Taylor Pearson tells us in The End of Jobs. And explains how profitable this can be in today’s world.
Jobs as we know them will largely disappear. We are at the end of the Frederick Taylor work era.
Jobs are replaced by entrepreneurs. Everyone can be an entrepreneur, building a meaningful life doing what they want, now serving the long tail of markets has become profitable.
“The opportunity to align your fundamental drives for freedom and meaning with profitable work is greater than you may believe.”
“The problem both for us as a society and as individuals is that we’re asking the wrong question: “How do I get a job doing that?” What if the better question is: “How do I create a job doing that?”
Pearson refers to Seth Godin (The Linchpin), Tim Ferriss (The 4 Hour Work Week) and James Altucher (Choose Yourself, and here), not just as examples of
people building something that did not exist, but also to their stories on how to create more meaningful and profitable work.
Pearson explains that new technologies give everyone access to higher education, leading to pressure on the job market. In addition to that, moving work to low cost countries has never been as easy.
This is why employees, with their seemingly safe jobs, should remain looking for a competitive advantage. The good part however is that these emerging technologies also provide new exciting opportunities for self realization, and do what you really want to do.
“For the first time in history, we’ve reached a point where humans’ natural drive to strive and grow by working on interesting problems aligns with what the market demands. It’s not only in congruence with fundamental human drives—it’s more economically valuable. Finding meaning in your work isn’t just fulfilling. It’s a profitable business strategy.”
There is a growth in the fourth economy – chaos, where entrepreneurial approaches and skills are key to success.
But fear of the unknown is withholding us.
“What the stoics unearthed and Ferriss rediscovered was this fundamental truth: we frequently avoid making choices not because the outcome is bad, but simply because it’s unknown.”
Citing and referring to Nassim Taleb (Antifragile, and here), Pearson argues that technology drives everyone from Mediocristan (the bell curve, extrapolate past performance) to Extremistan. Risk no longer lives in the past, but it lives in the future. And as an entrepreneur you need to become more capable of handling risk, to stand out in unpredictable environments. Become more Antifragile.
This change in our world, and the rising opportunity has been described by Chris Anderson in The Long Tail. The works of Ferriss, Altucher, Seth Godin and Nassim Taleb are driven by the same change force.
“As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.”
While the book has a great title, Pearson very unfortunately in the conclusion section puts a question mark to his own work.
“Many people I talked to in the process of writing this asked me, do you really think that’s happening?
You really think that we’re moving into this amazing period of freedom and wealth as entrepreneurs?
The short answer: maybe.”
Pearson is hesitant but continues his positive story about the opportunities for us to build our own life.
“Never before in human history has an individual staring at his world had a greater ability to craft that story into one that now exists only in your imagination. You have the opportunity, right now, to design the future. Your future. Our future.”