Today is a big day for this blog – it’s the 3 year anniversary and not only that, it’s the 500th entry.
Over the course of 3 years, I’ve learned a lot. I wanted to better understand the job market at the macro level and I wanted to hone my analysis and writing craft. It’s an ever improving art.
During this time we’ve experienced the worst economic slowdown, which I predicted , in decades. I also feel, and time will tell, that we are at an inflection point in the US. The interconnectedness of the world has synchronized with another notion: young people today no longer view the world as us and them. Being able to talk to people via skype , chatroulette , or instant message has broken down so many walls. A kid in India, Brazil, Japan, or Kenya isn’t all that different than a kid in Anytown, USA. And there isn’t a cold war going on to reinforce ideologies either.
The educational system isn’t innovative anymore. And because of that jobs will split down the line of local versus specialized by knowledge base. The local jobs will be fluid with growth and contraction dependent on the knowledge based jobs in the area. The knowledge oriented jobs will require rapid actualization cycles of concepts like design or system architecture. An example is a company called ARM. They design computer chips and then license the design out to other companies for manufacturing. They only produce ideas – ever iterating not just improvements, but whole new ways of how things work. This is the future of wealth creation.
However, the path to that realization is obscured. The root of the problem lies in education, but a cultural shift occurred about 13 years ago as well. Being middle class for a long time was completely acceptable. But the internet bubble of the ’90s lent credence to the “get rich fast” pathos. Discipline was now a sucker’s game and being exceptional was the standard. The problem is that being exceptional, by definition, means it’s exclusive. But instead of accepting this fact, many people adopted an illusion of success and it was paid for by the accumulation of debt.
As I’ve said, I think we are at an inflection point over the next 5 years. Jobs will require a certain type of thinker, the globe will get ever more integrated, and I’ll continue to churn out Workingthoughts entries.
Here are some links from the past:
First Year Anniversary for Working Thoughts
Two Year Anniversary for Working Thoughts – Part 1
Two Year Anniversary for Working Thoughts – Part 2
Working Thoughts in 2008
Thank You to Those that Inspired Me in 2008
Thank You to Those that Inspired Me in 2009