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Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
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MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
8/12/2013 | 3:42:30 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
Possibly, and there were those who thought Apple was over when they fired Jobs the first time. Rarely however are net job figures published and one of the few statistics that are available is unemployment per capita which has almost a decade long negative tendency (not only US but internationally). Companies continue to hold do more with less as a guiding mantra and I don't believe it is finite which after reaching a certain point becomes a negative impact.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
8/9/2013 | 4:50:19 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
But what about the jobs that Google and eBay themselves have created since they were founded? And what about all the jobs created within the Google and eBay ecosystems? Just because they've cut jobs at companies they've acquired doesn't mean they're net job destroyers. And your example of Motorola Mobility--that business may have gone belly up without Google's acquisition. It was headed the way of Nokia.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
8/9/2013 | 3:44:53 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
I would like to believe that innovation and disruption as defined in the article also creates jobs not just destroy them, however, history would indicate that simply is not reality. Using your own eBay example, we recall this headline from CNNMoney (as well as others) last fall "EBay's PayPal cuts 445 jobs?" How about this year's Google announcement in Huff Post, "Google's Motorola Mobility Layoffs:1,200 More Workers In U.S., China And India Lose Their Jobs."
Not saying it does not create some jobs, I just question if it creates as many as it eliminates and at what level as I see the middle class shrinking, the upper diminishing in numbers, and the lower increasing.
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2013 | 1:57:54 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
The thing is, every industry is in some way going to be disrupted by digital progress even if it's not existential (as is the case for newspapers). I have been writing and speaking about insurers' preparations for a new world of customer interaction a lot over the past few months. Many are committed to the agent channel Gă÷ but it's clear that consumers do not want to buy products that way. Insurers, however, still require a certain amount of customization and consultation in the application process in order to identify the risk correctly. The end result is that consumers simply don't buy the right insurance product Gă÷ especially when it comes to things like life insurance where the need at age 28 or 32 isn't really quantifiable. So insurers must try and find the right balance between facilitating online interaction and leveraging the power of the local agent to identify and sell the right product to the right customer. Some are doing much better than others in this way Gă÷ but all have to do it.
NJ Mike
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NJ Mike,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2013 | 1:50:10 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
Well said!!! Any technological advancement causes disruption. The invention of the refridgerator put the iceman out of business. The convenience store put the milk man out of business and so forth.
While this disruption is painful to those whose jobs are eliminated, in the big picture, it frees them to do something else to add to the economy. In colonial times and soon thereafter (1700's and 1800') , over 90% of the people in US were involved in agriculture. But technological advancements made workers more productive, freeing them to do something else.
The danger with public policy "experts" trying to stop this is they deal with just what is seen. They would preserve the iceman's job because that can be seen. But what can't be seen is what else that iceman could have done. This may sound harsh, and uncaring, but let's face it, this is capitalism, and it has created the highest standard of living in history.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/8/2013 | 8:09:22 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
To accelerate meaningful action from policymakers, someone needs to develop an automated politician and to have that robot win an election.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/8/2013 | 7:47:57 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
I was talking about this broad trend today with people from higher education at the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Wisconsin. The parallel between newspapers giving away content online and universities giving away courses online is fairly close and uncomfortable for faculty who see the potential for higher education to be hollowed out the same way newspapers have. Yet ours is not necessarily the first generation to encounter technological disruption.

Richard Baraniuk, the founder of open educational resources initiatives based at Rice University, says it goes back to Plato ranting about the invention of writing, which disrupted the tradition of oral history and was obviously going to ruin education (because people would no longer have to memorize as much if they could write it down). Presumably, that put some people out of work, too, if they couldn't make the transition.
UberGoober
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UberGoober,
User Rank: Strategist
8/8/2013 | 7:42:28 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
Sorry, Steve, but history has shown that it is NOT a public policy problem. If it were, we'd still be subsidizing the buggy whip makers put out of business by the rise of the automobile. Even the Strategic Mohair Reserve wouldn't die until the mid-90s.

I'll also mention that I had a sticker on a school notebook in the late '60s that said "You can be replaced by a pushbutton!" Indeed, millions were displaced by computers, but if you want to go back to a world where companies have vast rooms full of desks with clerks punching numbers into manual adding machines, you could only be classed as a low-grade moron. The market, not the government, created tens of millions of jobs during the 80s and 90s, largely due to the disruption caused by all that new improved technology.

I wish that the government was good as social engineering, as I believed it was when I was a child, but it is AWFUL at picking winners and losers. The realization is one of the disappointments of growing up.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
8/8/2013 | 6:09:39 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
Of course, there are no pat answers, so I don't want to suggest that I have them. But technology innovation and disruption create jobs; they don't just destroy them. Google, Amazon, eBay, Facebook and even less successful digital pioneers hire lots of smart, highly paid people. And established companies taking part in this digital revolution aren't just using those innovations to replace people--they're hiring developers, engineers, digital marketers, project managers etc. It's not just a race to the bottom. But the disruption does cause pain, and I'm not confident public policy-makers have the answers.
SteveJ549
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SteveJ549,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/8/2013 | 5:01:14 PM
re: Creative Destruction Of Internet Age: Unstoppable
That's all fine and well, but there seems to be no discussion, or urgency, to address the fact that millions of people are being displaced by such rapid change. Since we live in such a strong consumer-based economy, what are millions of unemployed/underemployed people going to be able to buy except the basics? It seems to me that the bar is being raised higher and higher to obtain good paying jobs. Most will not qualify. This is a public policy problem.


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