What makes a company?
A company is a group of people combining their skills and resources to work towards a common goal. The group tries to deliver value to others.
Infrastructural costs of starting a company are reduced year over year, and the trend is continuing. Examples are the cost of communication, cost of computing, cost of transacting value, cost of administration and cost of financing.
It has never been cheaper to start a company. And the number of companies that were founded is growing. The following is an example of new businesses established in the US, but you can see a trend by looking at other countries data.
At the same time, the opportunity cost for talent has never been higher. So the number of companies to join is increasing while starting your own company or productising yourself is becoming more feasible.
In the past, it was often necessary to form a group with other people to even be able to deliver any meaningful value. This has already changed, and we have officially entered the era of solopreneurs. Today it is possible to provide significant value to others without being part of a company.
We live in an environment of cooperation, where individuals can build personal brands at scale by creating digital products. Often they are the products themselves. According to this article, there are already more than 50 Million individual content creators worldwide, and this number will probably increase rapidly in the following years.
In the field of information business, there will be the transition of talent from centralised corporations that used to have a competitive advantage when it comes to infrastructural costs to startups, smaller companies and self-employed people.
Examples like Gumroad, the company without employees, show a shift in the mindset of companies. And we should not forget that contribution to open source projects is still happening, and the rise of DAOs is just getting started.
In resource-intense businesses like manufacturing, space exploration, recycling, etc., the number of companies that exist will probably decline due to technological compounding and competition in talent attraction. Therefore, the purpose of the company will be the driving force.
In general, everybody will become a brand on the internet, and many will deliver value and get paid. Being part of a more significant organisation will be a choice for most and many people will choose the hybrid model. Being part of a company and at the same time build your own personal brand and create value.
Of course, there won't be as many companies as people on earth. Still, it might be fair to infer that the future of work will create billions of small companies, content creators, and solopreneurs. Simultaneously, humanity will create those mega-companies driven by a mission that will make the entire humanity benefit from their success.