"Perform complex office tasks: WorkFusion makes software that automatically assesses a project to see what parts can be fully automated, which parts can be crowdsourced to a freelance network like Elance, and what still needs to be handled by humans. All the while, it analyzes performance, for instance by asking freelancers questions it already knows the answers to, so that it can test their capabilities. The platform reduces the need for in-house staff by making use of freelancers, but then it looks to do away with them as well. "Even as the freelancers work under the direction of the system, they are simultaneously generating the training data that will gradually lead to their replacement," Ford writes."
"That’s the potential of self-driving cars — the outright extinction of car ownership. And with that, the elimination of entire industries built up around the existence of car ownership like: mechanics, car washes, parking, valets, body shops, rental companies, car insurance, car loans, and on and on. Even hugely expensive and capital intensive mass-transit infrastructure projects like streetcars and light rail can be dropped in favor of vastly cheaper on demand robotic “transportation clouds”, and all those construction and maintenance jobs right along with it."
In previous times, increasing earnings resulted in the hiring of more people. Thus both the Democratic approach (add money to the economy to increase earnings that way) or the Republican approach (cutting taxes or regulations) could work.
But not this time. The Bush Tax cuts had little effect on job creation. And the stimulus may have kept things from getting worse but do not seem to be providing the long lasting benefit they have in the past.
Neither approach works like it did in the past.
It may really be different this time. What worked in the 20th century may not work in the 21st.
I expect the reason is that technological solutions are simply replacing the need for more people as companies expand profits. Moore's law is now making an indelible impact on the job market. Technology does the jobs of people much too well.
In my own field, a robot can do 100 times the work of technicians. So what happens to those 100 technicians that had been paid a pretty good wage?
Technology is not only driving down the price to do things. It is driving down the cost of labor to the point where many people may simply never find a job that pays a living wage.
"As I often say, in a connected world, unless your skills are world-class, you are a commodity.
However there are three domains in which individuals and organizations can transcend commoditization and push their value creation to the other end of the spectrum, where they can command their price and choose their work.
The three domains are:
EXPERTISE. As more information is available, deep specialist world-class expertise that can be applied to create value for clients is the heart of much global value creation. That expertise must be broad-based, up-to-the-minute, and directly relevant to real-world issues.
RELATIONSHIPS. Expertise in isolation is not useful. The rich sets of relationships that form networks are at the heart of value creation. Those who can connect expertise and facilitate the co-creation of value in relationships will be at the heart of the economy.
INNOVATION. Innovation stems from connecting expertise, ideas, insights, and experience. Those who have original perspectives or can elicit new frames by bringing together diversity can capture and share extraordinary pools of value.
The future is stark. There will be a large and increasing divide between those who have one or more of these core strengths, and those who do not and whose livelihoods are on an ongoing path of commoditization."
I love it when others summarize my work:
"The Change in Work - It's not just factory workers but even Doctors that are going to be automated or outsourced. So how will you make a living? Only truly creative work will pay.
So what is Creative Work? - It is not just design etc but will include making valuable things and even growing food - and new sites such as Etsy enable you to find a market
The Industrial World Deskilled work - It all became assembly - Anything like this can be automated and will be
The jobs cannot come back
Training works well when you want to learn how to drive a car - you can train to be a carpenter but making the shift to be creative or to stand for themseleves - you cannot train for that
What is the new?
So what helps you be this new person?
Apprenticing - complex things cannot be learned except by shared experience
The crafts communities have never lost this - learn the rules and then learn how to break them - look at studios - very little teaching - mainly doing
Then you have to get connected to your community
All sorts of studios will emerge that will help you where clusters of people who know aggregate
The Knowledge Artisans have to take charge of themselves
What about advice for you?
Learn REAL skills - not just how to make it in an organization
Learn how to have a network - in the job world we don't have them - many of us don't know anything about this if we have had a job - so start now
This must be diverse and be about your interests
Put yourself OUT THERE
You are as good as your network
Think of yourself as a Freelancer for Life - and so always nuture your network no matter what - avoid getting lulled into a sense of false security
His advice to his kids
Find the sweet spot (Dave Pollard) Find out your passion, what you are good at and what people will pay you for
You have to have all three"
"In the wake of the recession, Ford writes, many companies decided that “ever-advancing information technology” allows them to operate successfully without rehiring the people they had laid off. And there should be no doubt that technology is advancing in the direction of full unemployment. Ford quotes the co-founder of a start-up dedicated to the automation of gourmet hamburger production: “Our device isn’t meant to make employees more efficient. It’s meant to completely obviate them.”"
"The scarcest and most valuable resource in this second machine age is neither ordinary labor or capital but highly talented, innovative people. “Digital technologies increasingly make both ordinary labor and ordinary capital commodities, and so a greater share of the rewards from ideas will go to the creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs. People with ideas, not workers or investors, will be the scarcest resource.”"
"The South China Morning Post reported today that Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology Co., a manufacturing company that makes cell phone parts and other electronics, is planning to replace roughly 90 percent of its 1,800-person workforce with machines, leaving roughly 1,600 people out of work. The company, whose chairman became a billionaire in March, is planning to spend $322 million on a new factory in Dongguan that will use “only robots for production,” according to the outlet, with a small human staff of 200 to keep tabs on the machines."
"One program in development is the Maine Network of Innovation and Creativity, which facilitates "requests for collaboration" that connect people both online and in person, using MCC's platform as a hub for shared information. "You might have someone in a very small town who is an expert in puzzle making, for instance, who just happens to be known internationally," says Maginnis. "It would be really important for us to know that here, because there may be a project that's very related to puzzle design in a corporation that would want to know that this expert lives here in Maine. The keywords are 'seek,' 'find,' and 'collaborate.' It's about identifying talents and then creating a mechanism for collaboration.""
