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Saturday, April 5, 2014
Thomas Friedman to NSBA Conference 2014: The Flat World is Becoming Hyper-connected
Thomas Friedman, the author of 2004's "The World is Flat" blew the NSBA general assembly away this morning with some keen insight and anecdotes about the way our planet is becoming not only flatter, but also hyper-connected with amazing technology, automation, and software.
He knows things are changing, but will we keep up?
These changing technologies will lead to great opportunities for creative entrepreneurs, but simultaneously these will lead to great challenges for workers, particularly those of average skill who do rote, repetitive tasks and who are paid well.
Friedman stated "high wage, average skill jobs will disappear and non-routine local jobs if not performed creatively are in jeopardy."
Friedman believes and stated that for these workers "Average is officially Over!"--meaning that lazy, under skilled, non-motivated workers will be left behind in the new world of high technology, automation, and outsourcing. "There is no bottom-level jobs that high school dropouts will be able to go to" he stated.
"Things are so incredibly different now than just a decade ago," Friedman remarked, that "Facebook didn't exist, big data was a rapper, skype was a typo, and the cloud was something in the sky!"
He boldly proclaimed his belief that the digital divide would be gone in a decade. "Everyone will be connected to the internet within a decade, via smartphone technology" he told the crowd. "They even installed wi-fi at the base of Mt. Everest!"
Friedman left the crowd of about 7500 with five key ideas, five key survival guides for workers in the coming decades:
1. Think like an immigrant-stay hungry for new opportunities.
2. Think like an artisan-take pride in your work such that it is worthy of your autograph, like a painter signs his work
3. Always be in BETA mode like the CEO of a Silicone Valley start-up. keep evolving, improving, and moving forward
4. Think like a parent, make good decisions
5. Be relentlessly entrepreneurial and learn how to leave your mark, your "positive" on anything that is within your power."