The Rebel Economy

Greg Newington/Getty Images

Today’s economy can be best described as the “Rebel Economy”.

People seek decentralization and democratization of power. There is a tsunami against traditional authority. And this is changing the world like never before. Let’s take a closer look at recent trends:

Bitcoin, which is a decentralized currency is at its all-time high value. It is in response to people’s mistrust in our currency system controlled by central banks. If they can print money, why can’t we? This is not the end of it. You see peer to peer lending, peer to peer insurance growing by leaps and bounds. The fundamental purpose of financial institutions to act as a trustworthy intermediary is being challenged.

If you look beyond financial services, you can see major upheaval in the way people want to work. Work-from-home has been driven mainstream by COVID, and in several functions and industries, people are seeing the benefit of the same. Many companies have declared their intent to implement Work-from-home forever already!

The gig economy has been taking shape for over two decades now in the modern avatar and is getting bigger and bigger every day. The idea is to become an independent contributor and work as per one’s own calendar, pace, aspiration, and choice. I have met so many people, who refuse to go back to work the traditional way. In fact, corporations are a complex structure, which was created to achieve scale, efficiency, and collaboration. Now, with the advent and maturity of digital technologies, the same benefits can be achieved in a distributed environment. We are seeing the advent of “Enterprise of 1”, i.e. an enterprise of one single individual. Hence, it forces us to rethink the status quo which has evolved in the last few hundred years.

Looking at the entertainment industry, indie creators are a rage. There are unknown Tiktok stars whom I have never heard of; super hit series which were hardly advertised; music sensations that are targeted towards a particular genre. In short, a major democratization drive seems to have transformed the entire industry — something that started with Napster has come a full circle with OTT and social media platforms.

In the realm of education, in many parts, traditional education led by established institutions are being outright challenged. We see homeschooling, MOOCs, Income Sharing Agreements led startups taking root; whereas we see many engineers and MBAs left unemployed.

Crowdfunding, fractional-ownership, fractional-shares are all becoming mainstream.

Moving beyond financial markets, future-of-work, entertainment, and education; we can clearly see a change emerging in the political landscape globally. Countries that allow a choice of governance through the democratic process and distribution of power through a federal structure are comparatively peaceful and progressing well economically and socially. Even in those countries, there is dissent against the control structure, as people expect more involvement, more transparency, and better governance.

So, it is clear that people in general in the 21st century are progressively demanding more ‘self-governance’. This is like turning the current representative based governance on its head across the spectrum of industries and realms.

What can be the reason for such a dramatic change?

Some thoughts:

These ideas cannot be generalized, and therefore the “rebel economy” is also not omnipresent in every facet of life, and in every country, or industry, or business.

So, what can you do as a business and an individual in such an environment?

Few ideas:

Nothing lasts forever. It’s a cycle. A cycle of centralization to decentralization, and back to centralization. It may be unprecedented in our lifetime, but it has happened several times in history. Hence, the best teacher to navigate this crazy change around is to learn from the past.

As entrepreneurs and individuals, we shall adapt to survive. And if you are the rebel-rebel type, you can always try to reverse the flow, one step at a time, by creating your own small island. There is no right or wrong. It is all about our beliefs and how we want to achieve our goals.

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Abhishek Rungta

Bootstrapped Entrepreneur 😂, Marketing & Tech Geek 🤓, Venture Builder 😇, #InsurTech #SaaS. Works @IndusNetTech @Techshu @EnTechVentures