"And there is another problem with Lowry’s analysis here too. He engages in classic retrospective coherence, in which he traces the causes of the present situation back to a set of actions. There is nothing wrong with this, and again, he is not wrong in some of this analysis, probably. But he projects that limited root cause analysis into the future in such a way that he is claims to be able to judge the efficacy of responses to the crises. And in so doing, he does not use this look back at the situation to illuminate his own biases, which would actually be valuable. This is a fatal error in dealing with complex situations. The desire to “fix” Baltimore is fundamentally psychotic. You cannot “fix” a situation like this without eliminating the people that in the middle of it. Lowry does that. Not a single voice quoted in his article is a person living in the middle of this.
And you cannot evaluate the efficacy of responses based on past performance. We are dealing with a complex system. A transformative moment in Baltimore is just as likely to happen as a result of all those neighbours who cleaned the place up as it is but creating a fundamental policy shift or slapping your kid on video or rejigging the tax system to allow more Republicans to be registered.
The problem with that of course, is that in order to deal with situations like this you need to engage the people in middle of it to both make sense of what is going, make meaning of actions, initiate and lead multiple responses at all kinds of scales to what is going on. Having pundits at a distance pronouncing on the efficacy of efforts based on a pre-ordained ideological frame is not helpful because it entrains decision makers to look for data that supports their conclusions.
Unfortunately this is exactly what passes for public discourse and policy making these days. The best thing to do is be quiet and listen to what the people on the ground are saying and doing. They’re stories are the only ones that matter, and their leadership is the only leadership that will make a difference. they may require support from higher levels of government or broader contexts, but they are not helped by all of us pronouncing on their efforts. We have absolutely no benchmarks with which to gauge success or failure. No one has the “answer” for Baltimore. Instead it’s about shared work, shared meaning making, shared leadership and grounded sense-making. It’s about thinking and acting differently."
"Without a conductor, A Far Cry arguably behaves more like a quartet than a symphony orchestra; the group relies on consistent and clear communication amongst its members to keep the music going. Not all chamber orchestras are conductorless—but the conductorless model is an emerging trend in 21st century music entrepreneurship, likely because it encourages democratic values as well as a kind of scintillating energy that you may not be able to find in a symphony orchestra. “We have a pretty unique dynamic,” violinist Miki-Sophia Cloud told me."
over 100 examples of social media policy from many fields/industries
"We show that over the past 40 years, structural change within the labor market has revealed itself during downturns and recoveries. The arrival of robotics, computing, and information technology has allowed for a large-scale automation of routine tasks. This has meant that the elimination of middle-wage jobs during recessions has not been accompanied by the return of such jobs afterward. This is true of both blue-collar jobs, like those in production occupations, and white-collar jobs in office and administrative support occupations. Thus, the disappearance of job opportunities in routine occupations is leading to jobless recoveries."
"Their work shows the economy has continued to generate jobs, but with a focus on nonroutine work, especially cognitive. Since the late 1980s, such occupations have added more than 22 million workers."
"Between 1973 and 2008, the average number of earthquakes of magnitude 3 or more in the central and eastern U.S. was 21. Between 2009 and 2013, that number was 99. And last year alone, there were 659."
"Something potentially momentous is happening inside startups, and it’s a practice that many of their established competitors may be forced to copy if they wish to survive. Firms are keeping head counts low, and even eliminating management positions, by replacing them with something you wouldn’t immediately think of as a drop-in substitute for leaders and decision-makers: data.
“Every time people come to me and ask for new bodies it turns out so much of that can be answered by asking the right questions of our data and getting that in front of the decision-makers,” says James Reinhart, CEO of online secondhand clothing store thredUP. “I think frankly it’s eliminated four to five people who would [otherwise] pull data and crunch it,” he adds.
The story is the same at dozens of other startups, says Frank Bien, CEO of Looker, a company that offers a cloud-based service for turning a company’s data into dashboards that anyone in the firm can use. Across numerous interviews with other startups, as well as Looker competitor RJMetrics, I heard the same themes again and again: Startups are nimbler than they have ever been, thanks to a fundamentally different management structure, one that pushes decision-making out to the periphery of the organization, to the people actually tasked with carrying out the daily business of the company. And what makes this relatively flat hierarchy possible is that front-line workers have essentially unlimited access to data that used to be difficult to obtain, or required more senior managers to interpret."
"But computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis."
"When you understand the 60% rule, you’ll realize that when someone on your team makes the wrong decision, you likely would’ve made the wrong one in their shoes, too. Even the best of us consistently make incorrect product decisions.
Given that, the point as a leader is not to make right and wrong decisions. It’s about creating an environment in which people working with the product day after day can make unbottlenecked, swift decisions until they hit on the right ones."
"We don’t only connect with people; we link with topics, with contexts. The challenge is to see all the filters and linkages as communication patterns that are either keeping us stuck or open up new possibilities. We need new skills of dynamically connecting to people and topics. This is a growing challenge when fighting information overload and distractions. Social media tools have developed tremendously on the publishing and sharing side. The next developments need to take place on the sense making side."
"This system comes down to 4 basic concepts:
Dream It. What do you really want from life? What are your goals, dreams and ambitions? If you don’t know, none of the rest of this stuff is going to matter.
Dump It. Get it all out of your head and onto paper. Clear your mind so you can truly be productive.
Map It. Use a mind map to create a simple system to manage your overall goals (both big and small picture).
Chunk It. Harness the power of a Japanese productivity technique from the 1940’s and a simple kitchen timer to break everything down into simple, visual tasks."