Starting a Tech Business Post-Grad: Big Chance or No Chance at All?

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Before the caps and gowns and blasting of Vitamin C’s “Friends Forever,” the Huffington Post published a rather morbid article stating that one in two college graduates are under or unemployed in this less than robust job market. If you’re a recent college grad who hasn’t snagged a job yet, you’re probably wondering what you can do to solve your jobless dilemma.

The latest trends just might have the answer; young entrepreneurs have been surfacing all over the place as of late. With the unemployment rate hovering just above 8 percent, many college grads are pursuing the idea of becoming their own boss. In 2010, it was reported that four in every 10 youth hope to or plan to start their own business, and 29 percent of young adults (ages 18-24) know a friend who already has, and these numbers continue to grow.

We all know that entrepreneurial technology can be advantageous for recent college grads (or even before you graduate if you’re Mark Zuckerburg), but with much success comes more problems. This leads us to one important question: could this boom of entrepreneurship affect the technology market as we know it?

As we are a product of rapid and ever-changing technological advancements, many fun and entertaining tools have been created for our young generation’s enjoyment, (a.k.a. those of us who are overeducated, underemployed, and wildly optimistic) Is too much variety a positive or negative thing, though?

Take, for example, the web app Drinkify’s 24 hour invention and dramatic impact on the market.

A simple yet ridiculously creative web app that makes you wonder why you never thought of it while Zuckerburg was shacked up in his claustrophobic dorm room becoming a secret billionaire, Drinkify provides you with drink suggestions based on the music you are currently listening to. Self-described as “created in twenty-four boozy hours” at the 2011 Music Hack Day in Boston using The Echo Nest, Last.fm and “propriety Drinkify database,” all you need to do is log on to www.drinkify.org, type in what music you’re listening to and then click “What Should I Drink?”

For example, if you’re listening to Johnny Cash, you can enjoy “The Johnny Cash,” consisting of 4 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and 4 oz. honey.

Some, however, disagree about this cheeky service, claiming it “symbolizes how the online service marketplace has become noisy, hard to navigate and ultra-competitive.” This makes us think, “Is a service that is literally created overnight a legitimate or positive thing?” While college grads are stirring their “Britney Spears’” and “Taylor Swift’s,” Mark Evans from Mark Evans Tech blogged about this new app as representing “the dark side of digital entrepreneurship.” Furthermore, he expressed his concern of how new services such as this that can be so quickly developed and launched actually create a competitive landscape which has “far too much choice.”

Drinkify’s Developer Matt Ogle (of the Echo Nest) counters the spontaneity of Drinkify’s creation by elaborating on his strategic and somewhat haughty business plan, saying, “We’ve actually had bands telling us on Twitter what their fave drinks are, so I figure we can charge artists to associate them with their tipples of choice. And then plaster the site in booze ads. Delicious, delicious monetization.”

While Evans contests that these new services are only making the entrepreneurial market more difficult to establish, isn’t an abundance of choice what sustains every industry and ultimately keeps it thriving? While it will be challenging for recent college grad entrepreneurs to enter this large and diverse arena, this is how every industry has been for as long as we can remember. Evans does make it clear that such rapid developments are not detrimental, but that “there is a downside that should be considered.”

To all hopeful entrepreneurs and those of the class of 2012, keep your eyes open and good luck!




Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Web Editor

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