17th level Hacker

Peters on Offshoring

Tom Peters has some points about offshoring up on his site. I agree with a lot of the points there. One of the ones that I like the most:

Workers have the ultimate stake. And thus the ultimate personal responsibility. (Think: Emerson, self-reliance.) “Workers”/we/all must “re-imagine” ourselves – take the initiative to create useful global skills, not imagine that large employers or powerful nations will protect us from the current (and future!) labor market upheavals.

The common argument that I’m handed by friends and business relations when I say something like that is “the average person is incapable of retraining themselves and determining a new career path”. So now when people tell me that I can just point to Tom’s list. Tom has a lot more clout than I do, even among my friends.

I personally think this should be a great time for entrepreneurs. If all those people out there have ability but not the direction to be able to take off on their own, it represents a great asset. So maybe only one percent of people need the drive, and the ones who do make it hopefully end up employing the other 99 percent. It would take a while for new companies to staff up, but it would account somewhat for the cyclical nature or business here in Silicon Valley. Maybe there are people who acquire the drive and skills after one cycle, some after two, and so on. Thinking like that, it does make sense that there is so much technology work concentrated in the Valley area. The area doesn’t just create technology, or even technology workers, but technology entrepreneurs.When I went to see Paul Saffo speak he said something about each new generation of Silicon Valley not standing on the shoulders of its predecessor, but building from the rubble of the past. For this area I could certainly see how that works. Each generation turns out a few motivated people with the business smarts and battle experience necessary to drive into the next area of innovation.