25 MORE Ways to Outrun the Ogre

LFT“I have never, in thirty-two years, seen anything like the pace of change we’re seeing today.”

Those are the words of Larry Keeley, founder of Doblin Group, a widely praised innovation strategy consulting firm.

And let’s take what David Rose, a leading angel investor and founder of startup investing platform Gust said recently:

“Every single job function we can identify is being fundamentally transformed.”

We’ve been talking a lot about how the individual is being affected by this digital revolution. Today, we’ll zoom out and see how it’s affecting entire industries.

First thing you should know: no industry… not one… is passing through this revolution untouched.

Mike Halsall, a construction company executive, as one example, observed the following happening in construction…

1] A massive increase in collaboration. Collaboration is turning the construction industry, a traditionally “cloudy” industry, into one that’s transparent and much more efficient.

2] Increasingly-sophisticated software that creates incredibly complex visualizations not just possible — but simple. Soon, everyone will be an architect.

3] And, of course, 3D printing is slowly taking over. A technology that has already allowed us to build four houses in under 10 hours. And an entire mansion in less than a day.

Technological tools are now snapping the reins of the economy.

And everywhere we look, we see the once impossible being made possible. If you stay ahead of this curve, I guarantee you’ll be able to pull something out of it that will change your life.

Maybe even in today’s “25 Ways to Outrun the Ogre.”

Before we dive into that, though, let’s take a quick jaunt through human history.

Prepare your peripheral vision. The picture’s about to get real big.

LFT“For most of recorded history,” Salim Ismail writes in his groundbreaking book Exponential Organizations,“a community’s productivity was a function of its human power: men and women to hunt, gather and build, and children to assist.”

If you doubled the number of hands of help, Salim explained, it doubled the output.

It was a painfully linear process.

“In time,” says Ismail, “humanity domesticated beasts of burden, including the horse and ox, and output increased further.”

But, of course, the growth was still linear.

“Double the beasts,” he writes, “double the output.”

LFTAnd then market capitalism sat down at the bar.

And then, shortly after, the Industrial Age swept open the dusty doors of the Saloon and strutted in.

Saloon entrance GIF

The world, as you know, was never the same.

“Now,” says Ismail, “a single individual could operate machinery that did the work of 10 horses or 100 laborers. The speed of transport, and thus distribution, doubled, and then, for the first time in history, tripled.”

This increase in overall output spread an epoch-forming level of prosperity across the land. And it brought forth a higher standard of living for everyone involved.

Since the eighteenth century, we’ve watched our lifespans double and the inflation-adjusted per capita net worth of every nation on Earth triple.

But we need more.

Unfortunately, machines aren’t enough to face today’s challenges. Machine growth is painstakingly linear, inefficient, and costly.

“Too much money and valuable talent is locked up in decade-long projects whose likelihood of success can’t be measured almost until the moment they fail,” Ismail writes. “All of which adds up to enormous waste, not least in terms of lost potential to pursue other ideas and opportunities that could benefit mankind.

“This new age calls for a different solution to building new business, to improving rates of success and to solving the challenges that lie ahead.

“That solution,” says Ismail, “is the Exponential Organization.”

LFTIt was Archimedes who once said, “Give me a lever long enough, and I’ll move the world.”

If Archimedes were alive today, he’d look at technology and say, “Give me that lever!”

And he’d move the world.

Eureka!

Moore’s Law, Archimedes would learn, is to blame for this remarkable tool.

Surely, you’ve heard of Moore’s Law.

In its simplest form, Moore’s Law states that processor speeds will double every eighteen months.

To the untrained eye, this might appear unimpressive.

But anyone who has ever played the “Double a Penny Every Day For 30 Days” game knows that this is a miraculous level of growth. (By day 30, your penny has turned into $5,0368,709.12.)

And, so far, Moore’s Law has been fairly spot on.

At this pace, by 2025 it’s predicted that our computers will match the processing power of the human brain.

But here’s the story you’re less likely to hear about…

Moore’s Law isn’t just making our computers faster.

Oh, no.

The exponential growth of processing power has allowed us to create an entire infrastructure of exponentiality.

