“The Digital Skills Gap and the Future of Jobs 2020 – The Fundamental Growth Mindset”

A few years ago I’ve watched a Gary Vee talk about how hustling and grit allied to today’s socio-technologies could help one to achieve anything one dreamt of.

“There is now excuse in 2009 for you to do s#&t you do not like” Gary Vaynerchuk

At the event he only added (in his own words) one ‘should stop watching f*&#ing ‘Lost’. Yes, that’s old right? Lost’s gone, but now we have Netflix and Amazon Prime! I guess what he meant was: stop waisting your time. We’ve got way too many distractions and entertainment.

Tic-tac-tic-tac…I’ve written that on my bedroom mirror, it is the first thing I see when I get up. It is just a note to self that time is short and running out. Time is the only thing we can never get back.

We have no time to lose! But most of the activities in our modern society is designed and packed for us to leave us in a contant numbing state, dorment and alienated from reality. They are incredibly well-thought through and created to distract us or to impede us from reaching our destination, our full potential, to achieve our life-given dreams.

Which bring us to the theme of this blog: the future of our work!

Time is our most prescious commodity in a age where every bit of technological advancement is moving faster than our skills, abilities and human capacity for change and absorption. That goes the same for our workplace and professional careers.

Let me ask you this question: Is your career future-proof?

If you are not preparing yourself for upcoming future changes within your workplace and sector you might be heading for a pitiful disappointment. Some of these changes are already here and creeping in without you seeing or perceiving them.

In a recent TED talk Dorie Clark stated that 20 to 30 percent of adult professional in Europe are either in freelance or independent working contract and the trend is on the raise.

Watch the video below and make your own judgement and conclusions. Above all, I urge you to conduct your own piece of research and start working on yourself and your skills.

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself you’ll make a fortune.” Jim Rohn

The only way to survive these changes and workplace transformation is to develop a life-long learning attitude and character.

There’s no value in keep blaming technology, AI, robotics, Sylicon Valley, Google etc… As Jordan Peterson mentions in his book 12 Rules for life “if the world you are seeing is not the world you want, therefore it is time to examine your values…It might be even the time to sacrifice what you love best, so that you can become who you might become, instead of staying who your are”

Eliminate every ounce of distraction and focus on what you want to achieve. Whenever possible help others on the way…

Jack Ma and our somehow painful Future…


In this video, Alibaba’s CEO Jack MA, presented us with a gloomy vision for the next 30 years. Although he does not specify which technology revolutions have caused the two other world wars, he points towards a future where the third world war might happen but unlike the other two it will eventually be a war fueled by data and information, and people are already worried about it. Jack calls for people to be creative and strategic lest their jobs will be taken away from them by machines.

In these third wave of technology, according to Jack, the key challenges humans will face will be related to poverty, disease and  the environment. Technology can improve people’s life and at the same time to create other problems. One way of looking at it is that technology is not harmful in itself but can be used by other humans to harmful and devious purposes turning ccomputers against them for control and manipulation. In his view, it can be used to stir up problems as well as to save us.

He moves on to say how disruptive new small business can be released to bring a wave of fresh thinking and innovation. These new business models can be the very component we need to see shooting grassroots movements coming to the surface to empower people. As personalization and customization becomes the new norm, smaller business can position themselves to deliver a better customer engagement through more personal long-tail customer centric strategies.

The key, according to Jack Ma, is to make sure local businesses can cross their geographical borders and sell globally. The way to sort out the work problem is by leveraging the power of small businesses locally he says.

He then moved to say that stopping Globalisation is impossible and within the next 20-30 years people will work only four hours a day a jobs will not require their presence. So, if that is true, what will they do with the rest of the day?

He believes that the biggest difference between us and the machines is that they display an immense intelligence, they are smart but only humans have wisdom. If that is true then, what is the difference between wisdom and intelligence? Wisdom is from the heart according to Ma and machines will never have one… Is that simple?

It is true that things are moving fast on the AI front but also the IA (Intelligence Augmentation) has been receiving a lot of investment from the top companies as well as front start-ups. So, there is a possibility that humans might also have computer level intelligence.

What are your thoughts about that???

