In his famous book "the world is flat" Thomas Friedman speaks about democratization of information, finance and politics, which is really a very interesting observation. While enjoying a rather lazy Sunday afternoon, an interesting thought came to mind - "There is one more thing that is getting democratized and that is startuping".
What a startup needs? idea, funding, platform to quickly test out and deploy it to get a user feedback. Here is how this is getting democratized.
1. Thanks to opensource tools and frameworks like ruby on rails, its a matter of weeks to test out your idea and see it evolve in front of your eyes.
2. Thanks to the initiatives like Y-combinator by Paul Graham, there is a funding available to bright ideas for a period of time where you can make something meaningful and if one comes up with something really meaningful at the end of a period of three months, he can look for further funding or simply can get acquired for a decent bit of money and the best thing is you can apply to it from anywhere, we've applied even sitting in India. So funding is no longer a luxury for those who are within few miles of Sandhill Road.
3. Thanks to shared hosting plans for about 40 bucks a month (thats just 13 Starbucks Cafe Mocha, or 7 Sam Adams if you prefer it that way), you can keep it live for a considerable period of time and figure out how users' see it.
Thus anyone with an idea and willingness to put in few hours everyday can make a startup whether it succeeds or not is a different issue and thats the best part of it. The society filters out good ones from bad ones. Well not necessarily.. I don't find myspace quite good, still if the people like it and use it, there is a value it is delivering.