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    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Watch Out! Here Comes The Service Revolution!

    You may not have noticed, but In the 'West" we are living in a so called service economy. This means we don't make a lot of stuff anymore. We just buy it.

    We are able to do so in ever increasing quantities with the money we earn sitting in office buildings looking at computer screens. Producing spreadsheets. And if we are not looking at our screens we are sitting around a big table with lots of comfy chairs. Talking about our spreadsheets.

    Sounds all right. But there is a problem. We don't make a lot of stuff anymore, but we don't provide a real viable alternative for it. My gut feeling says that If we don't use our hands, we should be using our head. And we are not using it. You don't have to be a economist to figure this out. If we don't change we will be in trouble. We won't be able to compete on any level with the big and slowly awakening giants like India, Brazil and China.

    We, in the west, are living a service economy, that's a big change from a industrialized economy. But our way of thinking, our processes, the way we structure our companies, sell and market our products is still based on ideas developed in the industrial revolution. So it's about time for a new revolution. A service revolution.

    In fact it is taking place right now and it's official name is the "third Industrial Revolution". Basically this is what's happening: Economists divide goods and services into tradable and non-tradable. And service has often been considered non-tradeble (and still is by many). But the boundaries are fading away. This means that more and more services will become tradable. This is were our greatest and possibly only opportunities for the future lie.

    It's going to take some effort. Because, just like the other two industrial revolutions, it is going to change the way we work, live, and educate our children. So it's a big deal. But it's still early days and we don't really know what to do with it. Or we're just to bloody comfortable, rich and lazy and we don't want to see the necessity for change. So we just keep pushing the snooze button one more time. But it's time to wake up. Because it's never a good idea to sleep through a revolution. You'll miss all the fun.


    RJ said...

    Nice additional words form Seth Godin on

    Arne van Oosterom said...

    Thanks! That's a great piece from Seth. I couldn't agree more.