Business trends are similar to the trends we experience in the fashion and music industries. Once a trend is over being seen wearing bell bottoms or listening to 80s rock borders on embarrassment.
The Digital Transformation is coming! Disrupt everything! Anything created before 2007 must go, including humans! The need to reinvent everything, including the wheel, is out of fashion and obsolete.
Much like previous years ending in nine, we are witnessing the end of the disruption era. The digital tsunami hit, I believe, in 2013, when big data and predictive analytics mainstreamed.
Digital Tsunami 2013
Since 2013, we’ve been swimming in the digital tsunami debris as companies continue to tear down, disrupt every part of the business model in preparation for the digital tsunami that has already occurred. Company executives continue to race towards the future, to beat Amazon, Wal-Mart, or to stay out of bankruptcy; blinded by their actions, they fail to develop common-sense strategies.
For the past five years, I have studied and researched the parallels between the 1880s through the 1920s and the impacts of intelligence technology on our business models, employment, economy, and society. From my research, many of the events between 2019 and 1880s – 1920s are eerily similar.
The Gilded Age 2.0 is Coming to An End – What Will 2020 Bring?
We have been here before. Many of the challenges and lessons presented over 100 years ago are reappearing, such as the similarities between the factory and Gig workers and the large tech companies and the railroad and steel businesses.
The difference this time vs. 100 years ago – is the rapid pace of advancement especially in the areas of intelligent technology, such as artificial intelligence, automation, and predictive analytics.
Another emerging trend, without a definitive label, is human interaction as a luxury. Individuals who do not need a mobile device or FB account are perceived to be at a higher social status. The topic is appearing more frequency among the futurist and social scientist. I have also noticed more thought leaders listing fewer if any social media network links on their websites.
Embedded in the human trend is real customer service with genuine human engagement which is quickly becoming extinct for the majority of society. There is a difference between customer service and customer engagement. Service is taking care of a customers’ needs and requests; engagement is a digital conversation most likely generated by bots.
Another smaller emerging trend I noticed in the fall of 2015 is the concept I call “Digital Prairie.” I am unsure if these two words provide an accurate description. The trend demonstrates at a micro-level how society and employment are simultaneously moving backward and forward.
Artificial intelligence, automation and the connectedness of the Internet is the forward motion. The backward movement is evident in our discussions of seeking a simpler time and the interest in homestead, back to basics and our roots. From new shows on Home and Garden TV to our installations of firepits in our backyards.
The use of the word Prairie exemplifies the ability to work from home anywhere. Workers are moving to smaller cities to escape traffic, high cost of living in search of a quality environment. With the impact of AI and automation continuing to transform work and employment, I more professionals will become hybrid employees or self-employed. These changes will require individuals to be more resourceful in the next decade.
Similar to the pioneer model, where individuals received income from multiple sources. Most workers are unprepared for the Digital Prairie trend as intelligent technologies continue to redefine work and employment. Second, most individuals lack career and income diversification strategies.
The trends I have mentioned are evident once you step back and observe what is happening in the real world outside of the Internet. Spend a few minutes at your favorite store and restaurant, noticing both significant or subtle emerging trends.
Or take a road trip and drive 3860 miles round trip without Instagramming your trip which I did in August from Dallas, Texas to Watsonville, California. The world looks different from the ground – an unfiltered view of reality.
Business and Economic Trends for the 2020s:
- Evidence of a New Economic Era as The Gilded Age 2.0 Comes to a Close
- Non-Tech Human Engagement as a Status
- Digital Prairie
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