“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Do you remember Tippex? Carbon paper? 

Things change.  You change.  What did you do 20 years ago?  What are you doing different today that you have adapted to, that you don’t think about?  Do you use Tippex today?   They still use carbon paper in my local police station when they take statements.  Do you use a smart phone or a feature phone?

Looking at the next 20 years, what will you do when you retire or are retrenched?  What about when your business or product or job reaches its ‘sell by date’?

According to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, losing a job is one of the ten most traumatic events that an adult faces.  Retiring and dismissal are not for sissies.  Starting over again can be terrifying.

Adapting to change is not easy for most people.  We resist change. (see: Entrepreneurs aren’t normal)

It’s ironical that one of the staunchest promoters of apartheid, PW Botha said in 1979 that South Africa needed to “Adapt or die.”  It took our country fifteen more years to actually change, but we did!

What else has changed in the past 20 years?

What was there 20 years ago and more (before 1994), but is gone now?

20 years ago (in 1994), there was no:

Berlin wall (1989), World Trade Centre (2000), Apartheid (1994), Bafana Bafana ACN champs (1996), Soviet Union (1991), Subprime crisis, Lehman Brothers (2008), Springboks world champs (1995), Muammar al-Gaddafi (2011), Osama bin Laden (2011), Saddam Hussein (2001), ANC – IFP murderous war, Mother Theresa (1997), Michael Jackson (2009), R 2.50 / $ 1 (1990), Concord (2000), Yasser Arafat (2004), Steve Jobs (2011), Chernobyl (1986)

public world wide web (1995), Yahoo (1995), Google (1998), Facebook (2004), Capitec Bank (2001), 1 World Trade Centre in New York (2014), King III 2009), Skills Development Levies, Eskom load shedding, flash drives (2000), iPads (2010) & iPhones (2007), service delivery protests, EFTs, fMRI, y2k, Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, democracy in SA (1994), legal abortion in SA (1997), gay marriage in SA (2006), B-BBEE (2003), 36% real unemployment (2014), longest ever recession (2014), South Sudan (2011), widespread corruption, daily car hijacking, US  Black president (2009), Gautrain (2009), 95% ARV treatment for Aids (2010), Harry Potter (1997), Square Kilometre Array telescope (2014), ebooks, Wikipedia (2001), cloned sheep (1995), Arab spring (2010), Euro (1999), Higgs Boson (2012), tsunami in Indonesia (2004) and Japan (2011), human genome sequenced (2003), earthquake in Haiti (2010), genocide in Rwanda (1994), drones in Yemen, DVD (1995), civil war in Syria, Malema in parliament (2014) house music (1977, oops).  Did you know that the smartphone and GPS were invented in 1993?

During the last 20 years or so, we had these but they’re gone now:

What else happened in the last 20 years that is now history:

Madiba magic (2013), 1time airline (2012), World Cup soccer in SA (2010),

Madiba magic

US invades Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), Julian Assange arrested (2010), Mark Shuttleworth, space tourist (2002), Elon Musk sells PayPal, founds SpaceX (2002), Occupy Wall Street (2002), China becomes 2nd largest economy (2010), Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian president (2012), Curiosity lands on Mars (2012),

Please add stuff that I have forgotten, in the following categories:  Science, medicine, economics, politics, sport, entertainment, business, technology, society, food & drink.

What everyday stuff might be gone in 20 years’ time?

What important new stuff will be common place in 20 years’ time (or before)?

US as world’s biggest economy,
Things: Camera film, music and video tapes, record players (vinyl records are coming back! ), payphones, encyclopaedia books, fax machines, typewriters, cheque books, phone books,
Jobs: Store cashiers (swipe cards), assembly line workers (robot), air force pilots & ground soldiers (auto-piloted drones), postmen (email), data capturers (OCR), typists (word processor)…
Already gone: tracers (CAD), typesetters (DTP)…
Businesses: Video stores? (on demand movies), Travel agencies? (online booking)…

immersive virtual reality, wearable communicators, water shortages, extreme weather, people living 20 years longer

Change is inevitable, entrepreneurs embrace change.  That’s the advantage that entrepreneurs have over ordinary business people.

What other jobs will be obsolete in the future?  What new jobs will there be?  You name some:

So how will you respond to these changes?  What do you think you might do?

Possible opportunities

Areas in which new opportunities could lie for you:

  • green industries:  eco-tourism, healthy foods & lifestyle…
  • sustainability:  fracking, fighting poaching, food security, transport…
  • socio-economic:  fighting poverty, fighting corruption, fighting crime, education and training, housing, health, mentoring entrepreneurs…
  • technology:  mobility, education and training…

Edwin Louis Cole said that “Reasonable men adapt to the world around them; unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men.”

Are you a reasonable person?  How will you change the world?



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