Week of April 1, 2019

“We could never learn to be brave and patient

if there were only joy in the world.”

Helen Keller

1880-1968

The Useless Class

 The introduction of machinery into agriculture in the 1800s freed millions from the farm to flock to the cities where, fortunately, an industrial revolution was also occurring and provided employment for a new working class.  Historian Uval Noah Harari fears the “AI (artificial intelligence) revolution will create a new ‘unworking’ class.

 The most important question is whether this will also be a “useless class.”  What can people do that AI-driven machines cannot?  What will the machines do? A four-page article summarizes Mr. Harari’s look ahead from his book “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”  in which he warns of the rise of not only an “Unworking Class,” but a “Useless Class.”

 Will you be in the “useless class”?  Will the young people in your life?    A worthwhile, if somewhat disturbing read.

Days of Disruption No. 25-  The Disruption “Head Fake”

Two dozen examples of commercial disruption have been offered in this newsletter, so maybe it’s time for some wisdom regarding the source of all the chaos with which we are coping.

If asked where all the disruption is coming from,  many would immediately say “technology” since the phenomenal changes going on around us seem to be always accompanied by new tools in the form of hardware or software.  One observer of all these events says, however, that technology is not the key to understanding Disruption.   Thales Teixeria at the Harvard Business school explains that technology is just a head fake that gets us creating expensive answers to the wrong question.

If it’s not technology, what is it?  What’s Really Driving Disruption?   It’s something every CEO can do, once we ask our customer the right question.

I’m Ok, The Rest of You Aren’t

Vistage Chief Research Office Joe Galvin is sending several interesting items your way this week.

  • SMB (small to mid-size) businesses are of two minds about the economy.   Find out why your CEO peers are saying “I’m Ok, You’re Not Ok”
  • “Managers do things right, executives do the right things, said Peter Drucker.  We asked 1,200 of your peers what are the most important decisions they’ll make this year. Here’s what they told us.

Econ Recon

Wrecking the Curve:  If you think the surging stock market is a good indicator of the future course of the economy, check out this blog posting from Lauren Saidel-Baker at ITR Economics.  The stock market may be saying “go” but the bond markets may be saying “whoa” as the yield curve as gone inverted.  Find out why Ms. Saidel says the “Bond Market Raises Red Flags” for the economy.

 The Wizard of Oz:   Dr. Brian Wesbury has noted the inverted yield curve and offers a more optimistic view of what’s going on.  He thinks too many people see the government as an economic Wizard of Oz, and if they could see the real drivers of growththey’d have cause for optimism.

Have a great week…..

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