Weekly Download 15.1Posted: January 8, 2015
Here’s a recap of news and notes from around the Web that caught my attention over the past week or so.
The Future Of Jobs: The Onrushing Wave. This article talks about structural shifts that are well underway, including the rise of a service economy and the effects of an aging population and a more mature economy overall. We’re seeing the lowest proportion of U.S. adults participating in workforce since 1978. In addition, manufacturing employment from has declined from 30% in the 1950s to 10% now. Has John Maynard Keynes’s prediction in 1930 of “technological unemployment” come true?
Oculus Rift’s Palmer Luckey: “I brought virtual reality back from the dead.”I hadn’t read much about this company (purchased by Facebook for $2.3 billion in March 2014) until now. What struck me in this interview was that not only was Palmer Luckey lucky, but he also seems like an ordinary, down-to-earth guy. A key point was while his siblings were outside playing, he made pocket money repairing and selling iPhones. The first iPhone was released in 2007. Luckey is now 22. So the math works, but it still makes me feel old. Something I view as a recent development and about the fifth generation of something was the first job of a teenage tech entrepreneur. If you don’t believe that the world is changing fast and being shaped by innovation from a younger generation, hold on. This is moving fast and at a scale and scope that is hard to imagine.
I Don’t Want to be Right delves into the science behind changing our minds. It’s fascinating how they researched the challenge of how we can be both very willing and incredibly stubborn about changing our mind simultaneously.
“When there’s no immediate threat to our understanding of the world, we change our beliefs. It’s when that change contradicts something we’ve long held as important that problems occur.”
Fred Wilson is a very credible venture capitalist and long-time blogger. In sequential posts, he gives a review of 2014 (What Just Happened) and a preview of 2015 (What Is Going to Happen). I like his views of the new tech space. One thing in particular that struck me was his comment that in 2014 (or perhaps earlier) we transitioned from social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to messaging (Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc). I’ve witnessed the phenomenon firsthand with my kids. How will the “instant but ephemeral” new way impact us given the previous “in the cloud forever” model of social media?