The Future Of Work: Scalable Jobs

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Is your job scalable? If not, it might become obsolete.

This is the future we are looking at. Anything that does not scale gets replaced. Of course, for many, this means automation.

Even if it does not, it is a path to not great wages. This includes high end jobs.

Today, everyone can become a rock star without being one. This is the difference between scaling and not.

David Bowie was ahead of his time in many ways. He was a visionary. Towards the end of the 1990s, he saw the power of the Internet and how it would affect the music business. He believed that copyright was going to be obsolete within a decade. While not so accurate on that part, he was properly assessing the situation.

Bowie took the initiative to offer bonds against his future earnings. Since he was one of the best selling artists at the time, his bonds sold out easily. He knew the music business was precarious and the Internet would only make it worse. Thus, he wisely sought to cash out.

Of course, what we was offering was a security, had to go through investment banks, and be sold to accredited investors. In spite of that, since he was David Bowie, the bonds hit the market. Bowie was able to "securitize" his future earnings.

This was great for Bowie, not so great for the bond holders. While things went well for a while, we know what happened to music by the next decade. Recorded music sales dropped as people were able to stream it for free.

Ultimately, the bonds, which started as AAA, did end up making investors whole in spite of the pitfalls.


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What this shows is the era we are entering. No longer does one have to be a rock start to do what Bowie did. With blockchains like Ethereum, and others opening up, anyone can tokenize him or herself.

Here is where the issue of scalability enters the picture. It matters none how good you are at your profession, it if can't scale digitally, it is severely limited.

For example, nursing can be a well compensated profession. So can being a doctor. However, these will not scale since they have to be done in person. Here is one of the keys. If a job has to be done physically face-to-face, then it is not going to be very lucrative. However, if there is a way to digitize it, then we see another world opened up.

In fact, telemedicine might present this opportunity to some doctors. Those who are extremely talented might be able to provide diagnosis from anywhere in the world. Here is where we could see doctors tokenizing their future services (incomes). The best ones will remain in demand, the ones who are less than stellar, not so much.

Of course, this would all be reflected in the value of the traded tokens. The top individuals would have a token price that would likely rise over time. Others might see their token decrease as they fall further behind.

Tokenization allows for massive creativity. Here we can see how people are free to embark upon different ideas. Those that the market likes will find their tokens purchased. We already saw a couple people who have tokenized themselves to varying degrees. This is a process we can expect to continue.

Of course, we see how ones token holders will instantly become "fans". This means that promotion could come from those who are receiving the cash flow from the person's earnings.

For example, as one becomes known better, it just stands to reason the token will appreciate in value. We all know how some of the best advocates for a project are those who are involved in it.

Think of this concept applying to accountants, lawyers, and real estate people. This is more than just content creators.

Wall Street is known for securitizing many different things. Now that capability is being passed onto anyone with some creativity.

A scalable profession means that one can appeal to a much greater audience. When something has to be done in person, there is a limit to those who can enjoy the benefits. Those that can scale and be digitized in some form will apply to a much wider group of people.

And that can be tokenized.

Many wonder how people are going to make a living in the future. For those who are understanding what is taking place and how to establish a market, we will see a much broader opportunity.

Do all jobs fit into this category? Of course not. That is the problem. There are a lot of things people do that offer no opportunity for the future. Unfortunately, many of these are on the lower end of the economic spectrum.

However, for those who are aware of what is coming, the chance to develop skills that can have relevance on the global, digital market is before them. One might not have a job that is scalable yet the skills that are wanted can be acquired.

In fact, there is a good chance that someone's hobbies or non-work interests can fit into this category. Expertise has value and markets are often willing to bet on it. The arena typically does not matter a great deal to speculators.

This is a future solution that most everyone can tap into.


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Someone’s got to program the computers that run the blockchain.

In a gold rush I am the one selling shovels.

I think you're right! Any job that is not scalable will be obsolete. Any trade or profession that cannot adapt to tokenization and new paradigms is doomed to become extinct or be replaced by something else. Excellent article! Greetings!

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That was not what he was saying.

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From my point of view this is exactly what he mean. Especially in the first line of the post, when it says:

Is your job scalable? If not, it might become obsolete.

And in this part

Here is where the issue of scalability enters the picture. It matters none how good you are at your profession, it if can't scale digitally, it is severely limited.

That's why I believe Any job that is not scalable will be obsolete!!

About this part "Any trade or profession that cannot adapt to tokenization and new paradigms is doomed to become extinct or be replaced by something else" Is only my impression, my interpretation about he was saying, or my feedback, if you will!

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Ok. You're right.

In that case, I have to say I can't agree with either of you.

For example, nursing does not scale digitally but it very much has to get done. There will always be demand for nurses, which is why nursing jobs will not disappear like those jobs that scale digitally most certainly will.

I would very much advise against my kids to choose professions where jobs are disappearing fast because digital scalability makes it easier for the global superstars in their fields to replicate their work and bring down its cost drastically.

In the future, due to digital scalability professions will increasingly be like that of a rock musician, the vast majority of whom make very little while the superstars rake in hundreds of millions.

That is a serious problem going forward, unless productivity and income (as well as dignity) are decoupled from each other.

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For example, nursing does not scale digitally but it very much has to get done.

As I said below, this is a presumption that I would not make. There is already work being done in that area.

