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It’s easier than ever to start a new business. Why? No friction. The no friction concept was first introduced to me by Ben Thompson years ago, but you can hear more about the idea in a recent episode on the Exponent Podcast. In a few hours, you can get a logo designed, launch an online store, and submit all your paperwork using LegalZoom to get the new venture squared away with the IRS. Friction used to slow down the process of starting something new. Cost and time would derail an idea. The internet has brought most of the resistance to zero. I haven’t even brought up the ability to talk about your company on multiple platforms with billions of other people, and no credit card is needed. Yes, you still need a great product and killer marketing strategy, but if your idea is good, the opportunity today versus the pre-internet days has drastically increased. I’ve already launched a business in my early thirties with some friends and failed. My only loss in the startup was time but I gained tons of knowledge. I’m already game for attempt two.
Another way to frame this concept of no friction is thinking about porn industry stats. Stay with me on this thought. Pre-internet porn consumption consisted of awkwardly buying a magazine down the street in a liquor store. Social friction kept this industry small, but the internet removed all barriers. People can now view porn with nobody knowing and no financial cost. Unfortunately, porn has grown to almost a trillion dollar industry [Sidenote: Read "Your Brain on Porn” to learn what scientists are learning about the negative effects of porn].
Examples - Friction - Expansion - Idea - Internet
I mentioned these two examples because friction can enable and disable the expansion of an idea. The internet has amplified many great things, but this...
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