Which USA do you work in ?

When it comes to getting a job, the USA has bifurcated into two employment worlds, the digital world and the brick and mortar world.

The brick and mortar world is everything you physically touch. Its manufacturing. Its retail sales. Its distribution. Its construction. Etc.

The digital world is everything defined by what you find on computing devices. It can be on your desk, in your hand or in the cloud.

What has happened is that the brick and mortar world has had every bit of intelligence that can be sucked out of it completely removed.  Any information that can be created, identified or recognized is being captured in as automated a process as possible and delivered to “big data” or even small data databases in the cloud. What used to require some intelligence at the brick and mortar work place has been seeded and ceded into the cloud.

Every smart company wants to become smarter and the way to do that is not by asking their employees to communicate  orally or in writing to management, its by automating everything.

When Starbucks introduces Square, its not to make their in store employees do more, its to simplify the process involved in serving customers and to allow them to spend more time on improving the customer experience.

The problem for those  who work in brick and mortar is that as the intelligence is sucked out of the job. The intelligence required to do the job is reduced. Yes, you still have to be good at what you do. But you can  be great at customer service or great in a factory line with out a college education. The competition for jobs that don’t require degrees has pushed down the wages paid for brick and mortar jobs as well. When there are no specific skills beyond basic people and communication skills required the job pool competing for any openings expands considerably. Forcing down wages. Leaving more unemployed unemployed.

The other unfortunate part of working brick and mortar is that as intelligence is moved out of of physical locations it also reduces the number of jobs available.  Have you ever seen a cashier at an Apple Store ? Unemployment is sky high in the brick and mortar world.

Thats not to say there aren’t some bright lights in this area. As the intelligence of the factory is sucked up from the floor the cost of labor falls and makes manufacturing in the US more competitive. Hence we are seeing some manufacturing return to the US which is of course a good thing

In the other world, the digital world, the non-brick and mortar world, there is  negative unemployment. Thats right there are far more jobs than there are people to fill them.

If you just look at the unemployment rate for recent college graduates its 6.8pct. My guess is that if you take out Sports Management majors and a few other “I did this for passion and not a job” majors (Sorry had to get that in there ), that rate might be under 5pct. That is close to full employment for college graduates and even non college graduates that had the foresight or luck to learn the skills required to get a job in the digital world.

Everything of intelligence is being moved into the cloud. There is not one business process that you can think of that makes sense to put in the cloud that hasn’t been written as an app. I get dozens of proposals for these types of apps every WEEK.

The explosion is due to the fact that digital entrepreneurship is experiencing a renaissance. Why ? Because with a Laptop, a SmartPhone, a broadband connection and an account on Amazon Web Services or one of their competitors, if you understand technology and are willing to work your ass off, you have everything you need to start a cloud based company. Everything.

I don’t know the exact numbers but it wouldn’t shock me if thousands of these companies are being formed every month.

And those cloud based service companies are hiring, hiring, hiring.  You would be hard pressed to find a single example of one of these companies that is not looking to hire more smart people. Experience not required.

That giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of intelligence being sucked from the brick and mortar locations into smart applications in the cloud licensed or owned by the companies that own the brick and mortar locations.

The best news is that with online educational resources coming on, and im not talking about the for profit schools, Im talking about FREE educational resources, anyone with the focus and inclination and access to a pc on the net has a chance to  learn a digital skill that can be of value to these new digital companies and allow you to change worlds.

What is my solution ?  I will tell you what I told my alma mater Indiana University and the University of North Texas committee that I am on. Every junior and senior should hold open at least 1 class in each of their junior and senior years for job skills training.

The university should make those classes fungible. Meaning each year the range of job skills classes is defined by the needs of employers in the global marketplace.  If they change every 2 years. Great. Employers will be thrilled and so will students who will be able to find jobs. If they change every year. students will have broader skill sets. Which also makes employers happy.

Companies struggle to keep up with all the changes the latest in digital technology requires. Train people and they will hire them.

The university should also make those classes available for high school seniors. If they can test in , let them.  It will allow smart kids to do smart things and get smart digital jobs. And who knows, they just might change their mind and go to IU or North Texas or be happy grabbing a great job. Either way the school has done something good.

Trust me if Sports Management Majors were good at Pig Latin (And if you think im talking about Igpay Atinlay, you probably could have benefited from a class like this ), they could get far better jobs than they are getting today. When they get them.

Who is upset ? Professors and administrators  at universities.  Why ? Because some of the classes they have taught for years would be replaced by newbie classes. I personally think a little change in the culture  at schools is a good thing. Stop building and taking on debt and invest in new and relevant courseware. But that is me.

I’ve had a lot to say about Education and you can find my blogs on the subject here .

89 thoughts on “Which USA do you work in ?

  1. ATTN SHARK TANK CASTING CALL ABC SHOW ADMINISTRATORS SHOW CC; MARK CUBAN CEO DALLAS MAVERICKS CC;BLOG MAVERICK CEO MARK CUBAN

    CEO/FOUNDER LEON PEARSON BLACK RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGY BOEING SPACE DEFENSE GOV,T CONTRACTOR GLOBALSTAR SATELLITE DEALER BRT WEBSITE URLeBLACKRENNTECH,COM BUS#347-340=2034

    FROM BLACK RENAISSANCE TECHNILOGY PLEASE FORWARD INFO TO SHARK TANK CASTING CALL ABC TV ADMINISTRATORS TO BOOST NIELSEN RATINGS

    brt seeking $60 million dollars from mark cuban to appear on shark tank ABC SHOW,

    Comment by ceoleonpearson -

  2. interesting post Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 03:22:02 +0000 To: hntsa@live.com

    Comment by Hntsa Asgedom -

  3. Pingback: Passive Income in 30 Days | Passive Income in 30 DaysPassive Income in 30 Days

  4. ATTM MARK CUBAN BLOG MAVERICK CCSHARK TANK ABC EXECUTIVE

    FROM CEO LEON PEARSON BLACK RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGY DIGITAL MEDIA LLC PO BOX 97 NEW YORK CITY 10116 BUS#13473402034

    TOPIC;BRT REQUEST $60 MILLION DOLLARS FROM MARK CUBAN TO INVEST AND JOING BRT SATELLITE/CABLE NETWORK NASA,OEING, VIASAT DISH NETWORK, COMCAST MAGIC JOHNSON ENTERPRISES, SIROUS SATELLITE XM RADIO, CALEVISION, DIRECTV, TIME WARNER CABLE LIVE NATION WORLDS LARGEST CONCERT TOURING CO SELLIG USA PRODUCTS ON PAY-PER-VIEW SATELLITE MOBILE DEVICES.

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    CEO LEON PEARSON HAS CREATED A WEALTH CREATOR DEVICE THAT USES TSUNAMI NASA SPECIAL CHIPS TO SAVE LIVES TO ALERT YOU FROM A TSNUAMI OR EARTHQUAKE,TORNADO SEVERETYPHOON OR HURRICANE OR STORM.NOW YOU CAN CARRY A LIFE SAVING DEVICE TO PROTECT YOU YOUR FAMILY AND PROPERTY,

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    BRT START AT HOME SATELLITE MERCHANT JOBS USING THE CLOUD MOBILE E-COMMERCE PLAN WILL CREATE MILLIONS OF NEW TECH GPD JOBS WORLDWIDE OVER THE WORLD WIDE WEB.BRT SATELLITE MERCHANT GLOBAL WEB PORTAL DESIGNED BY CISCO USING IBM SUPER FAST COMPUTERS AND OPEN FLOW SWITCH TECHNOLOGY IS A GAME CHANGER FOR BIG DATA IN SPACE AND ORACLE IS NOW INTERESTED.

