Almost everyone I know is an entrepreneur or inspires to be one. That might be the downside of being well connected in the startup world. My vision of the truth is somewhat distorted. In reality only a couple percent of the Dutch population is actually self-employed / an entrepreneur. Much less than the 40 to 45% during the Dutch Golden Age. So what happened?
45% sounds like an amazing number and how on earth was that possible? It took me a while before I realized that they were mostly farmers, smiths, bakers and butchers of course. As a kid you became a student of one of the masters and when you were done learning, you became an entrepreneur as well. Being an entrepreneur was the way of life for most people.
It wasn’t until the industrial revolution and the introduction of factories and corporations that the world switched around and being an employee became the standard. It was almost impossible to start your own factory and due to the economy of scale you could never compete with the larger corporations.
Now with the introduction of the internet and the way it lowers the barrier of entry in so many markets, more and more people are becoming an entrepreneur again. Maybe simply because it is so much easier today to become a news publisher, shop owner, hardware manufacturer or tv producer. Not to mention being a developer, copywriter, graphical designer or consultant.
For thousands of years we were responsible for our own income and survival. We never needed employers to take care of us and pay our salary.
Now is the time to reverse the effects of the industrial revolution and start a new Golden Age.