Screaming fire in a crowded theater:
It appears that our economists, after their splendid failure in predicting our great recession, are trying to compensate for their failure by engaging in a scary competition among themselves to see who can predict the most gloomy future for us. I would characterize this as screaming “fire” in a crowded theater. Not cool! Particularly as there is no fire, other than the one they erroneously imagine in their heads.
What’s the fiery crisis du jour, you ask? Well, The robots are coming for our jobs!!! Or in the words of Jeffrey Sachs and Laurence Kotlikoff, the smart machines are coming for your children’s jobs and will bring long-term misery, I have not read such an upbeat white paper in ages.
Paul Krugman is building on those fears and beyond by saying that this generation who started graduating into the great recession in ’08 and thereafter will never ever catch up with their earnings. Game over, lost generation.
The Economist is jumping on this gloom and doom band wagon as well with their Robocollegue article saying with a smile that because of automation there is going to be a lot more unskilled low pay dead end jobs filled with university graduates who implicitly defaulted on their student loans.
Most of the above economists draw very logical conclusions about need for change of our social systems which is right regardless. However, my simple point is that I am not quite ready to start worrying nor should you be worrying, just yet!! We must realize that it is the same old economists now screaming fire who failed to predict the great recession. Thus, we, the creative educated masses, should continue working on our startups and re-imagining the world and writing software that eats this world, and building our new economy.
The world it is changing:
We would be excused for thinking that all the economists got hold of the same make and model of disaster colored gloom and doom glasses. That’s not far from the truth. Their economic models which illuminate their view of reality are grounded in established yesterdays structures. Unfortunately, for the brilliantly structured economic minds, we are changing the structure of the world they are modeling, right now, in real time. We are reshaping our world.
First, their discussion was framed in terms of recovery timeframe with the predominant question being when do we get back to normal? The answer is never ever never.
Spain having financed the anglo-spanish wars with silver from Latin American colonies has forgone the emergent banking innovation happening in Antwerp and the Spanish crown ended up defaulting on its debt at least fourteen times between 1557 and 1696. Spain has never ever returned back to that normal.
London had a thriving bond market by the mid 18th century. France had no such thing as a bond market. If not for the British Empire’s ability to raise enormous debt Napoleon might not have been defeated. Thus, we speak English.
After the crisis of the US revolutionary war, cotton production moved to India. That move out of US was permanent, it never ever came back.
The economic crisis brought by the world wars in Europe eliminated the live in servant culture. That world is not coming back.
We just cannot expect things to get back to normal after our current crisis. And we don’t just have an economic crisis. We have a structural revolution.
The question is not if things will change but when will the changes go mainstream?
LinkedIn is having recruiting conferences for people who are the back bone of their revenue model!
E-bay has conferences for the people making money selling things on e-bay.
Amazon, as far as I know, has no conferences for the people they enable as sellers, but they have conferences for the masses of entrepreneurs who use the Amazon Web Services as a software platform.
Etsy is starting to have conferences discussing small business and sustainability ideas.
On a smaller scale, Estimize does not have any conferences yet for analysts estimating stock performances but they provide an incredible disruptive platform for stock analysis. I totally see a conference for all the analysts in their future!
Those are, present tense existing things, foundations of a massive new global economy.
To assume that the changes will take generations and old world economic models will persist is simply looking into slightly dated forecasting models.
RareBridge as a solution:
Collaborative cross community communication is the new paradigm! Just look at your own Facebook friends, where they come from, where they live.
All this is becoming an integral part of this new entrepreneurial culture. I am not sure when RareBridge will be hosting an entrepreneurial conference or what will be the specific themes, if you have an idea for a innovative entrepreneurial theme, let me know. But for now we have built the infrastructure to help accelerate the global emergence of startup culture. Come join us!
We are working on this project from London, San Francisco and Bogotá, and one of our advisers lives and works in Lagos. We are united by our passion and believe that this stands in direct opposition to the latest wave of our economist gloom and doom forecasts. We have a vision and drive to support the self-starters and the self-employed of our era. Come join the movement!