Well, it’s finally here! A book, well written, that clarifies what we have been trying to say for years…THE FUTURE OF WORK IS ENTREPRENEURSHIP. I heard Kyle describes his book on a webinar, but perfunctorily ordered it. Today, it arrived, and I was blown away! He puts into words better than I have done the fact only widespread sharing of entrepreneurial skills can save our economy and what is happening rapidly to our workforce. People are being “let go”, “fired”, or “displaced” from their long-time jobs. Why? A perfect storm has come together…the Gig Economy of independent contractors, artificial intelligence (A. I.) automating anything repeatable, and now the death knell, COVID-19 economic necessity to eliminate overhead in a time of reduced business.
No one who reads the first 100 pages can possibly disagree. Work as we know it is dead. In order to make a secure income for your family or continue to be a successfully working member of the economy one must find a passion, an interest, or build on a prior experience and become…SELF-EMPLOYED. Entrepreneurship can now be taught and learned thanks to Silicon Valley and one of its Princes, Steve Blank. His Customer Development Process, put together by reflecting back on eight tech startups, gave the world “lean startup”. Thank goodness he did. “Lean” has made entrepreneurship teachable and learnable to ordinary workers. Anyone with DESIRE, emphasis on desire, can learn it. “Lean” validates an idea or a concept with the ultimate buyer or end-user who also helps the entrepreneur design the product. Together they create a “product-market fit” which cements a thing of value that the world needs and wants.
The world economy faces a massive disruption of labor. Jobs are going to machines at an alarming rate, and ramifications will alter everything we know about work. Three forces have been at work since 1990, but will soon go to warp speed. First is the Gig Economy, which is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers. A study by Intuit says there are 53 million freelancers in America today. By 2021 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. This on-demand work, a gig economy is moving more and more into independent professionals that use mobile and technology to create ecosystems they enjoy.
Second is the automation of anything that is repetitive and can be replaced by robotics; most automobiles are now made by robots. The combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data makes it possible for machines to learn from experience and adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Deep learning is a type of machine learning that trains a computer to perform human-like tasks, such as recognizing speech, identifying images or making predictions. Such technology is now replacing white as well as blue collar workers.
Because Big Data has grown exponentially, AI and deep learning now can work together. In 2013 SINTEF estimated that 90% of all information in the world had been created in the prior two years. Lots of data is exactly what machines need in order to learn to learn. Google’s DeepMind AI has learned how to read and comprehend what it reads through thousands of news articles.
McKinsey research says that up to one-third of U. S. workers and 800 million globally could be displaced by 2030. They recommend businesses and policymakers act now to keep people employed. The single most impactful solution is to train everyone in entrepreneurship, whose innovative and creative skills can allow workers to transit to self-employment (or a freelancer in the Gig Economy).
Finally, there is an unexpected pandemic from COVID-19 beginning March 2020, which is causing widespread unemployment. A “New Normal” will be slow to form and have eliminated millions of permanent jobs. Nothing offers a more promising solution to those made jobless than their ability to start a small business using lean startup entrepreneurship. By embracing a passion, an interest, or an acquired trade, people can learn entrepreneurship by validating a viable concept using customer development. “Lean” enables anyone with desire to design a successful business model that can be scaled and repeated.
As of the last week of June, 1.48 million workers filed first time claims for unemployment. Initial jobless requests are the nation’s most reliable gauge of layoffs, and Oxford Economics said the latest numbers “paint a picture of a job market in turmoil.” More than 40 million people have filed for unemployment in the past three months, and the U. S is predicted to experience a coronavirus-induced recession through 2021.
Then, working in an office could become a status symbol, most meetings replaced by email, business travel as we know it could be gone, office buildings “elaborate conference centers”, mandatory medical screening a norm, middle management positions cut forever, and 9-to-5 office hours a thing of the past.
The need for large scale training of “lean” entrepreneurship is now mandatory. ERI, Entrepreneurship Resources, is an educational organization dedicated to lean launch training and spreading entrepreneurship. See clintoneday.com and ERI-learneship.org for more.
Trust our blog…get this book. 100% of all proceeds go back to NFTE, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, The Entrepreneurial Mindset draws upon learning methods and case studies from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a nonprofit based in New York City that has reached over 1 million students. All proceeds from the book go directly to NFTE to support its mission.