We are in the middle of a massive shift in human history, and it’s so big it eclipses the achievements of Gutenberg & his little press.
It’s a big claim, and it’s easier to appreciate if we get some distance from the present. Let’s travel back through time to:
If you were born in Europe back then, there’s a 90% chance you’d be born a farmer of some sort. And that pretty much holds true for the next thousand years.
This isn’t the idyllic farming either. This is the tough, back breaking, hard manual labor that ruins your body kind of farming.
This is the “It rained one too many times at the end of the summer and now we’re going to starve to death because our food will rot” farming.
There’s a small chance you’d get a cool job being a knight, but 9 out of 10 times, you’re a subsistence farmer.
There’s some guy by the name of Johannes Gutenberg who develops a technology that enables him to print books faster & more accurately than any time in human history.
Previously, books were so incredibly difficult to make they were prohibitively expensive for anyone who wasn’t exorbitantly wealthy. In a sense, the knowledge in the books was doubly valuable: you had to be rich to get the book in the first place, and the knowledge contained in it could easily be worth more.
Case In Point: Sun Tzu’s masterpiece of strategy “The Art of War” was kept from all but the most senior military officials. It’s dangerous to have a clever army that can think for itself. . .
So along comes Gutenberg who can churn out any book he wants at a speed & volume never possible since books were first invented.
In the small sense, he figured out how to make books faster. In the larger sense, however, he completely revolutionized the world. He released the genie from the bottle, and there was no going back.
With books becoming less expensive, there were more of them around, and more people were exposed to new ideas much more frequently.
In this new world of easily-gotten information there were clear winners (the population at large), and losers (kings, rulers, and anyone benefiting from controlling information).
Case in Point: It’s hard to believe, but there was a time in the middle ages where the information on how to make mirrors was so jealously guarded that if you were suspected of trying to steal it from the only people who knew how to do it properly, you were executed. Straight up murdered over shiny glass.
The creation of the printing press, and the consequent flood of books into the world were the first wave in a revolution that would play out over the next 500 years.
In that time we’d discover the scientific method, telescopes, medicine, and most of the leaps forward that directly contribute to our standard of living today.
Then It Happened Again
The year is 1946 and the world’s first computer is turned on.
It’s a monstrosity that takes up a whole room. It weighs 50 tons. It’s clunky. It’s awkward. It can do simple calculations used in figuring out artillery angles.
And it can do it faster than anyone else alive.
Then it’s the 60’s and we send men to the moon and back with computers that have less computing power than the phone you have in your pocket.
In the late 70’s we figure out how to get the increasingly capable computers to talk to each other. Now, instead of being limited to a single machine, you can now access the processing power of a whole network of these things.
The internet is born.
The creation of the internet is the second renaissance and we’re not even beginning to see how profoundly it’s changing our lives.
We are now living in a world that is almost entirely post physical. When was the last time you:
- Held an actual dollar?
- Mailed a real letter?
- Gotten a postcard from someone on vacation?
- Looked something up in the Encyclopedia?
This new dynamic is more than having any answer at your fingertips & a computer. This is way beyond Googling a trivia question.
Not only are you able to consume information, you can create & share anything you think of at the speed of light.
Our world’s most important events are happening in a virtual world that doesn’t exist.
We have a president who enacts “diplomacy” via Twitter.
Technology Took Your Job
People like to blame free trade for taking their jobs overseas. While that might have been true for a short period, what’s really to blame is automation. Artificial Intelligence. Smart robots.
Technological advancements have made millions of human jobs irrelevant.
It’s cars vs horses all over again, and we’re the horse.
And there’s no going back.
History of Labor
Back in ancient Egypt you probably moved rocks. Through the dark ages you moved dirt. Through the industrial revolution you got paid to move goods.
You move information. Ideas are the new economy.
Future of Thought
For the few who recognize this massive shift in the world, they are going to win big. It’s the value of your idea that will make or break you.
Never before have Carnegie’s words of “Think and Grow Rich” been truer.
Those who don’t adapt to the post physical idea economy will be left with little or no means to create something the economy finds valuable. Human labor jobs are simply too expensive to continue. They may not disappear completely, but they’re on their way out.
After all, I guess horses are still around (for novelty’s sake). . .
The way of life we’ve been sold our entire lives has disappeared. The offer on the American dream of working hard and retiring with the same company is null and void.
But there Is A Solution
With the very technology that has destroyed the labor & goods economy, you can create an incredible life.
Just like fire; it can destroy, but when used properly it can be incredibly useful.
In the idea economy it doesn’t matter where you live. You can be on a beach in Borneo or at a coffee shop in Iowa.
In the idea economy it doesn’t matter how hard you work. Your muscles have very little to do with how much you get paid. Sweat not required.
In the idea economy you’re not limited by space & time. Your ideas can be in all parts of the world instantly, and it can happen thousands of times a second, every second.
So What’s Next?
With the Post Physical Economy Mindset you transcend the limitations of physical reality. Your success is no longer tied to a desk. A location. Time.
None of it matters anymore.
The new future is complete & total freedom.
Absolute control over how you spend your time & attention.
What Are You Lacking?
You need no more resources than you already have access to this instant, so it isn’t a question of more stuff.
It’s the mindset. You don’t have a deep understanding of the new reality.
But you can.
Allow me to introduce Ken Wrede.
Ken is a client of mine, a friend, and phenomenal storyteller.
When we first started working together he knew he had a lot of experience & useful knowledge that could make a huge difference in the lives of young leaders everywhere. What he didn’t know, was how to communicate that valuable experience in a way that would position him as the expert he is.
Using tools that are available to you right now I helped him build a platform that he now uses to get scheduled on radio shows, write a book, promote speaking engagements, and more.
He now understands how to leverage his experience (which the robots will never have) in a way that allows him the freedom to choose how he spends his time, and where he chooses to do it.
How About You?
What’s your story? How are you surviving in the new economy?
If you’d like some help, I’d love to be there for you.
Because, really, who better to guide you through an economy of ideas than a mind reader?
Hit me up on Twitter, and let’s talk.
Or, if you live on Mars, consider joining one of the longest-running & heaviest-hitting groups on the network:
(Don’t understand that last sentence? Go here.)