    BRT SATELLITE CLOUD, TABLETS USING MESH NETWORKING TO ALLSTAE DEPT FEDERAL AGENCIES IN A CENTRALIZED CLOUD PLATFORM AT THE PENTAGON IS THE NEW WORLD ORDER CONNECTED NASA, HOMELAND SECURITY US AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND US POSTAL SERVICE NATO ALL ON 1 NETWORK. THIS WILL AMERICA STONGER ECONOMICALLY ANDHAVE A CONTINGENCY PLAN IN PLACE TO THWART ANY TERRORIST THREAT OR NATURAL DISATER TYIG ALL 1ST RESPONDERS TOGETHER FOR NYPD, RED CROSS FEMA. NYC FD,ARMY NAVY FBI ,CIA, NSA . NOW OUR ENTIRE MILITARYAND ECONOMIC COMMERCE DEPT WILL BE ON 1 NETWORK WITH CONGRESS AND US STATE DEPT.

    BRT NEW 4G LTE CLOUD COMPUTING NEXT GENERATION SATELLITECELLPHONES WILL ENABLE THE US GOV,T TO RECOUP 33 TRILLION TO REPAY CHINAS DEBT AND SPEED UP THE US ECONOMY TO GET AMERICA BACK TO WORK TO DOUBLE THE USA GNP.

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    BRT CEO LEON PEARSON REQUESTING 60 MILLION DOLLARS FROM MARK CUBAN TO INVEST IN BRT NEW SATELLITE/CELLPHONE AMD TO APPEAR ON ABC SHARK TANK SHOW TO GIVE 13 MINOTE POWER POINT PRESENTATION TO INVEST IN BRT NEW 4G LTE SATELLITE/CELLPHONE TO STREAM USPS DIGITAL GOODS INTO 215 COUNTRIES PROJECTED REVENUE IS 3 TRILLION DOLLARS.

    GOOD LUCK MARK CUBAN ON YOUR DECISION TO INVEST IN BRT JOINING SATELLITE/CABLE SATELLITE MOBILE E-COMMERCE SPACE NETWORK THE US POSTAL SERVICE, WALMMART MAGIC JOHNSON ENTERPRISESM ,BOEING US AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND NASA COMCAST, DISH NETWORK, DIRECTV, VIASAT AND GLOBALSTAR AND BOEING WE ARE THE FUTURE.

    I AM THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE AND PLEASE VIEW MY WEBSITE AT BLACKRENNTECH.COMBEFORE YOU IN INVEST.

    KIND REGARDS

    CEO FOUNDER LEON PEARSON BLACK RENAISSANCE TECHNOLOGY DIGITAL MEDIA LLC BOEING SPACE DEFENSE CONTRATOR GLOBALSTAR SATELLITE DEALER BIS#13473402034

    Comment by ceoleonpearson -

  5. I 100% work in the digital world. I thought about going into the brick and mortar world but the costs are so much higher to start a brick and mortar business than a digital business. You can start a digital business on a whim with less staff.

    Comment by goresumebuilder -

    • goresumebuilder, Most, not all, but most digital start-ups do much much better if they have a shingle set up somewhere where the public can come in and interact with the company. I don’t have the exact statistic handy but the difference is by a factor of something like 10 times or 50 times higher volume of sales.

      I think I read this fascinating statistic on http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/

      Comment by alexlogic -

  6. Check out how we’re trying to bridge these two worlds here.
    http://hometract.blogspot.com/2012/09/connectwithcontractorscom-hacking-home.html

    Comment by connectwithcontractors -

  7. Reblogged this on nwuptick.

    Comment by nwuptick -

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  9. Please Please Help My Dad (A Proud Man) Pay His Bills…
    I write to you today because my dad, is in desperate need of some help,
    and he is just too proud to ask anyone for a hand. I didn’t know where else to turn too. He has always been the one to graciously help others, and has given many young men and women a job and
    a place to rest their head or to call home, during his lifetime.
    My dad has always been a hard worker all of his life, and for the past ten years
    had a job and career that he loved and enjoyed very much.
    But things changed a few months back, and he lost his job. He is currently
    over $100,000 in debt, with medical bills, student loans, and credit card debt.
    He has been actively searching every day for employment but is sinking in debt
    faster than he is able to sustain, and is now facing his utilities being shut off,
    and the fear of being evicted from his apartment very soon. He is not able
    to continue with his medications or doctor appointments, because has had $0 income
    for almost three months now, and had previously exhausted his savings helping out
    other young men and women with their schooling and medical issues, while trying to
    keep them off the streets and from being homeless at the same time.
    The loss of my dad’s job and the career that he loved so much, was through no fault
    of his own. It is because of his previous employer a very devious ex-partner of his.
    My dad has always been the proudest and most honest man I have ever known, and he
    just does not deserve this.
    Not only has he been left without a job, but also he was denied unemployment benefits,
    because his ex-partner lied to the unemployment department.
    Then to add fire to the water, his ex-partner has been providing bad information to
    future prospective employers, so he has not been able to obtain a good job reference
    past ten years. I know it will take time to land a job with not having a good job
    reference for the past ten years, but I have faith that he will.
    I am asking for your help because my dad is now in a very dark place and I fear that
    my dad is loosing his faith in humanity, which just isn’t like him at all.
    And in the meanwhile, his rent, utility bills, all of his outstanding medical bills, student
    loans and credit card dept are due and he now has no income to cover it.
    He is no longer in a position to help the young men and women that he was trying so
    desperately to help, by what he called paying it forward.
    These people were total strangers that had no home, no jobs, and my dad being the man that
    he is saw potential in them, and he cared enough about humanity, and felt that he had more
    than enough, so he made the decision to use the monies from the sale of his home to help
    try to help keep them off of the streets, and help get them back in school so they could
    continue their education and make something of themselves.
    Now when he is down and out, he seems to be getting kicked for trying to pay it forward and
    helping others. He has sold everything he has, trying to stay on top of things, and now finds
    himself in a dark place, with no one there to pick him up, in his time of need.
    My dad still holds a positive attitude, god bless him.
    He says he looks at a job and career change as being a positive thing, but I can
    tell he is severely depressed, and too proud to ask for help. I wish I could offer
    back to my dad what he deserves, but we have a family of ten to support, with myself,
    husband and eight children, there is just no money left to help.
    This was truly not the way I wanted to ask for help for him, but I am deeply
    concerned about his welfare.
    He is having medical issues, MS and needs time to stay stable and not end up in this
    horrible predicament which is taking a bigger toll on his health.
    My dad just needs a little extra to help pay his rent, utilities, bills and fuel
    for his car, so that he can continue to look for work, and still be able to eat,
    and make it to important doctors appointments. Or help in paying off his current
    debt if possible.
    My friends told me about this website, and as a devout Christian, it is my hope and
    prayer that some of you that are a little better off, may have it in your heart to
    help a man that has spent his life helping others. I would like to keep this request
    private, if at all possible, because he would, never ask someone to help him.
    If you should wish to make an anonymous donation to help my dad with a hand up,
    knowing that all he has done to help others, it will go to a good cause saving his
    life, you may do so through PayPal.
    Also, knowing my dad the way I do, and the way he has always helped others, I know
    that any extra money that he may receive he would graciously use it again, to “pay
    it forward” and help someone else in need.
    My dad is truly a good hearted man, and he has helped hundreds of other’s by “paying
    it forward” in his life. And now, in his time of need, he has nowhere to turn, and
    will not ask for help.
    This man has literally helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable
    organizations, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MDA), Muscular Dystrophy, St. Jude’s Children’s
    Hospital, Make-a-Wish Foundation, etc. He has chaired or help chair local community events
    such as the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Baskets for families
    in need, Haunted House, Beauty Pageants, Children’s Car Seat Safety Programs,
    and has helped raise funds for over 30 different local community organizations over the
    years, to help make other people’s life’s better.
    During the past year my dad has graciously and unselfishly helped keep several young men
    and women off the streets and helped provide some of them with food, clothing, shelter,
    and entertainment, so that they could go to school and try to make their lives a little
    better.
    When asked why? My dad simply stated “I look at it as paying it forward, these kids had no
    place to go and needed my help.” I think that says it all, about the type of man he is…
    The world needs more good men, like my dad!!
    If you are reading this, it is because you are are good hearted person that cares.
    If anyone can find it in their heart and generosity to help my dad by paying off or helping
    pay down his debt, I know my prayers will be answered from above

