The Way Life Will Be

Or rather the way life is becoming. I recently read a book titled “2029: Guide to the Future” by futurist Oleg Tumarkin.

In the book the author talks about what he predicts life will be like in the year 2029. But what is interesting is that he wrote the book in 2018 – pre Covid obviously. And what is really interesting is that most of the changes he predicts are already happening, many of them exacerbated by Covid. 

Actually, the onset of Covid served as a strong impetus for moving things forward much more rapidly.

Here are some of the predictions from the book. Remember he was writing in 2018-2019 and making predictions for 2029 ten years hence.

Collaboration of organizations:  Companies are going to trend towards working together rather than competing with one another. Companies will be much more closely aligned with their values and ways of doing things.

Engagement Formats: Traditional careers will decline and be associated with larger bureaucracies such as government. The traditional career path will be more focused on the individual over the organization. Or what Tom Peters called “You incorporated” With focus on personal careers rather than organizational career paths.

Freelance “Gig” Economy: This type of economy will continue to gain ground (right now more rapidly than ever). This goes hand in hand with the concept of “You incorporated” as people become independent contractors, starting their own companies based on their own skills. Personally, I see this happening right now in our own electronics industry where we are starting to see CAM/front end professionals starting their own independent companies from home offices while serving three or four or even five companies, providing them with engineering services. Expect to see much more of this going forward, especially as we feel the decline of qualified professionals who are less than willing to start moving around the country.

Key Skill Sets: Operations, engineering, quality, and sales will all become much more specialized. Professionals will be highly skilled in their particular field. They will become true experts. And as mentioned above they will start their own firms selling their services to a number of companies rather than being beholden to just one.

Complete product solutions: Rather than companies building only one part of a product we can expect to see them provide the entire product by coordinating with other partners. This is one prediction that is being realized as we write this. In our industry our customers expect companies to provide them with a complete solution in our case from design to completed product. This allows a good cooperative effort between designers and PCB companies and PCBA companies. And in some cases, companies are doing all of it themselves under one roof or corporate umbrella.

Ease of product and service purchases: Customers want easy and frictionless transactions. The true success of companies like Amazon and Ali Baba is how easy it is to find and purchase products and get those products delivered. Customers have become accustomed to this to the point that they are shocked if something takes more than forty eight hours to arrive. This trend will continue and will spread to all products. As we have seen in our business, companies are already being tasked with providing products from concept to reality to delivery in shorter and shorter times.

The world will get smaller: I will go out on an optimistic limb here and say that the countries of the world will start working together better. I know that it does not feel like this right now, but it is inevitable that the time will come. The war in Ukraine is not only stupid, but hopelessly outdated. People don’t want wars; they want to do business and they want to do business globally. There will rapidly come a time when the world will be forced by its citizenry to get along so they can do business, and the xenophobes will lose their grip on their country’s political direction.

Innovation Cooperation: Will prevail. Covid causes the world to come up with solutions, to innovate more than ever before. And one of the reasons this happens was that people all over the world decided to demolish their silos and work together. The examples that this cooperative initiative established will not be lost on the more sensible people of each country thus opening the doors to global borderless innovation when it comes to products that benefit all mankind. Look for this to be the direction we head in as we move towards 2029.

Actually, most of the “predictions” listed here are not really predictions so to speak. They are actually a list of trends that are going to continue to grow as we move rapidly into the future that will be 2029. That future is here today and we are merely working at getting better at it. It’s only common sense.