The last ten years have been an incredibly fascinating time, being 34yrs old I am really excited to have lived during this time and hopefully have been paying enough attention to take better advantage of the next HUGE cycle change. This one isn’t quite over yet though and there are some interesting things that none of the media pundits, fed, or economists really predicted. The corporate shifts that started small in 2010 are getting really big and impactful now in 2014 and I suspect will continue in 2015 even if the fed stops flooding the market with cheap dollars.
What am I talking about?
- Tobacco buyers are going to get their fix from mostly one company going forward
- The new hot disruption in real estate is ALREADY consolidating – sorry Estately
- Washington isn’t really going to continue making Boeing planes
- Buds and Brews are now a local thing…. again (thanks Washington, Colorado, & Oregon)
- How many cell phone companies will there really be?
- Where is Peak Shale?
These are huge structural shifts in the economy that will take a few years to get sorted out. People still haven’t solved the housing problem associated with these shifts and it doesn’t look like anyone is really attempting to either. Instead waiting for a recovery of housing and continuing to build more affordable housing seems to be the answer.
However, what is not being discussed is that these shifts in the economy are primarily about work. Who is doing the work, how much are they getting paid, what does their retirement look like, and how can companies leverage the most profits per employee. That is a normal trend and the result of the shock to the system that everyone received in 2008/9 is that many companies quickly focused on the important items and thought more carefully about what full employment should really look like for their companies. In the long run, this means fewer workers, more automation, and an increase in part-time work. This aligns nicely with the freelance economy that has slowly been building, but it is troublesome for those that don’t make note of this shift in how work will get done in the future. If you really want to be working in 10-15yrs, you really need to get on board with building your brand, building a set of re-usable skills that you know how to put to use and market to potential teams.
Go read The Alliance and The Start-up of You – they are sort of LinkedIn promotion books but the concepts there are useful concepts to understand.