Are Introverts Your Next Market?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about introverts and how a number of different sources are now saying that introverts could be much better than extroverts at running companies, and I agreed – to an extent. Introverts have a lot of great qualities when its comes to running companies, however, I suggested that while running a company as an introvert would work, the company itself would likely only flourish if there were also an extrovert or two at the helm as well. This is why most successful founding team include founders with an extrovert side and founders with an introvert side. Rarely, you’ll come across a single founder who shows both tendencies (also knows as an ambivert) but that is pretty rare.
Personally, I think that there are a number of factors in play which are creating a generation (or two) where the introverts will rule. If you think about simply two of the factors – the increased use of technology in order to become the intermediary between two people, and the possibly coddled upbringing that some of this generation may have had, then these factors and others lead me to believe that the world will consist of more introverts than ever before in the history of humanity.
Never before have you been able to use your smartphone – your personal interface device – in such a way as to not even need to personally speak to someone before having an intimate physical experience with someone. As I mentioned a few posts ago, apps like Tinder are allowing people to be able to have physical relationships without even really ever needing to talk or engage with one another face-to-face. Sociological issues aside, some of this technology is allowing for the creation of a whole new class of human – one who rarely communicates with any other human face to face, but only via technology – apps, Tinder, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Even real time synchronous communication is too close to really speaking to someone in person, so even apps like FaceTime are shunned.
No, most communication is controlled and via asynchronous means. One could argue that the main reason WhatsApp is so popular is due to the plethora of asynchronous communications it allows between its users.
What does this mean for startups and service startups could offer? Assuming that the general population will become more and more cocooned by technology and therefore become more introverted, what kinds of products and services could we translate from the extrovert side to the introvert side. As one could argue that Tinder is “sex dating for introverts” what other things can we replace an extroverted communication with an introverted communication for? If we simply look at all of the situations which an extroverted person thrives in, how can we develop services to allow an introvert to thrive in those situations?
Just off the top of my head – maybe bars could have “quiet pods” where introverts could recharge on their own before going out into the crowd. Or even better, bars which are all single pods, which can be completely silent, or be used to communicate with other pods. Introverts would be safe to go out on the town and go to this bar, knowing that their choice of who to hang out with would be under their total control.
Can you think of any other products and services we could develop for the new introvert generation? I smell a heard of unicorns here.