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Plus a lot of nursing is monitoring. With companies like Apple, Samsung, and google working on personal monitoring devices, the dependence upon nurses is going to be lessened.

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It is true that the monitoring aspect will change and become digitally scalable. Perhaps some other aspects as well.

But my point that those jobs that are not digitally scalable offer the best employment options whereas those jobs that are the most digitally scalable offer the poorest options because of them being more of a winner-takes-it-all game.

The text was a bit unclear, did the people who invested Bowie Bonds ( they sound hilarious btw ) do ok or not so much ?

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Before the time of his death not so much. The week he died, they did pretty well.

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do artists earn more after they die? that's the only way this could make sense lol :)

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They were in the red when the Napster situation came up. By the time the reached maturity, the bond holders were made whole.

It wasnt a killing for them. They were, I believe, 10 year bond and Apple music really helped to drive some value to them.

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They were in the red when the Napster situation came up. By the time the reached maturity, the bond holders were made whole.

It wasnt a killing for them. They were, I believe, 10 year bond and Apple music really helped to drive some value to them.

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I wonder what a tokenized version of being a lawyer may look like. That's the profession I'm hoping to get into if I ever finish with school, seems like an eternity

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Legal work does not lend itself well to tokenization. For a type of work to be easily tokenized, its results have to be easy to copy.

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Legal is one of the jobs that AI is targeting as first. There are a lot of computers that do the legal research with a higher success than the human counterpart.

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This is really interesting. I wonder where the intersection will lie between the AI and lawyer working together.

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Interesting. That should bring down legal costs. But what about trials?

Legal work is going to see a ton of automation. We are now seeing the stage where legal automation is working with the attorneys.

However, if code is law, and more of our world becomes based upon code, what do we need lawyers for? They look at the law.

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Someone needs to be advising the code. I can see law becoming similar to a consulting position as well as the interpretation of codified results that you mention

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Nurses might be needed on the spot on a face-to-face model, as patients still need the contact and some treatment is very specific and can't be automated.

Almost every job can be tokenized, the handmade jobs will bloom as people love unique stuff and this unique stuff if it is handmade can only increase in value. It only needs to think global with s nice story behind, that is it.

We will see some good changes in the next years, that is for sure.

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Nurses might be needed on the spot on a face-to-face model, as patients still need the contact and some treatment is very specific and can't be automated.

I wouldnt bet on that. There is already a lot of automation taking place.

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Most people would like to speak and be touched by a human, not a machine. Psychological, if a doctor/nurse is more affective, patients healed faster.

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Thank goodness there will always be a need for window cleaners. Until they come up with self-cleaning windows, my little company is safe. lol And even then, it will be decades before they can replace all the windows that aren't self-cleaning.

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There will be those jobs for a while. And the trades. So they are safe but I wouldnt be surprised to see automation start to enter them.

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Well, until they find a robot that can take out a set of storm windows, wash both sides, then wash both the inside and the outside of the regular window, then clean the screens and wipe out the sills, and of course put it all back together again, I think I'm safe. Oh yeah, and they have to be able to climb stairs and ladders, move furniture (without scratching the wood floors, open and close blinds, razor paint, and not break anything, all for enough money to pay for the equipment but substantially less than human labor. I'm not too worried. lol

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Here is where the issue of scalability enters the picture. It matters none how good you are at your profession, it if can't scale digitally, it is severely limited.

In fact, telemedicine might present this opportunity to some doctors. Those who are extremely talented might be able to provide diagnosis from anywhere in the world. Here is where we could see doctors tokenizing their future services (incomes). The best ones will remain in demand, the ones who are less than stellar, not so much.

Nursing may not be able to scale digitally and not lend itself to tokenization. But does that make it a less lucrative profession?

I would say the ability to scale digitally makes for a winner-takes-it-all situation and thus a profession extremely non-lucrative except for an extremely small number of people. Almost every one in the profession loses with the winners being a narrow top in it and all the consumers.

It's precisely those jobs that cannot be scaled digitally yet must be done that will become the most lucrative ones.

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This is a new concept that I never known before and I might need to rethink my profession in order to apply to a broader audience and open up some new possibilities. Scalable jobs for me means that you can pivot easier to the left and right and still have a niche within your niche in order to thrive!

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I can see many of us in the next decade doing crypto related things full time. The amount of money being earned on places like Hive and Leofinance could possibly dwarf the real world wages.

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In fact, telemedicine might present this opportunity to some doctors. Those who are extremely talented might be able to provide diagnosis from anywhere in the world. Here is where we could see doctors tokenizing their future services (incomes). The best ones will remain in demand, the ones who are less than stellar, not so much.

I heard how possible this would be with 5G. Looking forward to things like that. I believe it would make medicare a lot cheaper.

Speaking about scaling and tokenization. We saw how digital news outlets surpassed printed press because of its ability to scale and cut down cost.

The future i envision is one that emphasizes doing more with less.


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After reading your article, the old song by Irving Berlin: Anything You Can Do came to mind.

Since you mentioned David Bowie and music, you may find this of interest. I found it on openai.com, one of Elon Musk's projects.

https://openai.com/blog/jukebox/

The project called Jukebox has created a neural network that generates music, including nuts-and-bolts vocals, as raw audio in a bunch of genres and musical performer styles. The link even has samples of some of the AI song creations.

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