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Pop-up companies the new breed of corporate entity for innovateurs
Dateline: 7 August 2018

It all started with flashmobs and food trucks. Flashmobs, self-organizing groups of people who congregated around a temporary idea, vanished into plain sight after accomplishing their mission. Food trucks had no premises, no fixed location, and could change their menu and branding overnight.

Then came pop-up retail stores, bars and hotels; and entire software coding or micro-manufacturing operations around a specific event or project. Pop-up enterprises graduated from personalized T-shirts at a music festival to 3D-printed accessories at a smartphone launch.

With smart fabbers able to ‘print’ anything from playthings to pizza, from gadgets to garments, self-styled ‘makers’ can launch a new brand or product line in a flash. Flashbrands pick up on new trends and exploit them, usually offering the customer a highly personalized and topical experience. And they disappear as soon as demand has been satisfied, or the fad has evaporated.

Now there’s a new type of company that specializes in flashbrands – the pop-up corporation. Spawned from an offshore but online legal engine, registered corporations can be established in seconds, subscribed to in minutes, and have a life of anything from days to months. Most don’t survive the full gamut of a tax year.

Which is why regulators are scrambling to get a grip on these short-lived enterprises. No annual report invariably means no tax return. No premises, no staff, no lasting records; how can you audit that? But they are real businesses, adding billions to the economy.

Tech startups with unproven ideas are grabbing pop-ups. With experimental products, continuity is dubious at best; a virtual company and flashbrand can give you instant street cred. All you need is customers. No wonder the demand for BitCents is at an all-time high!

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Warning: Hazardous Thinking at Work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer. © Public domain image.

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