Barbell Economies

Today’s industries are moving to a barbell like structure, with a few global giants at one end, a narrowing middle that consists of mid sized firms and a growing group of small, micro businesses balancing up the other end.

A recent survey by Intuit in the US found that over the next 5 years or so contingent workers in the US will exceed 40% of the total workforce. The ramifications to businesses globally if this is the case will be massive as traditional full time, full benefit jobs will become harder and harder to find.

Small businesses that cater to a certain niche untouched by the larger companies will flourish as they reduce labour costs and increase the available talent pool. Mid sized businesses will find it harder and harder to compete and will either be acquired by the larger players or face oblivion and extinction.

The growth of the Internet, high bandwidth and cloud computing will combine with big data analytics to drill further down into consumers habits and needs.

As computing power increases and becomes cheaper location based services and always on location chip technology will tell information providers everything about us, just remember how much personal and private data you supply to companies like Facebook all for free.

Businesses will use this technology to streamline their operations, increase efficiency and encourage user and consumer participation.

Emerging cloud technology and mobile business tools will see the workplace reinvented forever. Workers will have increased flexibility with regard to where and when they work in order to be closer to home and avoid long commutes that are time wasting and mind numbing. Increasing work will shift away from the Corporate office and into the “my place’ my time” work regimen.

Future firms will build and utilise large and multi sourced databases to gain early mover and scale advantage, increasingly business models will be based on the “data collected”. The value component in many products and services will be “the data”.

Statisticians and others who trade in data analytics will be able to name their own price.

Work life balance will no longer be a myth, but a reality as people invest in the places they live to make them better. This new community fabric will spawn stronger family ties and local economic development in new and dynamic ways.

The outlier will be increased need for medical and healthcare services as spending in this sector increases significantly as a percentage of GDP.

As countries become more affluent “wealth” diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes will require increased spending and attention. 


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