The Future of Retail Automation

Consumer’s shared experiences outweighs company’s brand narratives in any platforms on social media, review sites, product forums, blogs or any other form on-line communication medium. More than ever before the retail sector must invest not only in creating positive brand experiences but also making them shareable and there is no other way to do this better than making them also predictable.

In this age of connected consumerism, new social technologies are empowering consumers and creating new forms of demands. Technology is shaping society and consumer behaviour, changes are happening faster than many companies have to adapt. A phenomenon some came to describe as Digital Darwinism.

Consumer’s shared experiences outweighs company’s brand narratives in any platforms on social media, review sites, product forums, blogs or any other form online communication medium. More than ever before the retail sector must invest not only in creating positive brand experiences but also making them shareable and there is no other way to do this better than making them also predictable.

Many experts in the field believe that machine learning technologies (ML), big data and behavioural analytics aligned to user-experience design discipline could give companies the answer they need, however nothing is a clear cut as it initially might look. In November 2015 Amazon opened its first high street brick-and-mortar books store emulating their online store and strategy has nothing to do with selling books but everything to do with data collection. The success of the first Amazon Books has led to additional three book stores with the fourth was just recently announced in February 2017[1]. The stores resemble traditional book stores but Amazon use online data to determine which titles to stock at the stores. Clearly, Amazon has the intelligence that other brick-and-mortar book stores do not have. The concept of Ebay Virtual Reality department store is also an example of the retailer aiming for, not only creating consumer experience, but also gathering insights data.

When a shopper signs in with their amazon app account, Amazon can immediately associate its online customer records with his or hers to whatever this customer is doing in store. It can then identify customer preferences, buying habits and history, status as an Amazon Prime and/or Amazon credit card member and so on. This is just the start of a highly personalised consumer experience including customised price that fluctuates depending on who is purchasing and when it is being purchase, even who that is likely to being purchased for. Amazon is known for its ability to maximise digital data for price competitiveness. An analysis published in 2013 showed that Amazon changed prices of its products around 2.5 million times a day compared with just over 50,000 total price changes made by brick-and-mortar retailers BestBuy and Wal-Mart throughout November 2013[2]. By understanding customer behaviours from data gathered Amazon can make more accurate recommendations and potentially making every price personalized thus optimising every transaction.

Amazon is just one of the many global brand playing with what is now being called machine learning technologies or just artificial intelligence (AL). According to Bart Selman, professor of computer science at Cornell University

“Artificial Intelligence is moving rapidly from academic research into the real world… computers are starting to ‘hear’ and ‘see’ as humans do… Systems can start to move and operate among us autonomously.”

Amazon is not alone, most IT or internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook have been investing billions in AI and deep learning technologies.

Machine learning technologies to improve customer experiences

Within the next few years business gains will more likely to come from getting the right information from and to the right people at the right time. ML will empower companies to find patterns and automate value extraction coming from different areas. Data driven real-time economy will guide savvy companies to run more efficiently as the production of production of goods and services becomes on-demand, predictive behaviour machines will lower the rate of failure.

It is very likely that we will see extremely intelligent supply chain systems, an increased in depth of knowledge in consumer preferences with great capability to build and design meaningful experiences at every touch point of the customer journey. Designing experiences that will be delivered with higher level of customisation. A German food brand MYMUESLI is has started to experiment with augmented product choices by taking their packaging printing process to some of their large stores closer to the end user[3]. Their strategy it to bring production as part of the end-user experience augmenting their products mix of flavours by adding another one extra dimension: packaging. That has given customers a unique opportunity to engage with the whole production including the printing and designing of the packaging.

Is your company machine learning ready?

The future of retail business lies in the ability organisations may have to fight these Darwinian forces operating within their industry or in the wider environment by fast adapting and promoting gradual changes in the organisation. Companies will have to respond fast to the increasing demand from a highly sophisticated and technology empowered consumer by deploying machine learning algorithms, bid data and highly engaged consumer shareable experiences that will appeal to all their human and social needs.



[1]Online giant extending brick-and-mortar footprint (16 February 2017). http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/online-giant-extending-brick-and-mortar-footprint

[2] Profitero: Amazon changes over 2.5m prices every day in quest to be most competitive. (11 December 2013). http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/profitero-amazon-changes-2-5m-prices-every-day-quest-competitive/

[3] The Mymuesli shop. https://www.mymuesli.com/ueber-uns/laden