Our world, our future is rapidly changing. At the age of the Industrial Revolution, one invention can change the whole world, change the life style of all the people on the earth. But now, there are so many inventions can change our life. So, try to imagine what will happen.
For example, when Steve Jobs first announced iPhone on January 9, 2007, Nokia didn’t believe apple will be a strong competitor. But many years later, Nokia and Motorola both were acquired by other company.
People can predict it, It is very normal, in an industry, always some companies rise and others fall.
But at the very moment of iPhone birth, was there anyone can predict, because iPhone and other new smartphones rise, digital camera and digital video recorder industry will fall?
This is just the iPhone, but what next is auto drive car from Google, Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX, 3D printer, Tesla, Uber, Skybox Imaging, and so on. Any of these can change the whole world, so try to imagine all of these, and others we might not know yet.
How to adopt the rapidly changing future?
I think we need: Open mind, quick learn and work hard.
After I heard about Uber, I have thinked it over and over.
And I ask almost every friends in the industry, “If 5 years ago you was chosen to improve the Taxi system by government or a big company, they and you want make the Taxi system more smart, have internet connect ability, what would you do?”
And I said,”I think you might want put some embed system on the Taxi, might chose x86 embed system or arm, and with 3G and wifi support, and have GPS. Did you?”
They usually said yes.
But Uber never need install any hardware on the car, every driver have a smart phone. And smart phone usually better than some kind embed system on you car.
Now let’s change a different perspective, at the age before Uber, how to organize all the taxi in a Taxi system?
We must build a call center, there are hundreds of agents deal with customer requests. When you call the Taxi company said you want a ride to airport, one of their agents will pick up you call, and send a radio broadcast to all the Taxi driver in the city. No matter how far away a Taxi to you, the driver can receive the broadcast, Whose dial first, get the job to pick you up.
This system have 3 problems. First is they can’t guarantee the Taxi nearby get the job, it is means you might have to wait a lot of time. Second is once a driver turn on the radio broadcast receiver, he must listen every broadcast, no matter far or near. Third is the most important one, is this system can’t easy scale up, because the limitation of human resources and telephone lines.
But how do Uber solve this problem? When you use Uber app to request a ride, there is no one pick up your call, just a server side application check your status, find the cars nearby, and send them information, if one of these cars response, then you get your ride. If not, system will send information to more faraway cars. So you are guaranteed get the most nearby car to pick you up.
Ok, I know today everyone can understand Uber and iPhone. But when iPhone just birthed, so many people said, “I will never buy this kind phone, it doesn’t even have a physical keyboard!!! “. But today, there are so many touch screen phone, and where is the physical keyboard?
We always think something familiar is normal, think anything unknown is odd, this is a part of our human nature. But this nature is harmful to us in this rapidly changing age.
We need try to put down prejudice to think deeper and think out of box, keep open mind.
Every technological revolution will tremendously improve productivity, so people are always wondering this will cause unemployment rise. But after times of technological revolution human race still keep reproduction and development, life on earth is better than ever.
When productivity improved, same job needs less workers, or same workers less work time. So there will be some unemployment. But people can get cheaper product and work less time. So, when people have more free time, they need entertainments, need social interacts. These needs give people the opportunity to develop entertainment industry and catering industry. And when these industries rise, they need workers, so unemployment problem is solved.
So, look at a very short period, you will think technological revolution will cause unemployment, but in a long period view, technological revolution only will cause labor redistribution. So, everyone lost jobs in the technological revolution age, isn’t because he can’t find any job, is because he can’t find a job he can participate in. He just don’t have the skill or learning ability.
Because 3D printer, auto drive car, this time, all the work relate to manual work will be replace by computer. So there will be very large unemployment, but at same time, factories and companies will need more and more programmers and operators to deal with the new computer system.
It will be a disaster, if you can’t learn anything new, and it will be a huge opportunity, if you can quick learn.
This isn’t need to talk a lot.
Talk is easy, but why you old dogs can’t learn new trick?
Everybody think himself, “Open mind, quick learn and work hard”, But there are not so many really are.
At 2009 when I first learned Objective-C and write my iOS app, it took me two weeks. I thought this was slow, but later notice that at that moment in Beijing, maybe only 20-100 people can write Objective-C code.
Three years later, I ask some of the people, they try again and again, but never learn how to write Objective-C code, “Why can’t you learn Objective-C?”
Someone said, “Mac is too expensive.”
Someone said, “I think Objective-C is too hard, I really can’t understand [object method]”
Someone said, “I need mentor, but I just can’t find one.”
And someone said, “I need be supervised.”
Then after some years, when swift come out, they said “I finally will learn how to write iOS app”, But I don’t think so.
Maybe swift is easy than Objective-C, but swift is odd too, if you can’t open mind to Objective-C, I think you can’t open mind to swift either.
No one will supervise you, if you want learn quick, you must learn how to self educate.
And, work hard is no meaning before you start.