#139. More New Economy NewsPosted on
More New Economy News
One minute, humankind is hunting and gathering; the next, we’re harvesting amber waves of grain. Then all of a sudden we’re building infrastructure and factories like crazy, but pretty soon everyone’s racing down the information superhighway.
So what, you wonder, is next?
Well, Intuit and the Institute for the Future have done some thinking about just that question, and what they see coming is yet another economic transformation. It’s got small businesses popping up by the millions, all of them in need of someone who knows accounting, finance, payroll and other aspects of business management and administration. The Intuit- IFTF report foresees a new economy increasingly composed of micro-businesses led by a much more diverse bunch of entrepreneurs.
Once again, baby boomers will bring about a widespread change. Coming out of corporate environments, either by retirement or displacement, they will continue to work by doing their own thing with skills honed from previous careers. Often, they will be applying their skills to hobbies that they have turned into businesses. Many will apply business skills to projects aimed at saving a little piece of the world.
Baby Boomers have an unprecedented set of attributes:
- * They have capital, though possibly not pensions.
- * They have skills, though relatively weak in new technologies.
- * They want to work part-time, though to this generation of hyper-doers, that may mean 40 hours a week.
- * They have a vast network of contacts.
- * They know the traditional ways of doing business.
- * They know every trick in the book.
At the same time, their grandchildren will come charging into the work world. As the first of the truly digital generation, their childhoods involve computers and the Internet in the way previous generations used crayons and coloring books. They’ll have instinctive skills in research, multi-tasking and working physically alone while networked with a far-flung constellation of colleagues. They’ll be doing big business on small computers.
The youngest generation of workers has their own special set of attributes:
- * They don’t have much capital, but probably don’t need much.
- * They have lightning-quick tech skills, but may be a bit weak on people skills.
- * They have little desire to join big corporations.
- * They may have started a business before graduating from high school.
- * They may have taken courses in entrepreneurialism in college.
- * They know every trick that’s not in the book.
At the same time, immigrants will become a powerful driver of entrepreneurialism. In fact, they already are. Because of workplace prejudices, language problems, sheer energy and a certain desperation, they start businesses far more often than native residents of the United States.
It would be unwise to overlook the special attributes of immigrants:
- * They have contacts in foreign countries.
- * They have knowledge of foreign languages and cultures.
- * They experience difficulties with the English language and “the American way” (whatever that is).
- * They have an exceptional urge to succeed.
- * They have little capital.
- * They have a drive to earn money, not indulge in hobbies or social involvement.