If you have children as I do, probably you are wondering in what world they will live when they’ll grow up. Also, maybe you just finished your High School and looking into what career you want to pursue in the college. Prediction is always difficult, but there are chances that we can, at some extent, predict the future trends based on current events and on our best guess. I was interested in forecasting and latest technology for more than ten years, regularly reading news and updates on what’s going on on the top notch of research and business. Also, I work in Amazon and I have a daily interaction with the latest tech and trends. This gives me some experience and knowledge to edit this short list of industry trends for coming 50 years and make some authoritative guess. Continue reading
Above chart from Google Public Data show World GDP per capita growth from 1960 to 2014. Data is shown in constant US Dollars of 2000. This means that there’s no inflation effect in this chart and 1 USD of 1960 has the same value as one of 2014. Or, giving it slightly different perspective, if 1 USD = 1 Big Mac, an average world citizen in 1960 was able to buy 3000 Big Macs yearly and this number raised to 8000 Big Macs in 2014. Continue reading
Things are getting faster and faster now. Not only new technologies but new business models are popping up at extreme rate. Are we prepared for such a fast world?
Since my early twenties I was working in MNCs and everything was quite simple. Even when crisis struck in 2008 the solution was to find a position in some MNC and wait until tornado ends. But things seems to change now. Technological advances and globalization are making huge changes in the way money is distributed. These changes are not quite easy to perceive but it’s something that happening right now. If you’re currently an analyst or middle manager in large MNC and you have around 6-8 years of experience, normally you receive a comparatively good salary and benefits compared with other guys that are working in smaller companies or subcontractors. But look outside for a second. Don’t you feel that salaries for positions like yours are getting lower and lower for new applicants? Do you really think you’ll be able to compete with young undergraduates with 2 years of experience and excellent academic record who are willing to work hard? And these guys are OK to work for a fraction of your starting salary! And ask yourself fairly: when you’ll be really promoted to some serious position? These promotions are scarce nowadays! Should you stay where you are?
The simple answer is no. There are so many things that are happening outside the MNC world and you’re missing while seating in the very same place day after day. MNC routine disconnects you from reality. Have you ever stopped and thought if your position may be eliminated by simplifying processes? Is it possible that in future some of the tasks you are responsible for may become unnecessary or automatized? I know that in my case the simplification and automatization of my work is evident, my profession has an expiry date, although now it seems impossible. And I don’t want to stay to see this happening. Because when change will arrive to my industry, it will be so fast and profound that it will be barely manageable for a single worker.
The future belongs to entrepreneurs and freelancers. Future will not require you to have education or experience, future will require you to create a necessary product [service] that will make other people pay you. Not for your time, but for your product. It will be difficult but interesting future. We will have to stay up to date always, strive for perfection and continuously innovate. The creation will be permanent process that finally will benefit all the society.
I don’t know how long the transformation process will take, but definitely it will happen. Humans aren’t good in doing pre-programmed tasks compared to computers. And it doesn’t matter if it is a repetitive factory work or medical diagnostics. If there’s some pre-established process algorithm humans will lose to robots. But if the task is creative there’s no robot that can outperform humans. Some say that in future only two industries will survive the total automatization – education and entertainment. So, should you stay where you are or it’s time to prepare an exit?
Many people consider that meritocracy is one of the attributes of the liberalism. Given that the government’s involvement in private matters is minimal, the only force that can drive people’s wealth is their own value (and a little luck). But in the real world thing aren’t like this.
Many economists love to see economy as a jungle where all the parties are fighting for their survival. The tale of lion and cheetah says that lion should kill cheetah to eat and survive. Both should run fast – cheetah not to get trapped and survive and lion to hunt for food and not to die hungry. It’s fair not to help any of the parties from outside because both parties are fighting for their survival and we are not in the position to judge on who’s life is more important. Therefore, bringing this story to economy, there shouldn’t be any external power, such as Government, that decide who should survive and who should die.
But in the real life thing are a little different. Just consider a situation where a lion born specially fast. And with every trapped cheetah he gain experience that makes him more successful on his “job”, being able to trap virtually any cheetah. But then he has a lion-son, which is so-so in terms of speed and brain. But somehow the lion father is able to transfer him all his experience and knowledge to the way the very young lion becomes almost as good as his father. But not because of his brain or legs, but because he uses the wealth created by his father.
This is how things happen in the real world. Unlike in real jungle, the story of lion and cheetah don’t start with each and every new lion or cheetah. In the real world, if someone succeeded in his life this person will do utmost to help his children to succeed, doesn’t matter their IQ or hardworking. And this includes not only paying them the best education, but giving them the necessary network and contacts to get placed from the very beginning. Or, if parents have business, in most of the situations that business get transferred to their children, without any merit for it, only for being born in a specific moment in a specific place.
Is that bad? I wouldn’t say it is because this is part of our human nature. But it’s bad for the society, since resources aren’t distributed based on merit and capacities, but based on linage. I know that during the life there are chances to change everything (for good and for bad), but the life is heavily impacted by its beginning. Would a serious company look at your profile if you don’t get a degree? If your parent’s can’t afford your needs during university (I don’t even speak about tuition fees) most probably you’ll never go there. Furthmore, you’ll probably have to go work to some basic jobs with low wages, high rotation and almost no professional development. Although possible, it’s very difficult to escape from such situation, even if you’re good.
But for the well being of the society, the really good people should be identified and promoted. How to achieve it? Liberalism, although good for other things, isn’t good at identifying and promoting young people. Liberalism is all about fight in equal conditions, which is not the case of our society. So, some kind of government implication is severely needed to find la crème de la crème. Education, and specially higher education is the solution. I like Plato because of his search for excellence and I believe that we, the people, should look for such excellence. When we think about public education, in most of the cases we think of low quality education that basically serves to decrease the “cost” of university graduate by increasing the number of that graduates. Does it help to climb social stairs? I would say so-so.
To attract and promote the best of the society, education should change. The number of graduates should decrease, but the quality should improve. Basically, this would cost nothing to the government, since getting resources from one area you place them in another. Second – inequalities should be eliminated. State scholarships covering accommodation, meals, basic expenses at level of low wage workers should be provided for students at state universities. The selection should be a hard process, but as clear as possible, with free access to the materials needed to prepare the exams.
I do believe that each person should start his life from blank. And maybe this will not solve other injustice like heritage, which may be fought by high taxes on wealth transfer or similar measures. But it will give real chance for the really good people to succeed.
If there are anti trust measures on companies, why there are no similar things on citizens? The competition is good!