These are unstable times.
Socially, economically, environmentally - it all feels like the last few decades of progress are somewhat unravelling. Some of it has been irrational exuberance, but many of these changes will need to be undone. That will take time.
It’s interesting to work in technology at this time. We have our heads firmly planted in the future, but now more than ever - we have no clue what that future might be.
Even a 5 year outlook seems full of uncertainty.
As the year ends and I think ahead about 2019, a few disconnected thoughts are going through my mind.
- I’m strangely optimistic. Uncertainty and risk are often times of opportunity - especially for the world of tech. Some giants are stumbling and it may create space for more to emerge.
- I’m worried about the state of globalism and nationalism. The policies are easily reversible, the mindsets are not. This may be the defining struggle of our generation.
- History has the answers. There are plenty of things that are different, but times like these makes me more interested in what has happened decades and centuries ago during times of change. The past can provide more insight in these times.
- Have a plan. It’s important to chart your course and follow it. That plan will give you comfort when waters are choppy.
- Change will happen slowly, and then suddenly. Most of the changes (if negative) will be tolerable as they happen. As they compound, we’ll reach a tipping point and shit will hit the fan, so to speak. Know this is happening. Be prepared.
- Things are going to get worse before they get better. We’re already dangerously close (if not past) to the path of no return for some things - especially environmentally.
I’m not sure which one of these is most important. Perhaps it’s that uncertainty is now the new reality, and it’s here to stay.