A long time ago in the mythical good old days of the United States, this was the Land of Opportunity, of broad shoulders and big ideas, where financial markets applauded loudly the latest market niche filled by American know-how. There were two avenues to industrial success, need met by innovation and its cousin, innovation that found markets.
The first was clear-cut. Let's take Thomas Edison for example. There was a universal need light in the night, and with the introduction of direct current, Edison lit streets and blocks (before being superseded by Tesla and AC power). Electrical light is a perfect example of innovation and industry following demand. But then enter Edison's phonograph, an innovation without a market. What soon followed was Edison's true genius: marketing... who knew we all need storable music? Did Steve Jobs ever give Edison a shout out? Doubtful.
Stroll forward a century into the brave new world, as the Internet proliferates and breaks conventional boundaries of communication and access to information, now we're more attune to the developments and needs of the world. Time, analysis, the market and market reaction move at literal and metaphorical light speed, creating a broadened vision of a new era of entrepreneurship.
If a solution solves a problem in America, chances are it will in many other countries. It used to be in business you had to hire local marketing. Now, entrepreneurs are forming their ideas to transcend borders, language and currencies. The Internet is an Esperanto with teeth. It works, and mutates to help those who use it as a business or as an end-use consumer.
While America still serves as a beacon of opportunity, entrepreneurs around the world are taking matters into their own hands. For every Silicon Valley, there is a Bangalore. For every Austin, there is a Chile (and willing government offering grants for entrepreneurs to relocate to their country and build their ideas there). Startup America? Meet UK Startup Jobs. The global spirit to innovate and enact real social change has never been more pervasive. But the motivation to do so has never been clearer.
In the new world economy there's a new universal truth. Job creation is the global equalizer and self-generating currency. What starts in innovation, results in jobs, and I think we can all agree, especially after the last election cycle, jobs are a really good thing.
This is where I throw in an example, and if I might be so bold: Me.
My Wharton, my Harvard Business school, turned out to be a rehab facility in Texas. When you are an addict, you are nowhere and time is a stunted clock that runs between high and next high. I climbed out thanks to local successful guys who also knew the geography of addiction. Working with and for them I found my own opportunity -- founding MHD Enterprises, which takes surplus, disposed, wasted electronics and then refurbishing and restoring until ready to be put back on the market, partially through my website Adapteravenue.com. I have since exchanged my mother's garage for a 25,000 square foot office in Austin, new warehouse facilities in Australia and more than 25 employees. My revenue in 2008 was $110,000 and revenue in 2011, came in at over $7 million, landing me as the 28th fastest-growing company in America according to this year's Inc. stats.
Today, my company is positioned to expand worldwide and is broadening its market share every day. This is typical of how U.S.-born companies have grown beyond their borders. Typical, yet evolving.
There's a global pulse of innovative industrial disruption that's growing louder and louder. A new class and generation of entrepreneurs with bold vision who neither see nor acknowledge borders, with access to resources and a fearlessness uncommon to generations before us. As we celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week here in the U.S., we celebrate embracing the changing dynamics before us, and creating opportunities for others and ourselves.