The Opportunity is Here: The Realisation is Now


Research and statistics show that a lot of people are frustrated with the economic world and are pessimistic about the future. They’re losing patience with the economy, with their prospects, with their political leaders for being unable to create jobs.

In the USA you have movements such as the Occupy Wall Street, in Europe there are protests (mainly by youth) against governments as a result of Eurozone debt crisis, in certain countries, capitalist minded presidents and parties are replaced by social minded presidents and parties. In South Africa, we have highest rate of service delivery protests. Xenophobic attacks are a sign that people are fighting for limited jobs and resources.

What’s actually happening is this: we are realising that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending.

It’s one thing to read about the changes the internet brought and in newspaper, but it’s another to experience them. People who thought they had a valuable skill or degree have discovered that being an anonymous middleman doesn’t guarantee job security.

Individuals who were trained to comply and follow instructions have discovered that the deal is over… and it is not their fault, because they have always done what they were told.

How do you explain to mining workers who followed instructions and did what their boss told them that they will be retrenched in a few weeks?

It’s not fair of course. It’s not fair to train for years, to pay your taxes, to invest in a house or a career and then suddenly see it fade.

For a while, politicians and organisations promised that things would get back to normal. Those promises are not enough, though, and it’s clear to many that this might be the new normal. In fact, it is the new normal.

I regularly hear from people who say, “enough with this conceptual stuff, tell me how to get my factory moving, my day job replaced, my consistent salary restored…” There’s an idea that somehow, if we just do things with more effort or skill, we can go back to the days of “business as usual” and mass markets and mediocre products that pay off for years. It’s not an idea, though, it’s a myth.

Some people insist that if we focus on “business fundamentals” and get “back to basics,” all will return. Not so. The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.

It takes a long time for a generation to come around to significant revolutionary change. The newspaper business, the steel business, law firms, the car business, the music and record label businesses, even computers… one by one, our industries are being turned upside down, and so quickly that it requires us to change faster than we would like.

Complaining and whining is not a scalable solution.

It’s unpleasant, it’s not fair, but it’s all we have got. The sooner we realise that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we have got.

The industrial revolution is over, we are now living in the startup revolution whereby the people who will bring change are people who will start something new, innovation and something that matters.

The startup revolution brings lots of opportunities to pick yourself up. The reason people don’t see these opportunities is because people are still stuck in looking for a boss, in looking for someone to tell them what to do.

The days of looking and waiting for a boss to tell which instructions to follow are over. You are in charge now, you run your own career, and that’s the scary part, because we have not been taught that.

The realisation is now.


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