We’re not far away from one person startups becoming the norm. Teams still have the greater leverage. You can’t do much without the help of other people. But the ability to go from zero to one single handedly is increasing.

Progress across the stack is making this possible.

  • Hardware (compute and storage) is cheaper and easier to access. Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform let you spin up a world class data center. Ofcourse, the quality of our hardware (laptops, tablets, etc) is always getting better.
  • Software is becoming more approachable through abstractions, making it easier to realize a concept atleast in early stages. For example, Crowdbotics helps you spin up an app and webserver with different components in a visual way. Even the evolution of document platforms (e.g. Airtable, Google Sheets) can helps to take an idea and make it real.
  • Markets and networks are easily available to build teams, validate ideas, and make them real. Upwork connects talent with jobs, Mechanical Turk creates an on-demand 27/7 workforce, Usertesting.com enables research with scale.
  • Social media has created the formula for building a global audience and business.
  • The rise of remote teams and infrastructure to support them (videoconferencing, Slack, etc) helps to connect one individual to the right talent, no matter where they might be in the world.
  • Machine learning allows efforts to be compounded. By eliminating deterministic logic from common user experiences (user feeds, searches), they allow user data to create the ideal experience.

This is an exciting time, but worth a thought exercise of how far this can go, and how far it should go. I’m certain there’s a breaking point to infinte leverage, but I’m not clear where that is yet.