The future doesn't look bright for large corporations which give vast numbers of people employment.

I saw the face of the future when I realized that Craigslist brought in $100,000,000 or so (according to the NY Times in 2009) but had fewer than 25 employees, and none of them in customer service, as anyone who's had a beef with the service soon finds out.

The ideal company is exemplified by a successful consultant who pulls in millions of dollars but carries no employees, I suppose. However, not every company can be that lean and mean. Still, the idea is to maximize profits while minimiizing expenditures on bothersome things like a staff, is it not?

What does the future hold, given the incredible advances technology has made, is making, and will make in the future, making it easier to do so many things without needing other people, which is another way of saying, "without giving someone else a job"?

But it's not just corporations big and small killing jobs. Each and every one of us is doing it every day.

From this article:

The curve of change -- which I boil down to 6 “d’s” -- is exponential because culture makes progress cumulative. Innovation occurs as humans share ideas. You build on my idea; I build on yours.

We’ve gone from transmission of ideas through storytelling around the campfire to print to Kodak photographic film and now to digital. Anything that becomes digital -- biological, medicine, manufacturing and so on -- hops on to Moore’s law of increasing computational power, which he said would double every 12 to 24 months. This has remained true for the last 60 years when he first posited it.

Once a product or a service becomes digital, it is exponentially empowered. Thus, digitalization is the first “d.”

The second “d” is deception. Exponential growth usually remains hidden from most observers when it gestates in small increments before it starts doubling.

That is when disruption takes place, because any innovation that creates a new market disrupts an old one. We have seen how digital pixels replaced Kodak analog film cameras that needed photographic chemicals and paper. At its height, Kodak had 144,000 employees and a $10 billion market capitalization. Today, Instagram has the same market cap with only 13 employees.

Kodak’s fate is an example of another “d” -- demonetization. Digital pictures cost nothing to take or transmit once you’ve got a smartphone.

The smartphone is a prime example of dematerialization -- its functions replace in one small device the computing power of old IBM machines that filled whole rooms, landline phones, cameras and watches.

When the cost falls so dramatically with dematerialization, you get democratization -- smartphones are affordable to billions of people empowered now as never before with devices that were once only available to a few. Democratization is the logical result of demonetization and dematerialization.

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What do you think about growth. Is it something every economy should have as a goal?

Ignoring growth would be extremely foolish, however the goal should be sustainable equitable growth (in my humble opinion).

I just wonder if an economy, like a person, reaches a state of maturity such that no further growth is possible or even healthy.

Whats your reasoning behind that?

It would be awful to realize that, just as you are about to shuffle off, things are probably getting much, much better.

Perhaps you should spend a minute introspecting, something I'm quite sure you are able to. Is your pessimism about the future down to some discernible evidence, or merely a facet of you growing old and having death move closer?

@DG - My reasoning is that resources have limits. Species can become so successful that their environment can no longer support them. Seems economies operate under similar restrictons.

@Arcus - Surely you can do better than referencing my age as an argument. LOL

Are things actually getting better? For whom? More kids than ever are graduating only to find no job waiting for them. This is a problem not just in the US, but it's even worse elsewhere where unemployment is very high for young adults.

What we consume change over time - the stone age didn't end because a lack of stone. The vast majority, and only stable source, of economic growth is better technology. 

As for age, it is an important factor. Naturally, one grows more pessimistic as ones own end closes in. I previously stated that, according to the only reliable evidence we have, there will be a solution. You blithely disregarded it, thus it seems that the questioning is due to your weltanschauung.   

Its a question of the size of the system, and whether participants will leave the system for better opportunities and other factors beside available resources.

Most organizations have a limited number of leaders that determine policy and direction. So if you want to be president of a small company, but there is a current president who will never step down, you might be SOL. But if you could start a competitive company you might be happy. Or if you could accept the conditions, you could be content, if not happy.

Creativity, greed, and moral flexibility also factor in. You could start a new exciting direction for the company, expanding their ability to grow. You could forego the presidency and focus on what other things could make you the most money. Or you could stay and usurp the current president in various diabolical ways.

In the sense of an individuals role in an economy, there is no such thing as a net zero game. There are always options, just some less appealing than others.

Yes, I'm not sure what the fascination of some folks is with eliminating growth.  I think in their mind they mix up population growth with economic growth (because the two are obviously correlated), and they see population growth correctly as unsustainable without off-planet colonization or resources.

Economic growth, however, is a different thing, because it includes the introduction of new goods and services which raise the standard of living. So you could have zero population growth, but introduce refrigeration and presto you have economic growth as people buy refrigerators, and refrigeration enables food storage and broader food transportation, and quality of life improves.

A short, but insightful video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Pq-S557XQU

@Melvinotis - ...Creativity, greed, and moral flexibility also factor in. You could start a new exciting direction for the company, expanding their ability to grow. 

I don't know what scares me more, moral inflexibility or moral fexibility. Which scares YOU more?

@Dr. Bob - 

Yes, I'm not sure what the fascination of some folks is with eliminating growth.  I think in their mind they mix up population growth with economic growth (because the two are obviously correlated), and they see population growth correctly as unsustainable without off-planet colonization or resources.

Economic growth, however, is a different thing, because it includes the introduction of new goods and services which raise the standard of living. So you could have zero population growth, but introduce refrigeration and presto you have economic growth as people buy refrigerators, and refrigeration enables food storage and broader food transportation, and quality of life improves.

Economic growth implies a growing need for limited resources, does it not? Whether it be coal or petroleum or lithium or titanium, none of them will last forever and place an ultimate limit on growth.

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