When people complain how technology, especially the internet, kills jobs they could not be doing a better job of advertising the fact that they don’t get it. Starting with cavemen and right up to the present, every new advancement brought better jobs and lives for all of us. We never deliberately stop innovating just to hold on to old jobs. Some jobs exist without enough skilled people to fill them. For example, there are many new jobs building robots, tablets and high-speed micro-processors, etc. There are plenty of jobs for people with internet advertising skills – in many cases, more jobs than skilled people. The Pyramids were built by paid labor, not slaves, before the invention of the wheel. Would they have complained about the darn wheel – “this is going to kill jobs – much better to haul slabs of heavy stone by hand, slowly!” Maybe some would have said that – but as soon as someone thought of putting 4 wheels together, the game changed and suddenly there are plenty of new, great jobs that didn’t exist before.
In the same way, those who embrace the newest technology will find no end of jobs and most importantly, no end of new opportunities to become owners of new businesses. Can’t think of a good one? Well, here are 4 new business models that didn’t exist pre-internet and are now the foundation for great businesses and jobs going forward:
1. Stores without buildings, products or warehouses (perfect for people with big dreams but only a small pile of funds to start with) In the past, to go into retail you needed to buy or rent a store and then source, invent and/or make products, buy licenses, invest in warehousing, shipping and distribution. Now, you simply create and market a website. Other companies white label their products to you and ship with your custom labeling. They provide the page on your website. This model means that some small manufacturer of quality goods—using local labor -- can now get to a global market. It means that a marketing-focused entrepreneur can build a business that can scale, creating jobs locally. Customers get the best products, best shopping experience and lowest prices while at the same time finding stuff they need, can use, and ordinarily would not find or pay for.
2. Have cake and eat it too (by partnering with your competitors). You help a big brand sell their products. Not only do affiliate marketers whose only strength is to drive and convert internet traffic make a living with this model, but this can be extended into a Miracle on 34th Street kind-of-way (Macy’s Santa sent a customer to competitor Gimbels). Suppose you are locked in competition with a similar provider and you know that buyers are likely to shop and compare. Why not have an affiliate sales relationship with them to make it easier for customers to do their comparison shopping from your site and now you get paid whether they buy from you OR your competition. A button on your website makes it easier for the customer to go where they were going anyway.
3. Put your turnstile in front of the entrance of other people’s stores - this is the ultimate position for any internet marketer. Go to any website but go to them through my search engine. Go to any site in a vertical but do it through my website, comparison shopping engine or review portal. No need for content, no need for anything other than a commitment to making customer’s lives easier. This flood of people going through your turnstile can be monetized in a variety of ways – serve them ads, charge monthly subscription, offer them a chance to buy something unique or send them to someone else’s turnstile.
4. Rock, Paper, Scissors – Platforms, content and distribution are always locked in a Rock-Paper-Scissors battle for supremacy. Look at mobile devices – once this new platform was established there was a vacuum for content to fill it. Suddenly, there are apps and a responsive websites (websites programmed to shape themselves into the screen size and computing power of a mobile device) that not only allows mobile device users to have a better user experience in general but to also do the things one can do when out and about and not tethered to a PC. Once a tablet with content existed, distributors fought for control –transmission services wrestled each other for control of the platform and content…suddenly it was all about Verizon vs. AT&T then together against Cable then Cable vs. non-traditional video like YouTube and Hulu, then online services against Amazon, Apple, Roku and others. You could either develop the platform or develop content for someone’s platform. Or distribute that platform and/or content on someone else’s service.
Bonus 5th model :
5. Free– the content is free so the maximum number of people comes to the content—perfect for advertising. Or, if your content is so good that people will pay-per-view, then save them money with monthly subscription. Augment or replace the monthly subscription with a loyalty program that offers registered users the chance to buy –or win products….and then sell the registered visitors names to lead generation organizations. Don’t like marketing? Then stick to your content-making-specialty by syndicating your content. Too much work? Then create your own content site using someone else’s free content and then work with network-fill partners to generate advertising revenue.
The internet kills jobs??? We never had so many opportunities.
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