Creative Destruction Sometimes Leads to Sabotage and Suicide

While Silicon Valley welcomes the fantastic news of a Facebook IPO today and the countless millionaires it will create it is worth reflecting on creative destruction thriving in the business world where new generations of companies win at the expense of the old.

In a way the iPad is the evolution of computing where the PC market led by Apple and IBM destroyed the Wang word processor and the typewriter before it. If Wang invented a tablet it would have a green screen and be character based – not too user friendly.

Still, for workers who have to deal with job loss and declining working conditions as a result of such transitions it is a tough challenge. Suicides and Sabotage are detailed in this article titled LA Times: Layoffs, Sabotage and Suicides?

There is a common theme here and it is that information work is still in demand while tasks involving manual labor are on the decline.

This is a similar transition the US faced when we moved from blacksmiths making horseshoes to factory workers putting fenders on cars.

The challenge we have is there are tens of millions of people who didn’t grow up in the electronic age – they have to immerse themselves in tech if they want a chance at getting a piece of the booming new high-tech economy.

Everyone needs a safety net and spending an hour a day after work to become technically savvy is just like buying a career insurance policy.

In a former life I was in IT and my job was to train people how to use computers – I can tell you that at around age 40 – the brain seems to go through a transformation where it becomes difficult to learn tech. So really, whatever you do for a living,
you really owe it to yourself to learn as much about technology as you can. Learn HTML, program web pages, learn web design, Start a blog, tweet like crazy.

These skills may become valuable if your day job becomes obsolete.


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