Default: User

It seems the modern default is to be a user, not a creator. Not even an owner.

When you’re a kid, you know that companies exist but you think they exist magically. That people create products and services, but that person isn’t you, you just get to use them, at the right price. Companies and the products they produce are divinely ordained and with a few metal coins a Mars bar can be yours. Who made it? Where did it come from? Why does it cost $1.99? You don’t know and you don’t care.

When I first identified a problem, built a skill around the problem and exchanged a solution for money it felt like cheating. Wait, I don’t have to have a job? If I develop, evolve and pivot as consumer demands change and I become better at solving problems I can wake up each morning and live the way I choose? A life of creativity, passion and an unlimited financial upside was always right outside my window but it took me until the age of 25 to understand that every single system we use everyday was built by someone who recognized the game was rigged.

The game was rigged because the game needed labor.

When did that happen?

Let’s zoom way out and then come back to reality:

  1. Human groups grew to numbers greater than Dunbar’s number.

  2. We started producing a lot of food and had to figure out how to store that food.

  3. We figured it out and that meant that not everyone had to be responsible for hunting & gathering.

  4. Those who no longer had to worry about food production began to specialize.

  5. Every skill developed and evolved as the future and the community demanded.

  6. Specialization led to everything we see around us today.

  7. Eventually the system got so big that we forgot this (relatively simple) history.

  8. We imagined society had always been this way and that we need a job because ‘we have to put food on the table.’

  9. How strange it is that the only reason we think we need jobs is because we’ve forgotten how to do the thing we always needed to do (damn you specialization!)

  10. Now the jig is up: young people are craving meaning and true value.

It seems dangerous to be a Default User and the antidote is shockingly simple: get a skill, identify a problem, propose a solution, create the solution.

You, my friend, are an entrepreneur.