How MicroMarkets are part of a larger global trend.
Our last blog discussed the benefits of MicroMarkets. It touched on a list of benefits that are typically derived from innovation from use of self-service remote technologies, which according to transparancey market research is driven by a need provide satisfactory and convenient services with reduced costs in retail industries.
We discussed the catering industry and its saturated, competitive nature and how innovation has been driven by a need to drive efficiencies in staff productivity beyond a traditional catering set up. But how are MicroMarkets part of a larger global trend?
The future of work
For millennia humans have used labour to create services and products by which people can exchange for mutual benefit. The industrial revolution changed the face of the modern world by implementing innovations that radically changed how people produced and exchanged goods and services. Undoubtedly people like Henry Ford standardized what we have considered to be the working week for the last 100 years. There are a number of forces affecting our perception of a working life and the change could have the societal on the way we work in the future.
Artificial intelligence, Automatation and Intergration
I’ll start with automatation – automation is predicted to reduce the labour force (those that do Manuel labour work) by 50% according to Andy Stern. As robots become smarter quicker and run 24/7 you can easily imagine the level of displacement. Andy Stern a highly accomplished member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). (SEIU). Andy spent a number of years researching what the future of work will look like for millions in the labour market. The culmination of his research is published on his website. Fundamentally innovations in printing, robotics, driverless technology, remote technology and manufacturing innovations are likely to be driving forces in the decline of labour in the next 20 years. MicroMarkets also represent part of this trend, a key unmistakable advantage for commercial entities being the labour efficiencies developed from the remote technology available today. However it is important to remember with such startling figures, creative destruction is inevitably part of any innovation cycle.
Artificial intelligence and integration of applications is also a vastly broad subject that will contribute further reduction in many ‘white collar’, service based jobs’. This is likely to have far wider reaching consequences than previously thought. Many jobs today are largely comprised of manually manipulating data, something that can easily be achieved by common practice API (application programming integrations), thus reducing the need for Manuel intervention. an argument as to why integration may not have the potentially devastating impact on ‘white collar’ is that these people are still needed largely for human insight *ENTER* – machine learning Algorithm programmes. New innovations in the way in which we programme computers to take big data compute and learn and provide out puts in insight is quite profound. The processing power in a human brain has nothing on computation power a typical processor can produce.
These trends paint a bleak future for the future of work however where ever there are threats and challenges there are opportunities and strengths. Innovation can create disruptive technologies and creative destruction that makes way for new ways of working the gig economy is one such place where many automation doom sceptics hang their hat. Apps such as Uber (for drivers) Deliveroo (food delivery service), Remote year (a remote online platform for people to work and travel simultaneously) or Github (collaborative volunteer coding platform) be where people derive their work from? Will people devolve from the standardised working day and instead have multiple jobs and work when it suits them to work through apps.
How will vending machine operators play their part in this changing environment? It is easy to think about some of the issue associated with getting the right staff to work the way you want them to work. Are these broad trends lending themselves to new styles of work and economic and commercial models that fit outside of the 9 to 5 box?
Finally some entrepreneur who are sceptical the economics of a full time gig economy and believe it will not be enough to support the potentially millions of both blue and white collar workers that could be displaced in the next 30 years, advocate for a whole new method all together.
That idea is the Universal Basic Income (UBI), renowned entrapanurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill gates and now even Richard Brandon are calling for the wide spread support for concepts Universal Basic Income. This blog doesn’t have the scope to discuss this interesting concept but you can’t talk about mass disruptive technologies without discussing some of the hot concepts around how governing bodies and institutions approach tax and consequent liquidity of the market as whole.
So in summary MicroMarkets provide many benefits but are specifically part of a wider global movement to create efficiencies and innovation in pursuit of profit and growth. These innovations will undoubtedly make our lives better and more prosperous but we don’t doubt that there will be hurdles. Matt ridleys book – the rationale optimist discusses the concept of ultimate measurement of prosperity is not financial but measured in time. The broad trends discussed in this article might indeed offer society more time and freedom to pursue things they want to pursue the way they want to however regulatory bodies will have to consider the impact of the changing work environment and that nature of tax and liquidity in the economy.