups like Gen-Y. In my own generation, strata range from the start-up darlings of Fast Company and Marie Claire to the “under employed” masses that seem to be the bread and butter of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal; our own cohort specific version of the 99%.
Is this just a start-up bubble akin to the dot-com bubble? Perhaps. But what I think is here to stay is the reward for ambition and lowering of long-standing business barriers creating a market where the adaptable and swift survive over the established and strong.