If your job is defined by productivity or efficiency, it’s more likely than not that the tasks you perform will be replaced by machines within the next 20 years. National Public Radio reports that truck driving is the most common occupation in the U.S. today. I suspect at least 50% of truck drivers won’t have their jobs in 20 years. The same goes for many other jobs, blue-collar and white-collar alike.
So if you can hit the reset button on your career today, ask yourself, what are human beings uniquely suited to dominate that can’t be replicated by AI? If we had to pitch humanity as a species to an investor, what is our unique selling proposition? I believe what we’re really good at are asking questions, being creative and having experiences.
Almost everything in our world is getting cheaper, with the exception of science and innovation, where things are, and will continue to be terribly inefficient (and rightly so). The remaining few things that are increasing in costs are all experience-based, think concert tickets, personal coaching or paying for your dream wedding.
Til now, we’ve done a good job in creating businesses that service our core needs. We have well and truly nailed food and shelter. While these businesses constitute the bulk of business activities today, the world continues to suffer. Stress, divorce, depression and suicide are all at unprecedented levels. This leaves the final and most important piece of the puzzle unfilled.
Enormous opportunities exist for businesses that can skilfully address our flourishing needs, located towards the upper spectrum of Maslow’s triangle. That is, strengthening self-esteem, fostering love and affection and self-actualisation. A great many of the multi-billion dollar companies of the future need to focus on the fulfilment of those needs. Because those businesses that can overcome the trickier, more elusive needs of our hearts and souls will be the most profitable. And we will be richer for it, in every sense.