The Future of Work
Dark Factories, Ghost Kitchens, and the Metaverse
As we enter this new global interconnected world, the future of work is an important conversation. Upcoming demographic shifts across the planet will disrupt traditional consumption economies. The Pandemic has also accelerated the Future of Work to a distributed workforce that increases both human efficiency and human loneliness.
There are three trends that are important to follow:
1) Dark Factories
Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? Actually, it is a term for a factory that is completely automated, controlled by AI systems, operated with IoT sensors and robotic manufacturing systems. The factory is dark, because, with no humans necessary, there is no need for light. Besides, for high tech fabrication such as semiconductor manufacturing, humans are too dirty, anyway.
2) Ghost Kitchens
With the pandemic, one adaptation that was required was that many restaurants needed to shift to delivery only, leveraging Uber Eats, Food Panda, and the shared economy. One interesting case study is Mr. Beast Burger. Mr. Beast, AKA Jimmy Donaldson, is a top YouTuber, currently with 56.2 million subscribers. Last December, he instantaneously launched 300 virtual restaurant locations across 35 states, and has already sold over 1 million burgers.
Mr. Beast Burger is part of Virtual Dining Concepts, operated by restaurateur Robert Earl. Now, a virtual restaurant doesn’t sell virtual food. It is a term that represents a restaurant business that doesn’t have actual restaurants, but uses overflow capacity at other brick-and-mortar restaurants to produce the meals with fixed recipes, and delivery services to deliver the food, through a dedicated mobile app and website.
3) The Metaverse
So, as automation disrupts factory, driving, and other jobs, the Future of Work seems like it will be moving more towards the digital and virtual realms. This creates a new economy where more and more work is pushed online, into the digital world. Remote work, online communities, and new modes of communication have exploded in the past year with Zoom gaining massive adoption, Clubhouse becoming a phenomenon, the launch of the game changing Oculus Quest 2 at a price point of $300.
Uniswap catalyzed a DeFi cryptocurrency revival, where decentralized money can now be sent anywhere in the world, instantly. NFTs are selling for millions. The U.S. Federal Reserve just announced their FedCoin. 5G networks are rolling out, and Space X has launched 1,000 broadband satellites into orbit. Apple is also getting into the XR game, and Apple Glass could potentially achieve the adoption that Google Glass never could.
The world is becoming virtual, and this will disrupt the nature of … everything.
Better pay attention, we are in the midst of a phase transition, and it is a period of great opportunity and change. Don’t get left behind.