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The development of technology has always been one of the key factors of entrepreneurship growth, but who are the modern day entrepreneurs and how they succeed? Magdalena Kubów, management and leadership expert at SWPS University talks about the Internet generation - “the digital sharks that swim in blue oceans”.

The rapid development and the ever increasing importance of technology go hand in hand with the formation of a new generation. This generation demonstrates highly developed digital skills, which are extremallly useful in achieving goals in various areas of life, including business.

As we speak, the Internet generation is leading a digital revolution, which cannot be ignored by the business world. The digital-savvy youth are boldly pushing their way into the world of business and a new group of leaders is gradually emerging in business organizations. Increasingly, young people of the Internet generation vie for top positions. The way they think and act translates into the type of organizations they build. As entrepreneurs, they create a completely new market space, developing innovative business models and surfing “the waters of blue oceans”.

Digital Sharks and Blue Oceans

The Internet generation is becoming the moving force behind the market changes. Young people are transferring large portions of business online and are offering new value in the emerging areas. Digital sharks know the world of digital technology inside out. For them, the Internet is a natural environment of activity. It is an environment for the exchange of views and information. Today, it is the Internet generation that develops innovative mechanisms of value creation, such as crowdfunding.

The digital sharks swim in the blue ocean. The Blue Ocean Strategy[1], which states that the “Lasting success increasingly comes, not from battling competitors, but from creating blue oceans of untapped new market spaces ripe for growth.”, is a concept developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The authors highlight that an entrepreneur of today needs to create an uncontested market space, must have a broad vision, and needs to create new demand. Excellent digital skills, abundantly represented in the Internet generation, foster the development of innovative business models based on the blue ocean strategy. Thanks to these skills, the generation redefines the market space and enters new areas of business activity. Additionally, their ability to interpret the environment through the prism of possibilities stimulates the emergence of numerous new business models.

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Environment as Sea of Possibilities

Entrepreneurs have a gift of panoramic vision and constantly monitor the surrounding environment and current conditions. They are able to act in a rapidly changing world, they scan the environment for emerging opportunities, and generate new ideas for business. According to Israel Kirzner, an American economist, entrepreneurs are characterized by “creative alertness” that results from the difference between the way things are and the way things could be. These entrepreneurs have the courage to challenge the status quo, to present bold ideas and, as the result, develop innovative solutions. According to David McClelland, an American psychologist noted for his work on motivation, it is the need for achievement and the need for power that drives entrepreneurship. In other words, entrepreneurs are exceptional people who are able to notice opportunities and use them to their advantage. Currently, the Internet is the ultimate opportunity fair. It is a digital space ripe for generating, identifying and taking advantage of countless opportunities.

From Personal Passion to Business

Researchers Scott Shane and Edwin Locke, from the University of Maryland and Christopher Collins from Cornell University, list passion defined as the need to create, as one of the characteristics of entrepreneurial people. This passion drives them to start their own businesses. The Internet generation develops business strategies based on their own interests, hence the huge growth of the sport and fitness industry as well as the creative sector, especially indie fashion and design brands. This business phenomenon has been ongoing for the past several years.

The new generation equates work with personal passion. They can hardly believe that the previous generations often felt at work like square pegs being put through round holes. Is it really possible to build a business made of dreams and passion? The idealists of the Internet generation show that it can be done. They want to do something extraordinarily ordinary - they want to change the world and make life better. Since the digital sharks have the courage to challenge the status quo, they are well equipped to initiate real changes in the business world by creating "companies-ideas", where passion, ideals and values are more important than soulless profit maximization.

258 magdalena kubow

About the Author

Magdalena Kubów – Magdalena Kubów, management and leadership expert at SWPS University. Her professional interests include entrepreneurship, humanistic management, self-management, business models, and cultural determinants of entrepreneurship. Member of the jury at the European Youth Award 2017. Subject matter expert in Przedsiębiorczość project related to entrepreneurship in the creative sector. She is actively involved in the promotion of entrepreneurship among young people through an international project Get Inspired!.



[1] C. W. Kim, R. Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy: How To Create Uncontested Market Space And Make The Competition Irrelevant. Harvard Business School Press. 2005


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