This infrastructure allows organizations to be scalable at essentially the same exponential level of growth as Moore’s Law. If you can fathom that.

Meaning, innovation no longer needs to be linear. No matter where the innovation happens to be occurring. This means, of course, that all linear growth, in every industry, is being phased out of existence.

Right now. As you read this.

Note, for perspective, the difference between linear and exponential growth in this chart:

Liner vs. Exponential Graph

Now imagine every industry being windswept from every corner by little Davids. Thousands of tiny organizations growing at the speed of light.

Well, that’s what’s happening. And its affecting some industries more than others. But not one will escape the wrath.

LFTIn 2007, by way of example, one 3D printer would’ve cost you $40,000.

By 2014, you were able to purchase one for $100.

The cost of one industrial robot, from 2008 to 2013, dropped $478,000.

And another: in 2007, it would’ve cost you $10,000,000 to get your genome sequenced.

And guess how much it cost in 2014…

$1,000.

By the end of 2015, that cost is expected to drop to $100. And to a penny by 2020. By then, biotech guru Raymond McCauley said, “It will soon be cheaper to sequence your genome than it will be to flush your toilet.”

Examples of rate of change chart

Again, any industry that still operates under the rules of linear business growth is getting phased out.

Here are a few examples of the early adopters of exponentiality…

An Era of Exponential Growth Chart

LFTThere are nine new rules for the Exponential Organization in this new economy…

And once you learn them, they have the potential to change your life in ways you couldn’t possibly begin to understand without them.

This is true if you’re an entrepreneur, artist, college kid, or retiree.

In the interest of time, we’ll save those nine rules for tomorrow’s episode.

All you need to know right now is that this new paradigm of exponential growth has made some pretty incredible things possible. And if you’re hip to them, you’re not only ahead of the herd, you’re also far ahead of the Gargoyle on The Hill.

Without additional ado…

Here are 25 ways to Outrun the Ogre, courtesy of Jeffrey Tucker (Liberty.me) and Max Borders (FEE.org)…

ONE. Become an e-resident of Estonia. Estonia was once an unwilling satellite of the Soviet socialist empire. Today, the country is leading the way toward the breakdown of nation-based political organization, especially with its new e-resident program. Anyone can become a resident for $61. What can you do with that? Well, you get a cool card, and there might be some business and banking benefits. No one knows for sure, not even those who champion the program. But it’s a step in the right direction. Digital residency might mean more than physical residency in the world of the future.

TWO. Skip licensing with TaskRabbit. Occupational licensing is one of the dumbest ideas ever, a real holdover from 18th-century mercantilism. Why must we create a state-protected cartel for every task? Well, TaskRabbit is helping to bust them all up with a system for connecting service providers with service seekers. Know how to fix a sink or need one fixed — or hundreds of thousands of other tasks? Get connected in minutes. So much for the gatekeeping monopolists who stand between us and our needs.

THREE. Get anything delivered with WunWun. When you need a government service, you get it on their terms. More and more, when you need anything else, it will come to you. WunWun is fairly new and only operates in New York and San Francisco, but you can see where this idea is headed. Click a button on an app and, if it can be brought to you on a bicycle, it will be there in no time. You pay with a credit card. This service is going viral, and paying with cryptocurrency will be an option.

FOUR. Hire or be hired with oDesk. In the old days, getting a job meant impressing a company enough to take you on long term. But in the digital age, anyone can work for or with anyone else, and oDesk is one of hundreds of platforms that make this possible. Freelancing was once the exception, but with government rules and mandates making conventions less viable, millions are turning to task-based employment. Work for whomever you want, whenever you want. It’s a great way to overcome the barriers of the regulatory state.

FIVE. Moonlight with eLance. If you have a skill and a job, but government regulations limit you to 30 or 40 hours of work per week, you can still put those nights and weekends to productive use. Many services, such as eLance, allow you to pick up extra cash without checking with the central authorities. It is completely beyond the capacity of the Department of Labor to monitor this type of work. They call it “exploitation,” but we all know it’s just a matter of making ends meet.

