My parents raised me knowing the consequences. Yes, I could stay up late, but I still had to get up for school. Yes, I could dye my hair purple, but I had to face potential unemployment, depending on the policies of the business.
Today, consequences seem to be appropriately focused on those who intimidated, harassed, or otherwise threatened the job security of others. Yes, you can apparently do all that—or could in another era when we were too scared to speak out—but eventually there are consequences.
Life is full of the risks we take, and the consequences that come with the package. Our society, as a whole, is about limiting risks—which is why taking them becomes the topic of feature stories and inspirational videos. Not all consequences are negative, either, which is a mindset we often forget.
So what do we do when there are risks, with the potential for positive and negative outcomes, that we didn’t CHOOSE to take? For example:
New studies conducted by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group show that more than half of the jobs at risk due to automation currently belong to women. The projections are that one industrial robot will replace an estimated six workers at a time.
The consequence of automation isn’t necessarily that more women will be out of work—but it is that we need to be thinking of how to reinvent our work. Rather than unemployment, let’s make the consequence more entrepreneurism. Let’s start the discussion now about new training programs, innovation, and new leveraging of technology discoveries. If nothing else, let’s learn to repair the robots .
The boom in cryptocurrency mining has driven GPU prices up. GPUs, or Graphics Processing Units, are the chosen hardware for miners in order to process the trading of crypto and harvest fractions of coins as a byproduct. The side effect is that these high end graphics cards also have another audience: Gamers, who are being priced out of new hardware as a byproduct of quickly escalating prices.
The consequence of being priced out of a product is often invention of a new product—creating its own cycle of innovation. In this case, we’re seeing the banking industry watching cryptocurrency mining carefully, knowing it’s a potential threat. . .and we’re seeing gamers figure out how to bypass the system and find new avenues, including new revenue sources in things such as eSports.
YouTube Kids was supposed to be a distribution avenue specifically for child-friendly content; instead, it appears to have become a source of revenue for “farm” content creators who created videos based on algorithmic search terms. The people behind these videos riffed on topics such as the “finger song,” “Frozen” and “Spider-Man,” among others, in every way imaginable—eventually with unsettling results. This content stretched the boundaries of what was acceptable for many people.
The consequence? Parents shut down access and YouTube has had to take a new look at its content and marketing practices.
So, in this era of the internet’s growth and development we can certainly take risks, throw it out there, and see what people love. At the same time, we have to understand the consequences and be prepared to change. For this, we need to be constantly monitoring and gaining new understanding of our world and our market.
Now, for that purple hair . . .