Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Untrendy Businesses

Seth Godin offered this advice today:

“Newspapers, magazines, TV stations, hardware companies, real estate brokers, travel agents, bookstores, insurance agents, art galleries and five hundred other industries need to think hard about [the effect of the internet] before it's too late.”

We know what he means about newspapers and magazines. Anyone with an internet connection can get all the news she or he wants at no additional cost beyond that of the connection itself. Bricks and mortar bookstores are dying out because it's easier and more convenient to buy online, the online selection is effectively infinite and you can buy new or used. And obviously you can select insurance policies, banking accounts, houses and budget works of art online too. Any business that can find a way onto the net is doing so.

Yet I still encounter real estate agents who are fearful of joining LinkedIn because they don't want their email addresses to be “harvested”. Not everybody gets it.

Anyone who hopes to work for a few years more should try to think through or find out how the newest technologies will affect his or her occupation. Here are a couple of cases:
  1. I'm ok, I manage web hosting in Toronto.

    Well, not necessarily. Guido van Rossum created the Python computer language. He now works for Google. I watched one of his videos on youtube a few days ago wherein he described how their cloud computing system works. The essential idea of cloud computing is that, in a few years time, Google and a few other companies will be the world's web hosts.

  2. I'm ok, I work in transportation logistics.

    Information technology personnel are steadily automating packaging and labelling, as well as optimising shipping flows.