Bill Gates made some news recently when he called for a tax on Robots. This is a trendy idea these days, as everyone from Tech CEOs to French Presidential candidates are discussing ways to manage, if not mitigate, the seemingly inevitable impact of automation. Pick your pop culture reference - whether it’s going to be the Singularity (techno-utopia) or Skynet (techno-dystopia), this is coming to a neighbourhood near you. As William Gibson puts it, “the future is already here; it’s just not widely distributed yet.”
“Time is the ultimate luxury.” -- When my Tesla S-driving, Panerai watch-wearing, Venice Beach-living friend said that the other day, I leaned in. Despite living on the Pacific Ocean and rocking a dream job, my buddy also often found himself harried and hurried by constant work trips, 80 hour weeks and 1 youngster at home with one on the way. He was lifestyle-rich and time-poor.
Frederick Smith, the CEO of FedEx, was once asked what he thought his company did. At first glance, it seems like a stupid question; FedEx is the world’s premier shipping and courier service. But according to company lore, the business really took off when the CEO realized that they weren’t actually in the express package business.
For 10 glorious days, I decamped to a cottage and left behind TV, txt messages and Twitter. I swapped car horns and cable news for loons and lakes. It was peaceful and incredibly pleasant ... but not right away. It was hard to take it easy.
What the global economy, Blockbuster, going solo, hook-up culture, asynchronous intimacy, the Apple Maps app and ‘Homeland’ all have in common. What if our 'living models' are being disrupted today as much as business models have been? This is exactly what's happening, only it may not be as obvious.
Did you know that for the first time ever, a majority of Americans (51%) today are single? Today, young people are texting instead of talking, sexting instead of playing spin the bottle, surfing internet porn instead of sneaking peeks at Playboy magazines.