    Thank you, GOD BLESS!

    For any of you that have a kind heart and soul,
    Donations may be made through my dad’s PayPal account id #T7APQTAH7HSCQ
    Thank you and God Bless,
    Amanda Rogers

    WhiteCollar1957@hotmail.com

    Comment by Amanda Rogers (@rogersbride) -

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  11. Interesting thoughts that highlight a dramatic shift in not only how we work but how we define work. We have moved from a manufacturing to knowledge economy and it is knowledge that is our greatest export. Yet, there is still a place for brick and mortar albeit markedly different than the past. The way we educate in this country needs to rapidly evolve to teach employable skill sets in the new economy. While there are some institutions that are at the forefront of 21st century learning, they remain in the minority.

    Comment by Karen D. Swim (@karenswim) -

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  13. Mr. Cuban:
    I believe there are more than two aspects to the econmy: brick/mortal & digital. Everything today is service based & knowledge-based. Who can provide the best advice? Who spends the most time with their clientelle? Our economy is headed towards a knowledge-base which is why college educated individuals generally have the advantage. However, you can’t claim that education is everything. Do you really believe you are so much smarter than everyone else and that is why you are a billionaire? Luck has a lot do with life.

    -Brett

    Comment by Brett Scharg -

    • Brett, What kind of luck are you talking about?

      I do think that luck can play a part in terms of who one ends up bumping into in life and how well that person interacts with ourselves.

      However, people can make their own luck by bypassing the people that will drag them down so they have more time to find the people who will help them succeed.

      So while luck may play a part in one’s success, the quality of luck is most of the time up to each individual.

      Comment by alexlogic -

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  15. I welcome the digital age. Jobs may be drying up, but that is all the more reason to get to work on producing things of value for people. I had a love of Female Wrestling, and never liked that the outcomes on tv were predetermined.

    So, I created my own “reality based” female wrestling series on the internet where any female in the world can potentially be a part of it if she so desires. Most producers charge per video. We lowered the cost. It’s one price to view all of our videos. And, they are hosted behind a wall where they cannot be downloaded easily. More importantly, the incentive to pirate is low, as we offer ALL of our content for one low price.

    Using (more technology) like crowdfunding methods to get the girls here, among other things, shows that we have to shift our entrepreneurial priorities. But the jobs get easier through technology………..though the thinking gets harder.

    Comment by Johnny Ringo (@femwreschannel) -

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  17. Enjoyed the post. I’m working on starting a company (as I believe others are) to suck out all the intelligence from information based services business and related value chains.

    If successful, then I wonder what we will all do after that, life of leisure perhaps? daily lawn tennis followed by champagne and cigar debate club? LOL.

    Comment by Uno (@UnoV) -

    • I once created an interesting visual effect for a straight to video release called “The Spirit of Comedy”. The end result of the effect was photographs that looked like they were floating in air, but at different altitudes and at different speeds. About a year or two after creating this shot in the brick and mortar world, I saw a similar type of effect on a version of final cut pro.

      I realize that all one had to do was take a copy of what I had done, rasterize it, and then create a program to recreate the effect digitally with all new photographs or graphics.

      I probably can’t prove a connection to what I had done, but it kind of makes one understand why there may be more and more lawsuits. Virtually anything shot in the real world can be re rasterized in digital and then sold as a video game or video editing effect without ever crediting or compensating the original source.

      Comment by alexlogic -

  18. I work in the digital world but thankfully still live in a physical one and believe this is a gratuitous exaggeration: “the brick and mortar world has had every bit of intelligence that can be sucked out of it completely removed”. The real issue at the heart of your post is the attitude and skills deficit of most of the jobseekers I encounter.

    Job candidates that can’t write or make it through an interview, usually can’t think or communicate well in any medium. They aren’t fit for digital or good brick-and-mortar jobs (with or without your intelligence-sucking automation).

    Nevertheless, your post is thought-provoking and good material for jobseekers to understand market trends and I’ve linked it from http://academy.justjobs.com/the-complete-job-search-guide/

    Comment by Eric Shannon -

  19. I’m definitely on board with Peter Thiel’s thoughts on higher education and the massive debt this country has with college loans. Something is wrong and has been wrong for some time. Mortgaging your future is such a risky gamble for so many with what is ultimately an unknown financial future.

    Personally I’m stoked to start a new course offered by Coursera.com next month on gamification. This is a free course offered by a professor from Wharton Business School. There are other courses I’ll be taking as well on Coursera and some others on Codeacademy.com so I can learn about coding.

    I never went to college. Yet I still managed to work (when I was younger – started at 23yrs old which was 15 years ago) as a broker at major brokerage firms and ultimately at a boutique firm. Every guy working at those firms but me who was a broker had at least a four-year degree to be there. And then I went on to work at a hedge fund here in Dallas. Hedge funds are even more difficult to get into yet I still did because they felt I brought value to the table or else I would never have been hired. After many years and a couple of market crashes later I ultimately left the firm. My point here is that if you push hard enough, with focused confidence and are unrelenting you truly can do whatever the hell you want. Period.

    While working at the hedge fund I called the head of SMU’s business school. I called because my sister went to Tuck at Dartmouth and she told me about some different courses offered at her school. Business school offered classes in Finance that really appealed to me that I would have loved to study more on even though I lived much of it on a day to day basis. So I called the head of their business school and I told him what I did and if it would be okay if I just paid to go to specific classes that his school offered. Keep in mind I had ZERO idea how college works so because of my broker background I just figured I would call the ‘boss’ at the school and make it happen. He said due to the way colleges operate that just wasn’t possible there. BUT he did say that he agreed with my game plan – find courses that I felt would directly benefit me and pay for them. We both agreed that this is how it SHOULD work and perhaps one day it will. Fast forward many years and that time has finally come but has come in a way even I would never have imagined with the advent of top professors from around the world offering FREE courses. Awesome.

