It is official – my company will be converting our client-server business software to a new cloud based system later this year. The contract was signed this week. My boss and I knew our company’s owners would decide to make the conversion someday, but we thought (were hoping) it wouldn’t be quite so soon.
After the announcement was made, one of our company owners told me both my boss and I spend too much time entering and manipulating data. There are more important things we should be working on. He also mentioned that 50% of our employees would not embrace this change and was hoping some of the curmudgeon’s would retire. (I wrote more about this in my post Do software conversions force older employees into retirement?
My immediate reaction was skepticism and a fear of the unknown. How will my job change? Will I have enough work to do if the reports I spend hours creating are automatically produced?
Fortunately, I was comforted by Peter Thiel’s book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. He writes:
Americans fear technology in the near future because they see it as a replay of the globalization of the near past. But the situations are very different: people compete for jobs and for resources; computers compete for neither. (pg. 141)
Computers are far more different from people than any two people are different from each other: men and machines are good at fundamentally different things. People have intentionality – we form plans and make decisions in complicated situations. We’re less good at making sense of enormous amounts of data. Computers are exactly the opposite they excel at efficient data processing, but they struggle to make basic judgments that would be simple for any human. (pg. 143)
I wish my company’s owners would read this quote:
The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete. (pg. 141)
It appears my job’s focus in the future will be on interpreting data which I do enjoy, rather than creating spreadsheets which I must admit at times can be mind-numbingly boring. I need to remember
Worry and regret never solves tomorrow’s problems and only drains away energy from today. James AltucherThis post is the first in a new series I am implementing called, “Staying relevant over 50.” A few years ago, I read a statement claiming advertisers don’t market to the over 54 age group because this group is no longer relevant. My ultimate goal of this series, other than providing relevancy suggestions and tips, is to prove these advertisers are wrong.
How do you recommend staying relevant over 50?
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