SIX. Foil the revenue cops with Fixed.com. Since the financial crisis of 2008, local governments have been hurting for revenue, so they unleashed the cops to bring in the money. This is one major reason why nearly everyone feels oppressed by the police these days. But the app economy has come to the rescue. Scan your ticket and submit, and a local attorney will push for dismissal. The fee you pay is a fraction of what the government demands. For now, it’s mostly a San Francisco service, but it will soon expand.

SEVEN. Put that car to use with Getaround. You have to get somewhere, but it is not always easy because government transit systems are so terrible. Now there is a way to share your car with others and make money at the same time. This app, one of many such services, allows you to rent a nearby car for the day, putting idle resources to work without crazy government mandates for carpooling and public transport. It’s the market at work fixing yet another big problem.

EIGHT. Your house becomes a restaurant with EatWith. Why should the regulators say what is and what isn’t a restaurant? If you have a kitchen or an appetite, there are others who might want to make an exchange with you. Such services are busy every day busting up the eating cartels. They are also helping to bring back the dinner party.

NINE. Get a business loan at the Funding Circle. The Fed broke the banking system in 2008 with its crazy bailouts and zero-interest-rate policies. It is not a reliable source for doing what banks have always done to make money. But the private sector has come to the rescue with online sources for business loans. The interest on such loans is market based, revealing the weird world we have today with regard to interest: there’s the official rate, and then there’s the real rate.

TEN. Monitor overlords with copblocking. It’s become a thing now that the police are filmed by regular citizens all across the United States and the world. Ten years ago, filming a cop might have gotten you arrested. Today, there is nothing they can do about it, since everyone carries a video maker in her pocket. Filming is not a perfect solution, but it sure makes the cops more accountable. Livestreaming means that the video is still out there even if your phone is confiscated or smashed. Copblocking has become a way of life.

ELEVEN. Try mobile healthcare. Time was when health care came to you. As the industry became more cartelized and expensive, the industry dictated the terms and you had to go to them. But regulations have pushed matters so far that the system is breaking down, and many providers are seceding toward a consumer-driven model. Even companies like Uber are looking into putting doctors and nurses on wheels. Such services will only be for the well-to-do — for now. But just as mobile phones got better, faster, and cheaper, so will health care delivery. Mobile health care startups are already attracting a lot of venture capital. First up: Uber for hangovers. (Note: Uber Logistics is coming soon.)

TWELVE. Get married on the blockchain. Marriage before the 20th century could be a purely private affair between individuals or within religious institutions. States took over marriage in the 20th century with licenses and strictures everywhere. There’s no better way to depoliticize this institution than finding another way to contract a marriage besides going to the State. The blockchain — bitcoin’s payment system — is perfect for posting contracts that are time-stamped, nonforgeable, and verified. Why not let it be the way out of State-controlled marriage? (See Bitnation.)

THIRTEEN. Use blockchain contracting. People who love the distributed ledger have counted fully 84 possible uses of the blockchain for keeping all kinds of records and contracts, including public and private equities, bonds, spending records, crowdfunding, microfinance, land titles, health records, forensic evidence, birth certificates, wills, trusts, escrow, business accounting, and just about anything else that involves contracts. This is serious future stuff: a fully functioning body of law in the cloud that works without lawmakers or bureaucrats.

FOURTEEN. Manage transactions with Counterparty. Let’s say you have an idea for a legal institution that isn’t yet available, or you want to pioneer a new system for business-to-business exchanges and invoicing. There are at least two well-funded platforms that specialize in innovation on distributed networks: Ethereum and Counterparty. They are busy working (in private) with some very large companies right now. Private, lower-cost alternatives to government are on the way.

FIFTEEN. Encrypt your smartphone data. Ever since people became aware that government is using surveillance to track our every online move and every phone call, people have demanded solutions. Apple was the first to act to encrypt all smartphone data to the point that not even the company itself can access it (iOS8). The same change is being made to the Android operating system. The FBI went nuts and denounced this encryption, but it’s too late. Users feel safer, and there’s no going back.