    I did the brick and mortar but now I work exclusively and will only work in the digital world. Barriers to entry are so much lower than brick and mortar and I think digital is much more fun.

    Mark, how many people do you know of that went to college and were so stoked to get their degree so they could start their career in that field so they could be wildly successful? And how many of them stayed with that area that they got their degree in many years later? Every single one of my friends (other than the lawyers and doctors) that got degrees ultimately didn’t like the field of their degree and transitioned into other areas. When you’re a kid you don’t have a damn clue how the real world works. You also don’t truly understand how much money you really have to make to have the lifestyle you want. You may THINK you’ll like the job you got with your degree but let’s deal with reality – you don’t even know if you’ll like the culture at that company that hired you until you’re deep in it. You don’t even know if you’ll like your boss or your co-worker you’re forced to sit close by. You don’t know if you’ll like sitting in a cubicle all day or in a bullpen or office with no window. You don’t know shit because you’ve never had to do it 5-6 days per week year after year. You have just have years and years of built up false expectations in college. The reality hits hard when you really figure out what type of lifestyle your paycheck gives, or when you secretly want to stab your boss but you can’t because that’s highly illegal or that you’re literally doing the same thing over and over and it’s slowly killing you on the inside. All of what I just said happens every year to millions of kids coming out of college entering the workforce. I think I have a better solution but I’m pretty sure I just typed way too much so I’ll stop here.

    Parenthetically, I saw a short interview you did and you shared your opinion on VC’s and that makes total sense to me. The VC culture is fascinating to me and ridiculous all at the same time. I love their minds but I don’t like their methods.

    Comment by Ramon Mende -

  20. I have been waiting and waiting to watch the movie occupy unmasked. To find out more of the truth.Glad you are putting it in your theaters.
    First off I wanted Obama to win in 2008. However Obama conned me like many. America is going down. More freedoms have been taken away, the economy is horrid and he lied about every promise he made to get into office.
    I really wish you would play the movie, Dreams of my real father by Joel Gilbert. You should really take a look at this movie. It shows how Obama’s whole life was a lie.
    If you go to youtube watch this clip, Obama’s Real Daddy Running a Sex Club in Hawaii? You will see Joel Gilbert talking about Obama’s real father.
    Unfortunately the media suppresses anything negative about Obama.
    Not even you Mr. Cuban would have the courage to put this movie on in your theaters. Dreams of my real father you should really watch and judge for yourself.

    Comment by whitewoody -

    • I am a huge Hillary Clinton Fan. I even started a blog called http://www.dailypuma.blogspot.com and still post to it. Obama is a banker who has fooled his voters. At least with Romney, we KNOW he is a banker.

      However, I don’t want any more wars. We are really screwed this time around.

      Bill Clinton’s administration created more jobs than any other president in history, and Bill Clinton is the ONLY PRESIDENT of the past 80 years who actually lowered the annual budget deficit EACH AND EVERY YEAR he was in office.

      I think Hillary Clinton would have done a much better job than Bill Clinton.

      Comment by dailypuma -

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  25. “That giant sucking sound you hear is the sound of intelligence being sucked from the brick and mortar locations into smart applications in the cloud licensed or owned by the companies that own the brick and mortar locations.”
    It’s totally true. It’s been interesting to see the shift in hiring practices – especially with tech companies – where it’s not the current skill level, but the potential skill/ bright thinking. Great Article.
    seattle seo company

    Comment by Neil Eneix -

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  28. I also agree completely. My $.02 on this would be more on how to convince universities of the desirability of this for themselves, as well as for the students. I believe it will have to be the students and their families that will need to be made more aware, so the fire can be lit from below and THEY can sell it to the higher-ups in schools. It will have to be a grass-roots effort, with potential recruits putting the pressure on admissions departments.

    Problems I’ve seen in my years working in higher ed is that the powers that be tend to have their heads in the sand a bit, hesitate to change the old model. I work directly with the student and parents, so I hear the concerns and hesitations, see where the bubble could burst very soon here. Pressure on the sales side of things I’m pretty sure will override resistance from other parties within the schools, as things become tighter for the institutions, and students (especially the most desirable ones) tougher to recruit. Parents and students will need to see the #s and results, so they can demand it of the universities– which I believe they will, if informed. They don’t want the resort-style pools and fancy facilites we’re pouring money into for the most part; they want to keep costs down and limit debt, and they are worried about finding work after graduation. When times were better, they were more into the experience in itself. Now they see it as a means to an end, and are far more likely to pursue alternatives to traditional universities if the number crunching shows that it is more likely financially beneficial in the long run.

    Working with the students, I also see where it is most definitely the real-world experience which they are in bad need of. Some of them do seem to recognize this and seek it out; I’m noticing more and more of them co-oping (cooperative education) and doing internships, though of course those type of opportunites are limited. Universities do a great job of teaching you to do well in a classroom. However, I know from myself, and for so many of those I talk to, most of what is relevant to your career you learn outside of class. This idea is a great fusion of that type of experience into the traditional classroom setting.

    Comment by bucfanpaka -

  29. Mark, I think what you say sounds nice, but I’m not sure it’s true.

    Your first thesis is that physical labor has been automated and made very efficient, and that this has resulted in a situation where fewer people are required to produce the necessary output. This part I agree with. You have a corollary that the people still doing “bricks and mortar” jobs are relegated to dumber work. This part I disagree with, and if you think it through I believe you’ll see why it’s not correct. As physical processes become more automated, there are fewer people in the process but they are responsible for more complicated tasks (e.g. those that machines can’t do.) This is certainly true is most manufacturing processes, where the unskilled labor has mostly been replaced with automation, and the remaining people now need to be skilled in programming and troubleshooting the machines.

    Your second thesis is where I really disagree. You propose that “the cloud” industries, e.g. data collection and analysis, and communications, is creating excess demand for labor. These industries just don’t require anywhere near the kind of manpower that was (and still is) required by “bricks and mortar” industries. The types of businesses you identify as “cloud” businesses are activities that are mostly automated from day one. The fact that one guy with a computer and a broadband connection can start one of these companies proves that even from day one, most of the work will be machine intensive, not labor intensive.

    Sure, you may be be seeing thousands of people trying to start new “cloud” businesses right now. That’s because there will be large profits for a few businesses that succeed in this area, and those who fail will have invested little except their time and effort. With low barriers to entry (i.e. the one guy with laptop does not need a second mortgage on his house) why not give it a shot? It’s a lottery ticket industry.

    If you look at the actual numbers, the largest unfilled demand for labor is coming from healthcare. This is an industry where much of the activity has not been automated (yet), and it will probably be a long time before we replace people with robot nurses and pharmacists. The next area with the biggest demand imbalance is engineering, specifically in the auto, municipal, and energy sectors. These are brick and mortar industries that need skilled people.

