Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why entrepreneurship is best way to go forward for a CS graduate

A lot of my friends are in computer science and there are a lot of them who are not but want to learn programming and get into software development so that they can hack the plethora of high paying white collar jobs out there. The government and and the industry seems to be happy about it and are fueling this environment with more venture fund and government funds. Sure, the number of different applications in which software can easily and dramatically increase productivity is practically unlimited, so each additional worker in the tech industry always has important problems to solve, and the other software engineers are occupied with their own problems. So everything should work out great in future, right? More jobs and more demand? Apparently not so. Let's take better look.

Most of the pass-outs are being placed in startups. This whole startup eco-system is being fueled on bets by venture firms. If the market does not scale to profits, the venture funds would cut the funding. Most of the startups are not actually creating big enough impact and will-soon be replaced by freemium version of same application or drown itself in it's own pool of marketing expenditure. There is excess of e-commerce websites, excess of payment gateways, excess of CMS solutions, excess of sales CRMs and excess of many other applications that are crowding the market. The founders would sellout and be happy and rich, the venture firms would loose some money but hey! they are rich. The most affected segment would be the employees that would have to hunt for other new jobs. Theses new jobs may not be as cushioning as the old ones and some may have to start from scratch all over again on a new technology.

You may say that there are going to be new jobs in new segments and thus getting other jobs is not going to be that difficult. Unfortunately not so, In software industry almost all of the economic value can be captured by a small number of highly talented people, because there are a small number of very difficult problems with the potential to dramatically increase productivity across many applications (ex. Quora only has 100-130 employees, wikipedia has 70 employees for scaling up and development and many more) and the rest of the problems are easy and have much less economic value. Thus the number of high paying jobs that would be created is relatively very small.

So where does the silver lining lie? Actually all of what I said above when taken from an angle of entrepreneurship means that there is huge chunks of opportunity lying out there for people to take up. Take it from this stand point -
1.) The large venture firms are investing into over-crowded platforms and thus missing out on the real opportunity present.  Their vision is being clouded by ego and competition.
2.) To create huge impact, you do not need lot of people. You can use, online tools available and yet scale the product quickly and impressively.

So the idea is to do projects which would re-imagine the future much less than re-engineer it.