Imagine starting 12 businesses in 12 months. Now imagine starting them not from a home or traditional work office, but from any location of your choosing – carrying with you only what you can fit in a backpack.
That’s exactly what serial entrepreneur Pieter Levels has done. And his experience reflects two emerging trends that are dramatically reshaping the way we go about starting and building new businesses:
-Thanks to new programming languages, open source, and better technology tools, a single person can build something useful in a relatively short amount of time.
-Contrary to popular belief, you no longer need to live in a tech hub like Silicon Valley to build a successful tech product or network.
A confirmed “digital nomad” (everything he owns can fit into his backpack), Levels works anywhere he wants. The businesses he has started include Remote Okay to help people find remote jobs; Taylor, an A.I.-based assistant that helps while you’re traveling; and Startup Retreats, a platform to find and book remote work retreats.
Perhaps his best-known business is Nomad List, a platform that indexes the best cities for nomads to live in and work remotely. It also provides a place for product-loving enthusiasts to “geek out” about the latest mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.
Levels works solo, and makes everything for his businesses, from the backend coding of his platforms to the front-end design. He also does all the marketing. A self-proclaimed lousy programmer, he writes everything in hand-written raw code rather than using the latest in hip languages or frameworks.
And in case you missed it the first time, he recently started 12 new businesses in 12 months!
A Democracy of Ideas
How is this possible?
Levels attributes it to the way the Internet has democratized the art of making something new. It started with music, culture and art, and has now reached the software universe as well.
With so many ideas and so much creativity floating around, it has become much easier to build new software products and businesses without being a great programmer. As the tools get even better and simpler, it’s only a matter of time before it will become possible to build startups without knowing how to program. Which means in the future even non-techies will be able to build stuff on their own whenever and wherever they want.
When you can learn and work anywhere you want (WAYW), the barriers to becoming the CEO or CTO rapidly disappear. However, being a nomad and working alone doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything yourself. And that’s where companies like Ideator and Product Hunt, a favorite of Levels, come into the picture.
By building platforms that enable effortless sharing of ideas, resources and networking opportunities, these types of companies facilitate the startup process and the ability to work anywhere. As more entrepreneurs opt for the nomadic business building experience, these platforms will become increasingly important for remotely launching new businesses.
By the way, as if Levels doesn’t already have enough to do, he also maintains a blog that talks about (among other things) why meaningful work and helping to make the world a better place makes us happy.
At Ideator, what makes us happy is helping you create meaningful work and products that make the world a better place. Now you can do it from anywhere!