    Now look at the big “cloud” companies. Regardless of what you think of the underlying business, companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, are some of the largest representatives of this industry. In terms of headcount per dollar of market cap, they just don’t need a lot of employees.

    Comment by jlai24 -

    • Excellent comment jlai24. Ironically, of the three digital based companies you mentioned, Google, Amazon and Facebook, Amazon is probably the most solid and they sell…drum roll please…. brick and mortar products. Google is probably the second most solid of those three at the moment, and they…drum roll please, advertise a LOT of brick and mortar products.

      And then there’s facebook, which was so concerned about squeezing every last dollar out of their IPO that they overvalued the company and made a lot of initial investors unhappy.

      I believed all along that Facebook was a ten dollar IPO stock that would only grow once small business owners were able to advertise locally with not much hassle, although I never posted my sentiment on my blogs because I don’t believe in putting out bad vibes over IPO’s of such a well known brand specifically because they are a doer and I’m just a commenter.

      Comment by alexlogic -

  30. “the USA has bifurcated into two employment worlds” – ha, I thought you were going to say “Temping and non-Temping.”

    Comment by Jack Everitt -

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  32. All good points Mark. I have known for a long time now that I am becoming a dinosaur. While I have a college education, (construction and civil engineer among other degrees,) I grew up and was educated just before the technological revolution. My skills do not include most of what you blogged about.

    However, there are still people like me, (fortunately,) who are hands on. I can build you any building you want, and I can perform all tasks necessary to accomplish the job myself as well as run any size job. But I do much more as well.

    For instance, when the EPA decertified over 1/3 of all two cycle engines last year with an eye on eliminating all such engines over the next few years, (and ultimately all internal combustion engines eventually,) I went about redesigning the two cycle engine and exhaust systems. Along with my partner we succeeded. Our engines, (used with a two cycle oil we developed,) run very clean with almost no harmful emissions. Our designs can be used for any two cycle application and will solve the problems all manufacturers have in getting their engines certified for sale in this country.

    Our biggest problem is that with all the focus for financing our product for manufacture and sale being directed on tech companies, no one even wants to listen to us. We will find a way to accomplish our goals eventually but it makes it very difficult to bring our products to market with no capital to make it work as it should. We are not alone either. I have talked to others who tell me the same thing. Most venture capitalists, and even financial institutions, only want to hear about tech companies. If you are not tech, no one even wants to hear about it. Too bad too as there are many good products being developed out there that will never make it to market because of a lack of financing.

    There is still a lot that can and should be invented and built that is not tech. While I agree with what you said, we should not look the other way on other opportunities.

    Comment by Rick Murray -

    • Hey Rick Murray, if you can make a prototype design of your product, just ride up to the door of the business you are trying to get attention from while riding your product.

      Comment by alexlogic -

  33. Kurs ücretleri ve kurs fiyatları hakkında geniş bilgi burada. İngilizce okulları hakkında bilgiler mevcut. Okullarda verilen eğitimleri internete taşıyarak sizlere kurslar hakkında bilgiler vermeye çalışıyoruz. İngilizce günümüzde bilinmesi gereken en önemli dillerdendir. Kurs fotoğraf ve videolarını bulabilirsiniz. İngilizce günümüzde bilinmesi gereken en önemli dillerdendir. İngilizce okulları hakkında bilgiler mevcut.istanbul ingilizce kursları

    Comment by Emre Qaraduman -

  34. FInally,an explanation for why my bosses kept getting less and less intelligent every year. I always wondered what that sucking sound was.

    Comment by pope1944 -

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  36. Mark,

    First, big fan! Second, and this relates both to this post and the one prior re: video. Where do my business partner find venture capital for a new web video project? I’ve been tapping people I know for people they know, talking with the SBA SCORE group and we’ve been preparing to show what we’ve got to VC groups. But I’ve got to tell you that it freaks the hell out of me to show strangers our idea.

    As someone who worked their way up, how did you make it through this maze while keeping your ideas secure? (Can you tell this is our first such endeavor?)

    R

    Comment by Rowland (@rowlandville) -

  37. As a person with limited computer software and application skills, I’ve found the transition into the digital world quite challenging. I am a certified teacher who’s decided to write after becoming frustrated with the job seeking process–both in and beyond my community. I’ve specifically lost interest in searching for a full time teaching job for quite sometime, despite being less than broke. I care about myself, and decided not to hope for an interview that won’t happen, again. The anguish after anticipation is too great; it stays with me too long and really gets me down.

    Luckily, I keep up with Education and have recently started to blog about some of my experiences in that realm. I pray and work so that this endeavor will help me to better manipulate the cyber world (cloud) a bit more, and lead me to a job that I feel good about. Already, the steps toward becoming digitally skillful has forced me to think about presentation and representation, which I have started to impart to students that I occasionally tutor. It’s one thing to write prompts in an attempt to improve logic, grammar, and analytical skills. It’s a whole other inception to ask students to sequence the details of their work using pictures from the internet that correspond to their writing, because this component ultimately enables them to communicate in a more concrete way. Furthermore, they will gain a sense of dimension by realizing their range of application skills.

    The idea seems simple in a social media age that allows people to profile themselves in an unlimited number of ways, and to dress their walls and/or various other forums, however they decide. Fortunately, the very real concern about decency, propriety, and the acceptable exist in a not-so-free speech-democracy of the digital world, which forces people to market themselves, accordingly. When a lack of jobs limits spending power and access to the latest and best hardware, however, the divide between the nation’s students remains, even widens. The good news is that good public library services–those not threatened by closures due to a lack of funding–allow the civitas to play and beef-up. In my city, there are programs allowing people to become certified in various computing software. Attendance is still a challenge.

    For my part, I’ll investigate the latest tools and trends for my own improvement, and to share with friends. I really hope that some sensible balance will occur, because people are starting to be overloaded and even invaded by the ever changing demands of the digital beast. I really appreciate this article.

    Comment by barbed -

  38. Mark,

    From a long time basketball fan and digital guy, thanks for writing these blog posts. It’s great that someone as successful and knowledgeable as yourself is willing to share insights and keys to success. Only a hand full of people in the world are privileged enough to be as close to the “action” and/or have the level of experience that you have gained through your ventures.

    Keep it coming. This is good stuff. Wish you would post more often.

    Thanks,

    Zach

    Comment by Zach Barnes -

  39. Yes and no, Mark. Corporations like IBM and Caterpillar have made it a priority to move their operations (and jobs) to lower cost Right-to-Work states in the US like South Carolina (Boeing too), India, and China and this where the jobs went. A job that was paying $25/hr with benefits is now being done for $10/hr or less with no benefits.

    In 2004, IBM for example had 150,000 US employees and 8000 India employees; in 2011 it had 100,000 US employees and 78,000 India employees. Clearly these jobs could have been done in the US, but global corporations want to pay lower wages.

    Likewise, there has been an increase in CEO salaries and executive pensions; the executive management pension plans are far more expensive than the regular pension plans that were for employees.

    And btw, as far as online classes, they’re missing a key component called human interaction between class members and teachers. Very critical to good learning. Otherwise, it’s basically self-teaching, which means teaching becomes a checklist: read, do this, do that, test on Blackboard (or whatever). These classes basically don’t need teachers, and they’re worthless in the end.

