Happy New Year and welcome to 2016! There has been a saying that the only constant in life is death and taxes, add change to that as well.
Things are changing and they are changing so fast. Technology was driving this change but now new ideas and innovations are adding to this change. But some of these changes are also putting a great deal of pressure on current industries. What are some of the changes that could dramatically change our world?
Rise of the platform - startups are experimenting and refining systems such as holacracy and platforms. These are systems that allow small firms to manage their organization and empower front line employees without the need for layers of executive leaders or infrastructure like large corporations. Larger corporations are watching this closely and have identified these companies in their industry as a possible threat.
Gig workforce/1099 workforce - small businesses can't afford to hire talent full time with benefits. With insurance exchanges through the ACA, and websites specifically designed for freelancers like Elance, Freelancer or Guru workers with skill sets can now become free agents instead of corporate employees. This allows small businesses to compete for talent by instead of offering regular paycheck and benefits offering challenging fulfilling projects that can grow skills while allowing the worker to have a sense of freedom.
Sharing economy - ride share (Uber), AirBNB and other such platforms allow people to use their cars or an extra room to generate income. This puts pressure on the taxi and hotel industry, but it also changes how the average citizen contributes to the economy. Instead of exchanging labor in a corporate entity they exchange labor (driving) or space for income directly cutting out being an employee for the taxi or hotel industry.
Digital money/democratic lending - Checks are slowing dying, cash is being replaced by the debit card but there are also experiments with digital money like Bitcoin or using technology for payment like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. There are also platforms like Lending Club or Prosper with peer to peer lending. An individual can request a loan and when approved can be funded by peers like you and I with a minimum investment of $25. This cuts out financial institutions. The banking industry is also looking at these as possible threats.
Automation - this is a big topic and concern. Technology and computers are not only getting faster but also have the ability to learn. There has been posts and thoughts on which jobs and industries could see the most impact. Self driving cars owned by Google or another company could also be huge by reducing the number of cars on the road, reducing the number of car owners, auto insurance policies, auto loans and oil changes.
We can't stop progress, all we can do is understand it and figure out how we can fit into it and this ever changing future.
Thanks for your interest and we hope to continue to have meaningful conversations.