Who are some successful, young entrepreneurs who are not involved in a technology business?

This is a video response to a question I answered on Quora: http://www.quora.com/Young-Entrepreneurs/Who-are-some-successful-young-entrepreneurs-who-are-not-involved-in-technology-startups

In case you can’t see the video, here’s the transcription:

“I don’t have the stats on-hand, but my gut says that the vast majority of young, successful entrepreneurs (I guess if we define them by some arbitrary number, say 35 and younger, and “successful” as a profitable product that’s bringing value to the marketplace), are not in the tech ecosystem. 

I’m in NYC and just in my circle of young entrepreneurs, of which there are a couple hundred, operate successful businesses in industries like commercial cleaning, insurance, publishing, plumbing, HVAC, development, real estate, private aviation, etc. And when I mean successful, these businesses have a couple hundred million dollars with good profit margins, executing what I would consider non-technology businesses. 

I think the exciting part of what’s happening here is not the technologists who are putting dents in the world and blowing things up, it’s the traditional businesses that are taking technology that’s being developed and implementing them into their business models and providing “technology-enabled” business services, products, and consumer-facing goods. 

If we look at Fab.com, many people would think it’s a tech business. It’s not a tech business, it’s a standard, everyday, business tackling huge supply chain problems, with lots of people in logistics, design, curation, and service. Most of the problems they are solving are not technology problems. The technology is enabling the service to exist. 10 years ago, they would be doing the same thing – the only thing that has changed is that their potential clients have gone to the Internet. This type of business is not a technology business, and having seen the back-end of these types of businesses, I can assure you they are not. 

So no, it’s not obvious at all – most young entrepreneurs are NOT in a technology business, they’re executing in all types of businesses.”


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