We are living in one of the most amazing times in human history, and no one could have foreseen such a radical change to the way the United States population is currently operating at the beginning of this decade, just under four months ago. The future is being developed and brought into fruition before all of our eyes. We are on the cusp of a different era, indeed. This is an era in which trends will already become known to us as they are concurrently being formed and utilized by other businesses and people – that is, we won’t know of what’s “new and innovative” in the world until it is quickly adopted by everybody, springing the innovation into all of our worlds.
It is apparent from reading “Corporate Innovation in the Fifth Era” that eras the world have previously experienced, which include the hunter-gatherer, agrarian, mercantile, and industrial era, have progressively gotten shorter in length. This means that humans are exponentially developing through technologies and subsequent periods of change to areas that include culture, work, and living. The fifth era, which has been developing parallel to industrial innovation over the past 50 years, will include internet and computer technologies that increase productivity and the spread of ideas/education/entertainment (as we have begun to see over the past 20 years). As we trail on into this new era, my predictions for the trends springing out of these new times are as followed: the economies of different countries throughout the world will continue to be used to the advantage of businesses. This means that companies will be open-minded and encourage hiring remote workers from countries with a favorable currency-exchange rate. For example, this could look like businesses hiring Africans to work as a computer scientist on a remote team. The capital expended on this team would be spent more efficiently because corporations need not own/rent a building for their employees to work at, their employees won’t have any commuting-associated costs (including their time), and most of all they can pay them a much lower salary that will still satisfy the African (or whatever economically favorable country they hire from). Full workforces and teams will be made up of remote employees. The smartest companies will not limit their talent-hiring pool to the city or country they are in – they will pick the best in the world and have all their work online. This sort of activity will lead into much of the world having to assimilate to one language, the language of the country that is hiring, which will most likely be English (many countries already teach English as a second language). I could see the most innovative companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook being the first adopters to this employment/business model. These innovative companies are also the ones who crave diversity, a mix of perceptions/convictions – which serve to inform my prediction about the future of remote teams made up of people from all around the world speaking one language, English. Thus, we will see a globalization like never before – a worldly economy very interconnected as we’ve never seen before. Communication and shipments between countries will be easier and less costly. International commerce will be a topic of discussion as it pertains to a company’s payroll. Tech and internet startups will continue to be the most valued (only increasingly so), and we may see valuations so astronomical that they break records. In addition to the previously mentioned forecasts, I also predict a shift away from the current computer/internet interfaces we use – someone will make a better-designed interface/computer as work and play continue developing into the fifth era. To be blunt, Windows and Apple interfaces are “looks” of yesterday, and they will be replaced by more intuitive/efficient operating systems. ESports and interactive video game adoption/usage will also grow concurrently in the entertainment industries.
Now, as for how Coronavirus plays into this fifth era we are moving in – we are seeing these changes to remote work VERY clearly and actively assimilating to them as a culture. After this quarantine/outbreak, which’s effects will be felt at least the rest of 2020, people will come out of their dwellings with a new mindset about what sort of work is possible. People will continue to stay at home, not wasting time getting dressed, packing a meal, commuting, and everything in between. We are seeing the capability of anyone to be their most productive by working at home – particularly if that work is able to be done on a computer (which most work is).
In history, there is often times where change was ready to happen – the metaphorical arrow of change was pulled back onto its bow string, waiting to be launched – but it just took some sort of historical event as a catalyst to move things forward, and someone’s vision to give the bow and arrow direction. This change into a fifth era was going to happen regardless of Corona or not, but now Corona has catalyzed and sprung us into this fifth era of the 2020’s. And we will never go back.