You’ve heard this:
If all you ever do, is all you’ve every done. Then you can only expect all you’ve ever got.
It’s changed slightly, actually it has changed radically:
If all you ever do, is all you’ve ever done. Then you can expect much much less than you used to get.
This is because there are a nearly 2 billion people in the BRIC nations who are prepared to do what you do for around 10% of your price. And in a ‘web everywhere’ world people can find them. Yes this includes nearly all of us – Architects, Engineers, Accountants, Lawyers, Graphic Designers, Coders, Developers, Journalists – every single task that can be done remotely, and even some that can’t be.
For them 10% of your pay is a 50% pay rise. A pretty good deal from where they sit.
What to do – do more with the stuff that lives around the edges. Make meaning from the seemingly disparate. Add a creative edge by mashing things up in a new and interesting way. And demand the people near you take notice of your ideas. If they don’t, then find a better place to share your creativity.
The trick to the future is to organise the factors of production, not be them.
BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are the buzz word in business for good reason. In the good news for us small entrepreneurs is that access is no longer limited big players. The internet has made it possible to have a global work force from launch date, and the same cost advantages that multinationals have had since they started exporting labour to China and other parts of Asia since the 1960’s. Anyone can do it now.
Before you worry about the ethics of ‘off shoring’ there’s some stuff we should know. Exporting labour overseas is ethically sound. It is beneficial both to the recipients and the providers of such work (us). The average computer programmer earns around $1000 a month in India. In the USA and Australia it’s more like $7000 a month. Unethical? Not really. The $1000 a month versus the average in India of $85 gives new information workers in India and very high standard of living.
When we inject money into developing economies we are increasing the living standards not just for our employees, but for their economy in general. In addition we have the option to pay them above market rates to create strong loyalty. We have the option treat our people well and create important cultural exchanges and relationships.
Other peoples time is what we must leverage for startup success. A simple business fact time immemorial. Only now we have both currency advantage and access. The issue of moving jobs overseas is a crock. We live in a global age, an internet economy. We all buy goods everyday from overseas. Geographical barriers simply wont exist shortly. So we should just get on board. Protectionist attitudes are outdated. No one is sending kids down mines with digital offshoring. If local people are getting put out of jobs, then they’ve been earning too much for what they’ve been doing anyway. Their outplacement is inevitable.
Startup Blog says:
I’m launching a new startup. For those who don’t know about it here are some of the key points:
- The brand extension comes from an already successful enterprise
- The partnership & legal agreements were entered into over a year ago
- The idea is not an original one, rather a new execution of a proven formula
- We didn’t pitch the idea or ask for permission, we just did it
- It’s a brand extension
- It’s a self funded project with no external capital. But we wont have ownership
- We will give away the corporation, once it is cash flow positive
- It’s a very long lead project
- It wont be cash flow positive for more than 20 years
- Estimated cost of the project is around $500K
- We do expect to however, to yield emotional & community benefits very early after launch
- It’s an industry we’ve never worked in before, but have a natural flair for it
- Some of the product development will be outsourced to 3rd parties
- Outsourcing will occur in 3 large segments of up to 6 years each
- The most important product development will be done in house
- There wont be any major advertising, brand awareness will be driven through family & friends
- We already know it’s unique, but wont require any intellectual property protection
- However, major security measures will be taken to protect the asset, especially in the incubation phase
My new startup is my baby due January 25th, and it’s the most exciting one I’ve ever been involved in. We’re involved in more startups than we think…
Startup Blog says: Let’s not define ourselves by what we own, but the cool stuff we do.
It was easy for white collar workers to be smug during the 1980′s. Their blue collar counterparts faced a dire future as hands on jobs increasingly went overseas to low cost labour markets. It even made it possible for information workers to extract larger salaries as the profitability of their organizations soared. The white collar desk jockey rode the wave of efficiency as corporations globalized and consolidated manufacturing.
Life has a funny way of going full circle. And now it’s our turn, the white collar worker. We are also an endangered species in developed markets.
Yep, you and me. We too, will be outsourced. All us accountants, IP Lawyers, Engineers, Computer Programmers (insert university educated profession here).
Don’t believe me? Then consider this: In India each year there are over 300,000 Engineering graduates and over 400,000 IT graduates who will happily work for 10% of what conglomerate X pays you right now. It’s only a matter of time before large corporations, who are usually struggling for top line growth, can get over the emotional barrier of having a large corporate head office and go offshore. The spreadsheet will make that decision for them. But this time the barriers will be lower than when all the call center went overseas because consumers wont even notice. Society wont care either. They are sick of people earning well above average incomes in ivory towers. No one will feel sorry for us.
What to do?
Stop being a factor of production and start organizing them. Stuff gets done, things can be built, and anything which is done at a desk is about to disappear to low cost labour markets. The way information workers can survive is through undertaking entrepreneurial endeavors (corporate & private). Be able to manage complex projects and by managing situations and people, not doing stuff. The age of the entrepreneur is about to become something which is so significant it changes work just like the industrial revolution did.
Startup blog says: Are you ready?
Get ready at Startup School.
For those of my blog readers already locked and loaded for startup school – Good News.
For those thinking about coming long – Another great reason to join us.
The uber terrific Yvonne Adele from at Ideas Culture has just joined us for the 2 events. She will be facilitating and helping us out through the two days. But don’t think she’ll just be giving the intro’s and outro’s – she’ll be giving us her spin on creativity and ideas, as well as getting us pumped up, motivated and thinking. Which will also blow our minds!
So, if you’ve been on the edge of booking startup school. Time to get moving. The Melbourne event is about to close the door with only a couple of seats left. And Sydney is filling quickly.
Feel free to contact me if you have any queries and want to chat in more detail about it on 0438 779566. Steve.
Apple: A crispy, crunchy yet sweet fruit, which can be eaten as is, with the peel still on the fruit. Can’t be broken into segments by hand – you need a knife to do this. Can even be used in cooking, on salads and also even great for making pie. Gives the teeth a little clean at the same time and freshens the breath while providing many valuable and healthy nutrients. Very difficult to make juice by hand with, but easy to pick the good from the bad as it’s bruises show clearly on the skin.
Orange: Needs to be peeled to be eaten, but can also be broken into nice little segments so you can share with a friend. No knife required. Not as crunchy as the apple, but juicier and more thirst quenching. Provides it’s own unique set of healthy nutrients. Easy to make fruit juice from by hand. Not so good for making pie with. Hides it’s quality under the skin and could be a bad watery orange, and you just won’t know until you eat it.
These are some of the clear difference in the two fruits above. I’m sure you can add more.
But none of us would want a combined Apple and Orange into one type of fruit. An ‘Appage’ or an ‘Orpple’ anyone?
We wouldn’t want this because we understand the unique benefits of each, and they both have their value as part of our diet. In fact we feel like, and need both apples and oranges at different times. To add the benefits of one of these fruits to the other fruit, would by definition diminish the original benefits. So why is it that we are constantly told to work on our weaknesses as if they are the holy grail of success in life? As entrepreneurs we are far better off focusing on our strengths the same way fruit does.
Should we try and improve? No doubt. But to obsess over a weakness is to ignore your given talents. What they don’t tell you is that anyone who has ever achieved anything, did it via leveraging strengths. And it isn’t without irony that the apple and the orange happen to go very well together.
Startup blog says: Outsource weaknesses, focus on strengths.