SIXTEEN. Buy and sell through Open Bazaar. Last year, the government took down the Silk Road online marketplace, seemingly ending a peaceful solution to the violence of the drug trade. Several more sites popped up to take its place, but the ultimate solution lies with a distributed network with no central point of failure. This is what the company Open Bazaar is doing. It will be a marketplace that anyone can download and implement. It lives on a network too diffuse to be dissolved. And it is designed for bitcoin.

SEVENTEEN. Use tax preparation software. It is nearly beyond the capacity of mere mortals to prepare taxes by hand these days, but software has come to the rescue. There are so many packages available that put the power of a huge team of accountants in the hands of every person, and at a very low price. It’s amazing to see how the private sector has managed to save us time and money in this most arduous task.

EIGHTEEN. Ditch school and go Praxis. Everyone knows there is a huge college bubble developing, with debt and costs exploding. The question has been: what will replace the traditional path to higher education? Innovative alternatives combine work and study into affordable one-year programs that bypass traditional college entirely. The student integrates into a commercial space and thereby completes the program having obtained actual, valuable skills. That’s a massive change for the better.

NINETEEN. Trade stocks for FREE. With Robinhood, anyone with an iPhone (Android users are accepted to gain access later this year) can trade stocks for free. That’s right, no brokerage commissions. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Also, there are no account minimums either.

TWENTY. Build your car from a kit. Federal regulations have made a mess of car coolness over the years, mandating higher hoods and trunks and dramatically reducing visibility thanks to safety standards (even as fuel economy mandates lighter cars). Whatever happened to the car of the future that looked sleek and amazing, like an arrowhead? Well, there is a loophole: you can build your own. This is what FactoryFive allows you to do. How satisfying to drive an embodiment of the rebellious spirit!

TWENTY-ONE. Become a homebrewer. It’s seems incredible that the United States once banned the production and distribution of alcohol by constitutional amendment. Talk about nuts! Prohibition was repealed in 1932, but the prohibitionist mindset is still with us. That hasn’t stopped the homebrewing of beer from taking off in a dramatic national trend, however. The craft-brew movement started with a guy working in his basement. It’s now a large commercial industry to supply enthusiasts. Be your own bootlegger.

TWENTY-TWO. Contribute to community charity online. The rap about capitalism is that it’s all about greed. That’s nonsense. A major employment of capitalist tools has been the building of huge community-based networks of philanthropy. Through sites like Groupon Grassroots, you can now support a large variety of meritorious projects right in your own neighborhood. Charity has never been more networked and effective as compared with tax-funded transfer payments.

TWENTY-THREE. Grow plants from open-source seeds. Since the movie Food, Inc., the public has been widely and rightly upset about patented seeds. Seed patents conflict with 6,000 years of agricultural practice in which people save and share seeds. The Open Source Seed Initiative is fighting back against government-protected monopolists by producing excellent seeds for sharing around the world. It’s the application of the most successful software model to the practice of growing food. No government agents or crony thugs involved.

TWENTY-FOUR. Live in a tiny house. Since at least the 1920s, the American dream has been all about home ownership — and the bigger, the better. Bankers loved it and so did government, which subsidized the trend for the rest of the century. Then the system exploded in 2008. Today, people are busy rethinking, and one result is the tiny house movement. Tiny houses are affordable, easy to keep up, and allow for flexible and light living. They’re also illegal in most municipalities, but thankfully they can also be mobile.

TWENTY-FIVE. Sip ayahuasca tea from abroad. Native populations of South America have used the herb ayahuasca for centuries as a natural hallucinogen. They say it makes profound spiritual revelations possible. Maybe. But whatever: the drug warriors hate it. That hasn’t stopped the development of an active market for spiritual tourism and for acquiring ayahuasca teas from abroad. Nothing can stop the forces of supply and demand.

[All 25 originally appeared on FEE.org, courtesy of Max Borders and Jeffrey Tucker)

LFTSee anything that piques your interest? Email it: Chris@lfb.org.

Unfortunately, we’re out of time.

In tomorrow’s episode, I’ll be covering for Luke to show you the nine rules for the “new economy”… and the final 25 ways to mangle the monster.

Have an awesome weekend.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow,

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Written By Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell is the Managing editor of Laissez Faire Today. Before joining Agora Financial, he was a researcher and contributor to SilverDoctors.com.