President Trump’s New Economy Challenge (Part 8 of 20). Jobenomics deals with the economics of small business and job creation. Consequently, having a businessman as president and a cabinet full of business executives is likely to be a big plus for businesses and the labor force. For the most part, Jobenomics is pleased with the business orientation of the Trump Administration. On the other hand, Jobenomics is perplexed by the lack of discussion, planning and policies regarding the revolution in network and digital technologies (called the Network Technology Revolution, or NTR) that are giving rise to the emerging digital economy. Via the creative and disruptive effects of the NTR, the global economy is transforming from the 20th Century’s “old economy” to the 21st Century’s digital economy, commonly known as the “new economy.” Today, the United States’ economy is approximately 95% old (industrially-oriented) and 5% new (digitally-oriented) as a percent of GDP. However, the U.S. digital economy is growing at rates of 15% to 20% per year and is likely to be equal in size to the old economy by 2030. Global competition for digital economy dominance has already begun. Even though U.S. technology is at the heart of the NTR and the emerging digital economy, the United States is not as competitive as it should be considering our technical supremacy.
Industrial Revolution (IR) transformed America from an agricultural-based society to an industrial-based juggernaut. WWII and post-WWII Military Technology Revolution (MTR) underpinned the creation of the largest superpower on the planet. The 1980s Information Technology Revolution (ITR) ushered in an information age of prosperity and international commerce that made the United States an unequalled economic superpower. Today, the Network Technology Revolution (NTR) is transforming the global economy. Like the IR, MTR and ITR, the NTR could lead to the creation of millions of U.S. businesses and tens of millions of new American jobs, as well as countless economic and social benefits.
The Network Technology Revolution (NTR) is defined by Jobenomics as a “perfect storm” of next-generation network and digital technologies that will (1) transform economies, (2) revamp existing institutions, businesses, labor forces and governments, (3) institute new and different ideas, beliefs, behaviors and cultures, and (4) change the very nature of human endeavor and work.
The nascent NTR already has been brilliantly innovative and creatively disruptive. The more creative the NTR becomes the more destructive it will be. From an American outlook, with the proper focus and leadership, the NTR can create millions of new U.S. small business and tens of millions of jobs. Left unattended, unstructured and unplanned, the NTR is likely to render half of the U.S. workforce obsolete in the near future. From a global perspective, the NTR can be even more transformational.
The power of the NTR should not be underestimated or understated. What took centuries to transform in the Agricultural Age and decades in the Industrial Age, now takes years to transform in the emerging Network Age. Computing power increased 400,000 fold since the advent of the first microprocessor in 1971. Today, half of the world’s population carries a smartphone with the power of a 1980s room-size supercomputer. This super-colossal, miniaturized, proliferated and customized power is poised to transform society exponentially more via a perfect storm of over three dozen emerging, revolutionary NTR technologies, systems, processes and services.
Even in today’s fledgling stage of development, the NTR’s impact is extraordinary. At maturity, the NTR’s future impact is likely to be somewhere between phenomenal and cataclysmic. Some of the world’s leading technical thinkers (Steven Hawking, Bill Gates, Elon Musk) believe that the perfect storm of NTR technologies, systems, processes and services can potentially pose an “existential threat” to mankind when machines achieve the level of general human intelligence—the point of “singularity”—which could arrive as early as mid-Century.
The NTR is characterized by a “perfect storm” of dozens of highly advanced technologies, systems, processes and services including big data (datasets that are too large to efficiently handle), cloud computing (practice of using a network of remote servers hosted in data centers to store, manage, and process big data), semantic webs (thinking websites), synthetic reality (blending of the virtual and natural worlds), mobile computing (proliferation of smart mobile devices and micro-devices), ubiquitous computing (embedding microprocessors in everyday objects to communicate without human interaction), quantum computing (harnessing the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks), 5G broadband networks (50-fold speed increases and 1000-fold data volume improvements), geo-location (the process of determining the location of an entity by means of digital information processed via the Internet), near-field communications and beacons (short-range wireless technology that connects devices), inductive charging (electromagnetic wireless charging of devices, micro-devices and nano-devices), spatial sensing (real-time detection, measuring, mapping and analysis of objects in relationship to the environment), computer vision and pattern recognition (training computers to gain high levels of understanding from digital images and videos and recognizing patterns and regularities in the data), natural language processing and speech recognition (the ability of a computer program, machine or intelligent agent to understand and respond to human speech), data mining and predictive analysis (using advanced algorithms to analyze large databases to make predictions about unknown future events), machine learning (systems that can learn and teach each other), transfer learning (machine “reasoning” that takes lessons learned from past human experiences and applies it digital domains), deep learning (an artificial intelligence technique allowing machines to extract patterns from big data in the same manner that the human brain does), robotics (automated machines capable of movement), telepresence and telechirs (operating machines remotely to sense and create an effect or control), nanobotics (also called nanomachines, nanoids, nanites and nanomites are microscopic self-propelled machines with a degree of autonomy and reproductive capability at the molecular level), chatbots (web robots that run automated tasks or simulate conversations with users), mechatronics (technology combining electronics and mechanical engineering), memetics (machines that can create memes to mimic cultural traits and ideas), biometrics (agents that can identify and track biological traits), smart cards (credit card-like devices that can send and store personal and identifying material), blockchains (distributed digital economy public ledgers), fintech (financial technology oriented to transforming incumbent financial institutions and corporations), multifactor credentialing (automated authentication and identification of crowds, individuals and intelligent agents), emotive surveillance and management (systems that analyze and manage emotions), identity management (controlling user access and restoring damaged online identities), anonymity networks (networks that enable users to block or trace data and identities), ambient intelligence (when formerly dumb or mute objects are given the ability to communicate), artificial intelligence (or AI, intelligent algorithms and agents that will augment human interactions), and intelligence agents (AI agents that replace or supersede the need for human intervention and actions).
