Multi-million dollar businesses usually conjure images of men in power suits wheeling and dealing with the aid of brandy and cigars. But Armani suits may just have to make way for Abercrombie denim, because the online market has forever changed the face of high powered business endeavors. As we move further into a technological age, the 30 and under crowd continues to dominate some of our most well-known companies.
If you don’t believe it, look a little closer at the faces behind Facebook, YouTube, Mozilla, WordPress, and Digg. What do they all have in common? For one, each company has a net worth over $30 million. But a more telling similarity is that each entrepreneur has yet to see 31 birthday candles. And they’re not the only examples. Check out the Top 50 Entrepreneurs Under 30.
Right now, no one believes more in the moneymaking power of the internet than Johns Wu. He recently sold his blog, Bankaholic.com, for $15 million. And at the age of twenty-two, Wu is just one example of how the internet has opened entrepreneurial opportunities for web savvy youngsters.
Because of the nature of the work, bloggers, web designers, and other internet-based employees no longer have to show up to a brick and mortar office. Rather, telecommuting is increasingly becoming the norm, meaning people set their own hours and their own rates. It also means the work can be completed by just about any qualified person.
This marks a fundamental shift in the way people are hired. It’s no longer about age, degrees, and experience. It’s all about the kind of product you can produce. Contracting with a seventeen year old is no longer a bleak proposition for companies if that seventeen year old can design a website that will generate amazing traffic—or, in the case of Wu, write a blog that people are clambering to read.
But don’t despair if your days of being carded are far behind you. The internet market has seen another interesting trend develop. Namely, there has been a surge in post-retirement online entrepreneurs, sometimes known as “Gray Googlers.”
It just goes to show you, the internet has (and continues) to open all kinds of opportunities that were previously unavailable.