    Comment by madhemingway -

  40. ” As the intelligence of the factory is sucked up from the floor the cost of labor falls and makes manufacturing in the US more competitive. Hence we are seeing some manufacturing return to the US which is of course a good thing”…

    Why? Isn’t the only good thing about having manufacturing in the USA the jobs it brings? Isn’t at least part of the reason it’s so expensive to get a plant built here the toxic waste it creates?
    The only good thing about bringing jobless manufacturing back to the US is the reduced shipping cost.

    Comment by vmjfk -

  41. Great stuff Mark

    I’m forwarding to Barry Ritholtz

    You 2 have the best true insights on the Blogosphere.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Comment by Jadog -

  42. Thank you! Well said… simple and practical.

    Comment by Staci Davidson (@StaciDavidson) -

  43. There are some industries where you need to be both in digital and in bricks and mortar, and one of them is publishing, the business I’ve been in for over forty years. The industry is in a transitional phase, moving away from bricks and mortar toward digital every more quickly, but over 80% of the revenues still come from bricks and mortar, so that side of the business cannot be ignored or underemphasized. Whether publishing can succeed solely as digital remains an open question. I doubt myself whether digital can ever displace print entirely because print still has some functionality that digital cannot equal–such as working without electricity!

    Comment by Sanford Gray Thatcher -

  44. Anyone who wants to learn new skills without burdening themselves with debt should check out http://saylor.org it is going to change education for ever.

    Comment by Cris Noble (@Crisnoble) -

  45. My company was formed as a consequence of my vision of the cloud, I own EcoPro Realty Group , based in Portland, OR. Our business plan is simple…Realtors working outside of the brick and mortar …revolutionary for many in 2009 but I could not be happier. Brokerages are extremely conservative businesses and I took the leap and there is no turning back. We have encountered resistance to the business plan from the financing sector …friends and family came to assist us. We are in the midst of expanding nationwide and looking for investors with a vison of the cloud….the sky is the limit. As an added bonus EcoPro Realty Group is THE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE CHOICE since all our Brokers are Green Certified. Mark thank you for validating my business and putting it so effectively. Love you to take a look at my website [http://www.ecoprorealty.com] http://www.ecoprorealty.com

    Comment by elbacox@ecoprorealty.com -

  46. I’d have to agree with Lenny Grover’s comments below. It’s not the platform (bricks/mortar vs cloud) that is pivotal; it’s the intelligence gleaned from analyzing data. For example, Wal-mart succeeds because it exploits information to optimize its supply chain and relationships with partners. Here is a brick and mortar sucking up intelligence to create a great in-store experience for customers.

    However, one advantage the cloud has is that it’s easier to collect data about shopping behavior than a bricks/mortar enterprise. But my gosh, there are a lot of frivolous cloud-based apps out there getting VC money, most of which don’t add any real economic value and probably won’t be around for long. Even Facebook is looking more like a fad, than a real value-added, wealth-creation agent. My teens are using it less and less.

    I just wrote a book about analytical leaders and they say they want people who have a passion for data, solid analytical skills, and the ability/desire to communicate/partner with the business. So Lenny is also right on that score: those are the high-paying jobs of the future.

    One caveat: In Massachusetts, there are some 40,000 unfilled jobs–most of these are for mid-level technicians in healthcare, aeronautics, computing, etc. These are the blue collar jobs of the future but our schools aren’t training our kids for them.

    Your comments about education raise the question about whether schools should train or educate. There is a big difference. (i.e., “Do you want your kids to receive sex training or sex education at school?”) It seems like our culture and economy are gradually embracing the notion that schools should start training kids for jobs. Look at the soaring popularity of Northeastern Univ. in Boston with its co-op program. It’s a win-win for students and employers.

    Ironically, the high-paying analytical skills I mentioned above may be one reason to keep the faith with traditional liberal arts schools, which teach critical thinking skills and push kids to think outside the box. It would be ideal if we required these students to take statistics and programming as required courses so they at least have a base in the jobs of the future.

    The good thing is that universities will be under greater pressure to deliver real economic value for their students. With Northeastern, Lynda.com others leading the way, I hope we’ll see a better balance of theory and pragmatism at top universities and more technical training programs at community colleges.

    Comment by Wayne Eckerson (@weckerson) -

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  48. Right on. We must train our young people about digital entrepreneurship and to have good characters – they’ll never be hungry, they’ll always be able to contribute

    Comment by Ramon Ray (@ramonray) -

  49. Great stuff!

    Comment by Teresa Beauchamp -

  50. And what about people like me, that work in between the digital world and the brick and mortar world? (I’m not really sure if this is your term, or a theorist term; but I disagree with that term). I almost have a degree. I own my printing shop. I love the graphic design. I love digital printing. I love to finishing the things I print on my printers. etc. In the actually world, much people have find the mid way between the digital job and the brick and mortar world. And it’s a really inteligence exercise to union the both sides. And I think it’s a hard exercise of intelligence and beautiful and productive to a human level. And I love it. I’m sure a lot of people love it. It is not always all white or black. Can you see? Regards. Sergio Mercado From Argentina PS: I like some of yours blogs.

    Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2012 03:22:06 +0000 To: sergius_28@hotmail.com

    Comment by Sergio Mercado -

  51. FINALLY!!! A strong voice of reason. Teaching isolated subjects with no real world relevance is NOT working and never will again. WHY does it take so long to close the gap between what we know and what we still do? Real world education is possible with so few people doing it. For once, though, we actually have the chance to run a parallel paradigm – brick and mortar education that changes and digital education…..that would illuminate the condition, as evidence becomes clear that we must combine the best of both. Thanks, Mark. I watch Shark Tank daily to inspire me in my own business growth and development. You are a light!

    Comment by Wanda Taylor -

  52. Mark is right about full employment for college grads: seasonally adjusted July 2012 unemployment rate for those with bachelors degrees or higher: 4.1% (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm).

    Comment by Chad Brand -

  53. I completely agree with pretty much everything you have said here. The one thing I would add is that the education world needs to add financial literacy to it’s curriculum. North America has reached all time highs for debt. Household debt is in the 10’s of thousands. I think that if we began to teach the youth (the debt holder’s of tomorrow!) about the proper usage and impact of financial products, we might all be in a better place these days.

    Comment by sashagerster -

  54. While I think there will always be a need for intelligence in some of the brick and mortar activities, it’s a different type of intelligence. For example, I want a smart mechanic working on my car. I want a smart carpenter working on my house.

    However, what you point out, to me, is that the educational system needs revamping. I doubt that there are many 18 year olds out there who really know what they want to do, so why not spend a couple of years gaining skills which are applicable in the real world rather than following their “passions?” I know what my passions were when I was 18, and they did not involve education.

    In the knowledge economy, I’d rather take experience over book learning. Show me a 22 year old who’s spent 4 years crafting code and has contributed to several open source projects, and I’ll snap that person up over a freshly minted undergraduate in computer science every day of the week. We often had to retrain the college graduates to teach them how to actually develop software – effectively another six months of hands-on education tacked onto the end of a four year university experience.

