Marketers love nicely defined categories. They want to know if you are a Consumer or a Business. This is the same tidiness that bureaucrats seek. Is that kitchen for cooking or for that business you are working on? Are you employed or self-employed or starting a new business? No, you are not allowed to answer “all of the above”.
Entrepreneurs just service a need no matter what the label. Many companies are profiting from serving the “really small business” by helping them to either get to ramen profitability or supplementing ramen profitability with some “income on the side”:
- eBay – who pioneered this by turning the local yard sale into a global business.
- Paypal – and Stripe and Paystand and any other payment enabler for e-commerce.
- Amazon – Bezos serves entrepreneurs in so many ways. With AWS he enables tiny digital startups to scale when demand spikes. Amazon is also a way to sell physical goods and creative works.
- Uber, AirBnB – and all the other sharing economy services that allow you to make some extra cash with your spare resources.
- Etsy – because they figured out that consumers are also producers and that many of us find mass-produced stuff to be boring.
- Alibaba – which does all of the above and is more valuable than…
That last one – Alibaba – is a reminder that there are two big waves of change happening at the same time – digitization and globalization. They are related because “bits don’t stop at borders”.
That is why this is about Micro Multinationals. In the tidy boxes of big company marketing or government bureaucrats, Micro Multinationals do not exist. Big companies are Multinationals and small businesses are supposed to be local and operate within national borders and within one currency. Entrepreneurs go where the opportunity is and for many that means trading across borders (both buying and selling) and Fintech entrepreneurs see those Micro Multinationals as a great opportunity because they need a new generation of services that the big banks ignore.