We are on the verge of the post-unicorn era.
If you are new to earth, here’s what Unicorn means:
A mythical creature now reported to be extinct.
- Unicorn is the buzzword used in the tech/start-up / venture capital industry to describe a start-up company with a value of over $1 billion.
- Human resources managers also use the word Unicorn to describe their ideal candidates, especially those overqualified for a certain position. But the focus here is the top definition.
There has been an unhealthy race to unicorn status in the last decade, especially in 2017 – 2022.
Product focus shifted from niche, micro-niche, or even nano niche products to vanity products. Ventures threw in the vanity metrics to back the look and feel of success.
Many business start-ups are losing touch with real commodity; and the reality of demand and supply, and instead choosing vanity.
People think about business the way they think about stocks. They hope it goes up in 7 days.
Warren Buffet says this, “…I buy stocks, … and I hope it goes down when I buy it, ‘cos I’ll buy more.”
The way progressive innovation solves current and emerging world problems, is solve the hard challenges, even if the profit potential is more in single or double digits rather than in triple digits percentages.
The Unicorn trend will fade. And the signs of that are showing. FOMO will fade out as well. And especially for emerging Africa, companies need to prepare for a different future. A collective future written with black ink and indelible on whatever background – white, pink, or brown paper.
Post-Unicorn era, there are myriads outcomes – here are a few to consider.
Outcome 1: Economic collapse triggered by geo-political upheavals, wars or rumours of wars, corporate crashes, with the attendant global effects such as hyper inflation, recessions, and massive dips will force the real problems in our communities to be highlighted.
Outcome 2: Business motivations will change. Many entrepreneurs currently think about business like they do stocks – they speculate. It’s gambling. They say, “I’ve got to get these numbers to look like this so I can attract this investment. And if I go on, then I can become Unicorn in 2+ years…and that’s when the big bucks start rolling in.”
Outcome 3: Realize that both the producers and the market will be increasingly youth populated. That means, the buying populations will be getting as smart or smarter than the producers. Demand will be more informed, more specific, everything will be questioned, rated, and fated.
True Unicorns are rare. Not because of their valuation, but because of their value captured and translated to impact and results.
In the end, guess who’s going to win? Long term problem solvers!
The biggest thing at getting profit is time. And long-term problem solvers have time.