Technological Unemployment, the Architecture Profession, and My Worth as an Author

I believe Michael Ferguson‘s analysis about the future, jobs, and technological unemployment is essentially correct,

http://thefuture101.blogspot.com/2011/08/and-now-lets-move-to-jobs.html

Technology is automating more and more jobs.  We software-oriented architects are the “grunts” that are helping to usher this process along.  Indeed, we are working to automate ourselves out of traditional employment.  We have been creating conditions which favor permanent entrepreneurship for every one of us, and which do not favor traditional employment for any of us.

From a Coasean economics perspective, information technology is helping to reduce general transaction costs worldwide such that transaction costs internal to firms and external to them are approaching parity.  In other words, it is increasingly nonsensical for any company to bother hiring employees.  This does not mean however, that companies do not need people, nor does it mean that future consumers do not need the products of your hard work!  Read Michael’s article for his detailed analysis of this phenomenon.

How can I write a book on a “theory of I/T architecture”, of the philosophy and science of I/T architecture, without addressing this trend?  I can’t.  I need to discuss where we have been as professionals, where we are, and where were are going.  I must play the futurist and make predictions.  Of course, some of my predictions will be shown to have been correct over time, some wrong, but stick my neck out I must!  There is no way I can write such a book, sit on the side lines, and simply throw up my arms and say, “I have no idea what to do next.”  If I am not attempting to help my readers make critical decisions about their personal futures, then what good would I be as an author?  Why should you bother to read what I have to write?

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“Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation” (Metrick and Yasuda)

For the I/T architect, or the architect of any stripe, I highly recommend the book, Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation by Andrew Metrick and Ayako Yasuda,

http://www.amazon.com/Venture-Capital-Finance-Innovation-Metrick/dp/0470454709

Even if you are fortunate to have others available to perform these calculations for you, understanding “the VC method” provides you with yet another way to increase your fidelity to the ethical imperative: identifying with the business owner’s typical decision processes and understanding their value metrics.