    Perhaps James Altucher had a decent idea when he railed against going to college: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/02/living-life-is-better-than-dying-in-college/

    Comment by hullfinancial -

  55. Great post… In this line, I think you mean “Latin” and not “Pig Latin”

    “Trust me if Sports Management Majors were good at Pig Latin (And if you think im talking about Igpay Atinlay, you probably could have benefited from a class like this ), they could get far better jobs than they are getting today. When they get them.”

    Because I don’t think Pig Latin would get the sports management majors any further along :)

    Comment by Sheel Mohnot -

  56. I work in the digital world, but I live in a brick and mortar world; unfortunately, one that is governed by the principles of the past 50 years, in which quantity has triumphed over quality. I’m not even talking about good quantity, where iteration results in emergent quality, I’m talking about the worst kind of widget-counting for widget-counting’s sake.

    The brick and mortar world will recover just as soon as business schools figure out and start teaching that it’s not all about quantity. Insert pithy Einstein quote here.

    I’m cautiously optimistic based on the fact that a few throwbacks to the 1950s have survived, and in some cases, thrived despite the onslaught from starbucks, walmart and home depot: mom and pop coffee shops and hardware stores.

    And I’m also hopeful that once computing gets baked holistically into every device on the planet no matter its size, retail might actually look interesting again, as opposed to the complete waste of time and money that are most suburban strip malls. That brick and mortar world deserves to die. One can only hope that what replaces it is a walkable, differentiated, quality-focused, customer-oriented utopia.

    Comment by davidthewatson -

  57. I agree that skills are key. But more fundamental to the higher level skills you are referring to are basic literacy skills. 

    The most comprehensive study of literacy ever commissioned by the U.S. government showed that 21% to 23% of adult Americans were not “able to locate information in text”, could not “make low-level inferences using printed materials”, and were unable to “integrate easily identifiable pieces of information.”

    I believe this skills gap is the real cause of the two different USAs you are referring to.

    If more than 1 in 5 people can’t demonstrate the most basic literacy skills such as these, how are they ever going to become skilled at Ruby on Rails, SEO, oncology nursing, accounting, etc?

    In the end i agree with your point: a focus on RELEVANT SKILLS is sadly missing.

    Comment by hansoo (@hansoo) -

  58. Would you run for VP alongside Obama if he ditched Biden?

    Comment by Eric Fader -

  59. Mark, What must be destroyed is this concept of “learning disability”: Because the academic community can’t impart simple principles to many students they blame it on “learning disability” BS!!!! We’ve evolved over millions of years and one thing we as humans DO NOT HAVE are “learning disabilities” Learning is what makes us human! Each of us learn in our own way perhaps. But, we are ALL very adept at learning. Have you ever wondered how the one room school house produced the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, Benjamin Franklin and so many others. The teacher didn’t have time to get in the way of learning! Much of learning occurs between peers. Think Steve Jobs and Bill Gates! Neither completed their formal education, but they damned sure knew what the other was up to.

    Comment by Bill LaJoie -

  60. Yes the Digital World… Its becoming everything and as data delivery becomes TV or Sports content… A market for TV content and mobile production capabilities have changed elivery pr Well produced shows work best for everyone.

    hat it will break into strange fabrications and multi me

    Troy Scott

    Comment by Troy Scott -

  61. Hey Mark, would love to see a follow up article comparing a satellite economy vs a microwave economy vs a landline economy. Are we slowly disintegrating our landline infrastructure, and could this one day destroy our very way of life were something major to happen to our satellites?

    Or, can Microwaves serve as surrogate satellites, meaning that landlines can go the way of the horse and buggy and if something happened to our satellites, microwave technology could handle the load?

    Is all the new found commerce agility, satellite related? Should there be a back up plan?

    Comment by alexlogic -

  62. “From MC> then why are so many jobs unfilled?”

    Engineering jobs go unfilled b/c businesses say there’s a dearth of qualified applicants, i.e. lack of STEM U.S. grad issue. Some think many postings are fake to push for an increase in H1B visas…don’t know if I buy that 100% but I don’t put it past anyone to pull stuff like that…err, I mean advocate for special interests. But I do think it’s the biggest employer’s market ever and the tightest credit/investing environment in a long time and there’s hesitance to pull the trigger on people. Yet a big appetite to just browse for “perfect” people. I read an article on WSJ a few months back talking about how employers interview perfect fits (using 2005 glasses) but now pass b/c they know they can find even better candidates by waiting.

    Maybe next year some resolution will come re: tax cuts, codes, etc. and resolution on Dodd-Frank, etc. and businesses will do all this “unleashing” of animal spirits (the ones that trickle down I guess) they talk about. Maybe it’ll look more like Jeff Immelt laid out on 60 Minutes, i.e. relax regs and corp taxes and watch me hire 1 person in the US for every 100 outside the US. I don’t know…but I do know that I talk to an asston of recent business grads and most of them can’t find work and have struggled for several months, in some cases longer. They’re not all defective…despite what the knee jerk defensive reactionaries would lead us to believe.

    One other note, Bob Doll – recently retired from Blackrock (SF investment firm) -spoke at an finance/investment conference at a local university. He told a group of finance and accounting students (know your audience?) that unless they’re getting a STEM degree to “enjoy flipping burgers.” Prescient wisdom, indeed.

    Comment by TheDocMontalban (@TheDocMontalban) -

  63. Not true at all. Recent grads in business majors, even where I am in the SF bay area (mecca of the digital world), many, many, many people are struggling to find work (save for elite schools like Stanford or Berkeley, of course). In the digital world you either touch product (engineers, etc) or you sell it (direct or indirect/overlay role). Either of those paths have jobs available if you have experience, especially from a competitor. Otherwise unless you have a strong contact inside of a company you’ve got little or no shot coming from outside a company. With little to no experience (recent grads), it’s bleak. I know there’s only interest in pushing the narrative I’ve heard from you on this before, and there are plenty of people who desperately wish they had your success echoing anything you say, parroting the old “pull yourself up by the bootstraps…I’ve got mine, what’s your problem?’ folks. I’m a big fan always, but I disagree 100%.

    BTW, none of the people of which I speak would be counted as part of the official unemployment statistic that gets kicked around so much. A completely bogus stat that’s served to confuse more than inform here.

    From MC> then why are so many jobs unfilled ?

    Comment by TheDocMontalban (@TheDocMontalban) -

  64. Great insight Mark. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts. BTW, I just got booted from filming on Shark Tank. I was to film this September. Been practicing for months on my pitch. Oh well. Life is still a blessing.

    Here’s the pitch video in case you wanted to see it.
    https://vimeo.com/43305636

    Comment by Jack Scalfani -

  65. Pingback: Which USA do you work in? | {clearly} not astute

  66. “Who is upset ? Professors and administrators  at universities.  Why ? Because some of the classes they have taught for years would be replaced by newbie classes. I personally think a little change in the culture  at schools is a good thing. Stop building and taking on debt and invest in new and relevant courseware. But that is me.”

    Good shit Mark.

    Comment by Ryan Hicks -

  67. The model for these cloud and IT companies today is make something, anything get a few customers and get acquired for the big pay day. So basically the brightest tech guys, and developers are throwing massive amounts of shit against the wall waiting for something to stick. But aside from a few things that make things a little more convenient here and there, with this new tech renaissance does any of this actually create products and services that really improve the quality of our lives?

