Startups, Income Inequality, and the Basic Economy

One of the challenges I feel founders face, yet don’t discuss often enough, is how income inequality is changing product development.

One doesn’t have to read through Thomas Piketty’s behemoth Capital in the Twenty-First Century to understand that our society has become far less equal — just take a good, long look around startup hubs like San Francisco and New York. What used to be a continuum of incomes is now turning into a handful of groupings, and products are increasingly targeting a single bucket rather than the broader consumer market.

The best analogy I have to this is the current configuration of domestic airlines. Today, there are roughly four classes of service on Delta and other legacy carriers: Basic Economy, (Standard) Economy,

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