The NTR is also giving rise to a Digital Economy that is based on digital and networked technologies. From a Jobenomics perspective there are a dozen unique but intertwined economic communities within the Digital Economy. The E/M Economy consists of electronic and mobile commerce that is transforming economies, government, business and society via network and digital technology, systems, processes and services. The Sharing Economy is a new wave of peer-to-peer, access-driven businesses that are characterized by the ability of individuals to rent or borrow goods rather than buy and own them or to quickly fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. On-Demand Economy is defined as commerce created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services. The App/Bot/AI Economy refers to the range of economic activity surrounding intelligent web-based applications. App (applications) are the digital interface through which we live, work and play and the primary way we engage with media, brands and ultimately with each other. A Bot, also known as a web robot, an internet chatbot or simply bot, is an interactive, artificial intelligence-driven software application that runs automated tasks or simulates a conversation to deliver text-, voice- or video-based information to a user via a networked device. App/Bot/AI Economy (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software that is able to do things normally done by people. The Platform Economy encompasses NTR-enabled social, business and government activities. Currently the platform economy is defined by the major players in the industry such as Apple, Google, Facebook and other major network-centric corporations. A Gig/Contingent Workforce Economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. A Data-Driven Economy involves accessing and exploiting information and knowledge contained in big-data pools to maximize operational efficiencies and reduce costs. The Internet of Everything Economy brings together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before—turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for nations, businesses and individuals.
The NTR will create or dismantle tens of millions of businesses and billions of jobs globally. Countries with a forward-looking national NTR strategy will garnish the bulk of the newly emerging digital jobs and businesses. According to the Center for Global Enterprise, there are 176 transformative NTR platform companies worldwide, each with a market valuation of over $1 billion, worth a total of $4.3 trillion in 2016. China and the United States dominate with 64 and 63 major platform companies respectfully. U.S. platform companies are foundational in terms of innovation and transformation. U.S. foundational platform companies created the innovative and disruptive digital platforms on top of which other firms develop complementary technologies, systems, processes and services.
To a large extent, China’s platform companies are built on U.S. foundational platforms. However, unlike their U.S. counterparts, China’s platform companies are applying NTR-related technology, systems, processes and services within a government-backed strategic framework to mass-produce small businesses and jobs in order to raise 700 million Chinese rural poor out of poverty. To a lesser extent, these types of strategies are being promulgated in many other parts of the world. From a Jobenomics perspective, U.S. policy-makers and platform-CEOs need to concentrate America’s exceptional NTR abilities on developing a state-of-the-art, network-centric ecosystem that will enable Americans to become self-sufficient and competitive in the emerging global digital economy.
America is blessed to be the home of NTR platform giants like Apple, HP, Facebook, Google, CISCO, Amazon, Microsoft, eBay and dozens of other NTR companies. While U.S. NTR giants are making great technical advancements in communication, media and entertainment, foreign countries in Asia and Europe are using U.S. technology to develop their labor forces and economies to a much greater degree than in the United States. As corporate citizens, U.S. NTR companies need to assume a much greater role in developing their domestic workforce that is capable of competing and prospering in the emerging global digital economy. From a Jobenomics perspective, NTR CEOs should take the lead (i.e., the responsibility) for creating a minimum of 10 million net new U.S. jobs within the next decade via the creation of network-centric small, micro and self-employed American businesses.
If Apple used its energy to create NTR-optimized startup services, tens of millions of more Americans (and billions of people around the world) could be given the opportunity to build a business. If Facebook monetized social networks, tens of millions of new careers could be created. If CISCO would spend a small portion of time and effort developing the Internet of Business as compared to the Internet of Things, millions of new businesses could be created. The same is true of Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, as well as the rest of the American NTR platform giants. Together, these companies could create untold numbers of new U.S. jobs and micro-businesses that would mitigate the erosion of the middle-class, provide new career paths for the digital generation, and create meaningful income opportunities and livelihoods for the ever growing contingent workforce.
While the United States leads in the technological arena, America lags in other areas, due to laissez faire government strategic planning, regressive policies, onerous regulations that restrict small business growth as well as an “old economy” default position by policy-makers and decision-leaders. Tens of millions of American jobs can either be created or lost by 2030 depending on America’s approach to mitigating the disruptive nature of the NTR and maximizing business and jobs creation prospects afforded by emerging NTR technologies, processes and systems in regard to the new economy.
In conclusion, with the proper focus and leadership, an American NTR national initiative can create millions of new small business and tens of millions of jobs. Left unattended, unstructured and unplanned, the NTR is likely to render half of the U.S. workforce obsolete in the near future. A national NTR and digital economy plan, led by the Trump Administration, is needed to maximize labor force gains and minimize labor force losses.
Stay tuned for the next installment in the President Trump’s New Economy Challenge series entitled, “President Trump’s New Economy Plan?” scheduled for release on 5 March 2017.
About Jobenomics: Jobenomics deals with economics of business and job creation. The non-partisan Jobenomics National Grassroots Movement’s goal is to facilitate an environment that will create 20 million net new middle-class U.S. jobs within a decade. The Movement has a following of an estimated 20 million people. The Jobenomics website contains numerous books and material on how to mass-produce small business and jobs. Monthly website traffic exceeds one-half million hits, which is indicative of the high level of public interest regarding economic, business, labor force and workfare solutions. For more information, see Jobenomics Overview and the Author’s Biography.