    Comment by millmatic (@milli3000) -

  68. Excellent article, Mark!

    In this country, everyone forges their own destiny. No one forces you to do anything once you turn 18. That’s why I had no problem leaving academia. The University System hasn’t changed since the Industrial revolution. Now with the Information age beginning to take form, the “Brick & Mortar” establishments you described above will either collapse or learn to innovate.

    I now work in Digital America. I escaped from Texas Tech University to become Founder & CEO of Wufasta. Not having a college degree prevents me from wasting time working in a cubicle. All the work that I do is on my Acer Chromebook. The only software on it is Google Chrome. I can customize it, add apps, etc. If I don’t have internet access, I don’t work- which only happens when I go to visit relatives in New Mexico. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Play Music are all I need to function.

    I just closed my first source of funding from Start Garden. I get $5K and 90 days to test my hypothesis and present the results to determine if I receive any more capital.

    Cheers,
    Nolan

    launch.wufasta.co
    facebook.com/wufasta
    angel.co/wufasta

    Comment by Nolan Clemmons (@Lord_Nolan) -

  69. It is true that there is a lot of innovation in the digital space, and it seems like new “business app” companies are being formed at an incredible pace. However, your assertion that “Every smart company wants to become smarter and the way to do that is…by automating everything” is a bit oversimplified.

    In my opinion, the biggest trend is not “brick and mortar” to “digital” (which is, itself a significant shift), or increased automation, but the pace at which all leading-edge companies are adopting a more data-driven management approach. The “quant” trend started in finance, but it has made its way into supply chain management, marketing/advertising (microtargeting and behavioral analytics), sales (pipeline reporting/forecasting), and essentially every other function in modern companies. Even “sports management” majors have jumped on the bandwagon, as indicated by Billy Beane and Moneyball, and the fact that big-market baseball teams are now employing teams of statisticians.

    A lot of the “app economy” is driven by the frothy financing environment we find ourselves in. What percentage of those companies could exist without outside financing? VC funds are raising less money than in previous quarters; that is a leading indicator that such capital will no longer be as readily available.

    The rapidly growing, “job of the future”, is precisely that function which you deride: “employees to communicate orally or in writing to management,” specifically the output of advanced business analytics that can drive further efficiencies in their businesses. Human intellect is required to direct, run, and interpret the output of these analytics; now that businesses of all types are finally jumping on the bandwagon, my guess is data analysis related functions will be the fastest growing occupation category, percentage-wise, (even outpacing software/app developers) over the next decade. I’m not quite ready to make a “Mitt Romney bet” on that, though.

    One thing we can both agree on; the world definitely needs more STEM majors or other people with a solid understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.

    From MC> actually you make my point. there are jobs for people who know how to report and act on the data being created. It just confirms the fact that intelligence is being moved from the floor to the cloud. And far as VCs, there is an explosion of money in the angel and follow up stages of tech companies. Why put big dollars into a VC when you can invest in far more companies with far greater upside and have far less capital at risk ?

    Comment by Lenny Grover (@lennygrover) -

  70. “In the other world, the digital world, the non-brick and mortar world, there is negative unemployment. Thats right there are far more jobs than there are people to fill them.”

    Seems that people are just creating jobs for themselves and not filling them. Digital products, services, and affiliate marketing, etc are ways people are making money…again, for themselves.

    Comment by JT -

  71. I love you, Mark! My favorite Shark. I am a tech savvy gramma creating a service online and I have been saying to my peers…the work is in the internet world. You have to go where the jobs are, brick and mortar jobs frustrate because you are not supposed to use your brain.

    In fact if you use your brain, they think you are a trouble maker! Ha Ha!

    Like I said, this grandma loves ya’ Mark!

    Off to create a little magic!
    Catherine

    Comment by Catherine Behan -

  72. That was incredibly well written for a post from a Blackberry device.

    If you typed it, I think I could probably recommend some free Adobe Flash based games to help you improve on your basic typing skills. Condescending prat.

    Comment by Dyllys Yoyng -

  73. After 25 years working in the digital domain I’ve recently tried switching to a “brick and mortar” industry, designing and prototyping products for inventors. The creation of real world products is considerably more enjoyable to me but the lure of 3x salary in the digital domain is hard to resist. And as you mentioned, there simply isn’t a market demand for brick and mortar services. I don’t know if I can make it in the “real world”.

    Comment by GuerrillaEyesight (@GuerrillaEyes) -

  74. Completely agree and just to throw in my 2 cents. Most of my friends are business majors attending top tier schools as undergrads but they often come back to tell me that everything they learned in their classes was barely – if at all, of any use in their internships and new jobs. Having classes with real work exposure is definitely a way for students to step out of being just “book smart” and instead having practical knowledge.

    P.S. cant wait for the next season of Shark tank woo

    Comment by Deepak Khanna (@dpkhanna) -

  75. Reblogged this on Stats in the Wild.

    Comment by statsinthewild -

  76. Good observation. I’ve thought about this, but didn’t see it this way. Good read, thanks.

    Comment by patjk -

  77. Your entry reminds me of this GREAT T.E.D. talk on the nature of hard work:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_rowe_celebrates_dirty_jobs.html

    Brad Hines
    http://www.bradfordhines.com T: @BradHines

    Comment by Brad Hines -

  78. I am a founding member of one of those cloud based business and have gained so much experience from the entrepreneurs around me. Part of this has been having the pleasure of working in a collaborative tech environment, but the other part is because I’ve managed to surround myself with people who are determined, dedicated, and driven to be successful.

    These three things have instilled new values in my mind and I am addicted to the thrill of building something amazing.

    Point here is, just being a part of this kind of business is exciting and stimulating. I work everyday just to re-realize how much we are accomplishing everyday. There aren’t many brick/mortar places that you can say the same for.

    Great post, thanks!

    Comment by Roberto Villarreal (@iamrobertv) -

  79. Teachers and educators are stuck in the brick & mortar world, so that’s what they teach. To lead by example.

    In the future, I believe, most (or the successful) educators will be online.

    Millions are self-taught every year thanks to services like lynda.com

    Comment by richardhanleyjr -

  80. Always enlightening, informative and educational to read your posts, sir. We’re very fortunate to have you with us. Thank you and please keep your posts coming.

    Comment by oakraidfan -

  81. Agree with most of what you are saying here. There are still some of us techies creating new electronic devices, synthesizing chemicals, working on cures for cancers, etc. that need qualified hands-on science majors.

    Comment by Susakajo (@susakajo) -

  82. Absolutely, Mark. There is opportunity everywhere. I run a consulting agency driven by cloud-based data sharing, skype communication, and real-time collaboration. Each of the businesses that I work with are brick & mortar. These two layers of a) tech savviness and b) actual sales combine for a potent means of sustainable business.

    Comment by Web Smith (@web) -

  83. I agree 100% , with MIT Open coursewear, Stanford Harvard and the top Ivy League schools giving away their classes for free, it is unbelievable the amount of opportunity that is available right now. There has never been this much opportunity in the history of the world if you ask me. I am currently taking Lynda.com classes while sucking up as much free info from MIT and the like… Great post!

    Comment by Nader Dabit -

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