The New Science of Success:
How to Outsource Proof Your Job and Prosper in a Web 2.0 Economy
Published Apr 2007
Frank “Rio” Shines
We stand at the brink of a new era of wealth creation in which India, China and other emerging countries are positioned to outpace the economic growth of the U.S., Japan and Western Europe. If present forecasts hold true, by mid-century China will become the largest economy in the world followed by the U.S. and then India. For the USA, this brings with it the growing fear of American jobs being outsourced en masse to low-cost labor markets. We have all seen the figures from government officials and research firms who estimate that millions of manufacturing and service sector jobs will move offshore by 2015. Failure to understand the new Web economy could cost you your job. One firm estimates that as many as 450,000 additional computer jobs could migrate overseas in the coming decade. But is this really the full story? Perhaps something larger is afoot.
I foresee an emerging “triple-play” (a D.I.Y. Web 2.0 economy; a global acceleration in white collar productivity; and a closing wage-gap amongst nations), that will mark the transition from our current Information Age to the Micro-Macro Era (the very small: making things out of molecules, bits, and biologics; and the very large: BIG data, privatized space travel and exploration). I believe this triple-play will unleash enormous job and wealth-creation opportunities for those individual workers and entrepreneurs with the insight and courage to seize the day. This book focuses on this emerging economic shift and what you can do to survive and thrive as it unfolds.
The Net was once a static environment of online brochure-ware. But not anymore! It is now a rich, interactive and engaging experience with lots of moving parts. The new D.I.Y. Web 2.0 economy is being built by average folks like you and me and by pioneering companies such as Wesabe, that provides you a single platform for managing all your personal finances and receiving tips and tricks from other (anonymous) online users with similar financial challenges or monetary goals. Every business from a sole proprietor, mom-and-pop shop to an international conglomerate needs customers and sales to survive. If you are one of these, don’t miss the opportunities provided by powerful websites such as InfoUSA.com. Learn to use this site well and you will be on your way to business success and financial freedom. Sites like Orkut and LinkedIn provide you the means to create a global, Web-based Rolodex of business and personal contacts, and stay in touch with them.
Looking to stay healthy and fit or help others do the same, point your browser to such interactive fitness sites like, PeerTrainer.com, Gimme20.com, ApexFitness.com, BodyBugg.com, and FitnessCoachPro.com. Log onto Evoca.com and record your own voice or song by connecting through a Web browser or a mobile device such as a cell phone. You can then send a link of your voice or music to others via e-mail or post it on your website.
Jabbits, YouTube, Veoh, MyPeopleTV, Revver, and Dailymotion allow you to do the same thing, but with video instead of audio. Quickly upload a video clip from your video camera to the website and share it with the world. Indeed, you can even start creating your own short films. Prefer to send money rather than videos? Anyone can send emergency funds 24×7 to friends and relatives anywhere in the world by accessing the online services of iKobo.com and Xoom.com – no waiting lines, telephone hold times or agents. Similar websites let a mother send emergency funds to her daughter attending college online or via cell phone in a matter of minutes. By cell phone, this mother could also quickly transfer funds from one of her accounts to another in order to avoid overdraft charges.
Maybe you are more interested in saving money rather than sending it. If so, log onto VistaPrint.com and build high quality, custom print materials (business cards, brochures, checks, thank you cards, flyers, postcards, etc.) in minutes for half the cost of traditional printing companies. You can also save lots of money on education these days if you have the motivation and discipline. A poor child from the inner city can become self-educated by accessing MIT’s free Online Courseware. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the world’s premier universities – the “Harvard” of engineering science and technology. Do you have a thirst for knowledge and education or want to keep your kids on track with their grades and study habits? Then click on Chalksite.com, Studyloft.com, Schoopy.com, and e-Tutor.com (I especially like its graphing calculator, which helps students visualize what equations “look like”).
Do you have a book idea or story in your head but can’t afford the traditional high cost of publishing? You can now self-publish a book in days or weeks for a few hundred dollars rather than spending thousands of dollars and waiting months or years to get a book to market. High-quality, low cost, publishing services are now provided by such sites at Lulu.com, Blurb.com and InstantPublisher.com, to name a few. The website OurStory.com makes this even easier by guiding you through a series of milestones to which you can add text, photos or videos as part of a timeline. From this timeline, you can then create your own book, DVD or simply share your stories online with friends and family.
Innocentive, Lego Mindstorms, Makezine.com, Collabnet and FoxConn provide Web-based platforms which allow people from all parts of the world to collaborate, innovate and build products and services online, leading to breakthrough ideas in every field imaginable. You can work with a person in Russia, India or Brazil and help them sell their low-cost, high-quality products or services in the U.S., allowing both of you to make money. Additionally, a small business owner can run his entire business for almost nothing using free (or nearly free) Web-based software applications such as e-mail, spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, data bases, and project management tools. These “apps” are hosted by Zoho.com, ThinkFree.com, BaseCamp.com, Google Apps, and OpenOffice. In the coming pages, we will take a closer look at how these and other Web 2.0 companies are forever changing the nature of business, industry, government and education.
If we add three billion more people (which we have recently) to the global workforce and connect them and others via Web-based tools such as those noted above, we create the potential for the most rapid acceleration in white collar productivity and human advancement the world has ever seen. This advancement, in turn, will lead to more parity in wage rates around the world. And while there will still be lower and higher wage countries, already we have seen closing wage gaps between advanced (e.g., U.S, Japan, Germany, UK) and emerging economies (e.g., China, India, Taiwan, Singapore, and others). This wage gap reduction will not only continue, but it will accelerate over the coming years.
After living abroad and traveling the world as an Air Force officer and later as a business and technology adviser to Fortune 500 companies and Global 2000 corporations, I am convinced that the individual and the entrepreneur, aided with new knowledge and enabled by the wise use of the emerging Web 2.0 technologies and business models, will be well-positioned for success. They need not be paralyzed by the fear of foreign competition and the loss of their jobs. I will show you how to prevent this from happening. Indeed, a proper balance of global cooperation and competition is healthy and makes all of us better people and the world a more colorful, vibrant and interesting place in which to live and work. Additionally, I am optimistic that individual workers and entrepreneurs who apply the principles of The New Science of Success to their careers and their enterprises will be capable of providing the greatest contribution to society and to our collective, sustainable, economic growth in a manner that is inclusive of all the world’s people, nations, genders, religions, ethnicities and races. As we are discovering from DNA analysis linked to the origins of humankind, we are increasingly more alike than different.
This book is a work in progress, not the final word. My hope is that some of the provocations I present here will serve as a starting point for further discussion and debate. I certainly do not claim to have all the answers. Instead, I am constantly learning and refining my position when presented with compelling ideas from readers such as you.
OK, now let’s take a mindwalk into the future.