Just finished reading The New Yorker article “The Network Man” about Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. I have written about Reid Hoffman’s book the Startup is You. I think Reid Hoffman and a number of us have been propounding the fact that the rate of job creation through traditional methods is not going to be sufficient to main progress in the future. What we need is everyone becoming a freelancer i.e Entrepreneur. The life of an Entrepreneur is the original life, there was no stability and there was no “American Dream”, people fended for themselves and it was a hard life. I am pretty sure we are moving more and more towards that landscape. The last 30 to 40 years has been the anomaly, i.e. the rise of the Middle Class. The western world is undergoing a transformation where the Middle Class is being hollowed out. Either we accept this and start preparing our social support systems to provide safety nets to those who struggle with the notion of Entrepreneurship or we are going to have a mess.
The only saving grace in this is the advent of networks and technology. Those of us who have accepted the fact that you are only as resourceful as your network understand that with technology and tools that are available at our disposal we can build a different future. There are tremendous challenges to be solved. However, it is not going to happen through evolution. There has to be some disruptors of diplomas and move us to a different normal. It is not hard to imagine, however it is hard to accept. We want the certainty of a job, benefits, salary, vacation, health benefits etc I have personally accepted the fact that I will fire myself from any job that I do after a period where I am not personally growing. It is hard on the psyche but it makes me stronger. I don’t fall into the trap of being complacent. Ever. I know nothing is given and all that is certain can change in an instant. That is one of the reasons that I teach a class on “How to Start a Startup”, I believe very strongly that in order to be a good student one needs to teach.
The future is not set, it is up us to define it. I have accepted the age of A.I and machines running a lot of things. It baffles many people when I say that my assistant Amy Ingram is actually an program that schedules all my meetings. Is it hard to imagine something like this taking over the role of a Travel Agent or a Project Manager? a lot of the work is done through email and machines are learning really fast how to talk, respond and get things done at the speed of humans. It is just a matter of time before the pace of this is going to increase. The question is are you ready?