Much has been written about the digital economy: job losses caused by technology advances and wage stagnation for middle income workers. A recent article in The Economist highlighted this challenge.
Corporations are pressured to increase productivity and profits while reducing costs. One way they strive to accomplish these contradictory goals is to cut labor expenses through layoffs. The Economist article describes the “hollowing out” of labor markets, polarizing into high and low income segments.
Technology advances produce winners and losers.
Inventors have the unique opportunity to be winners in the digital economy. Why? Consumers embrace new innovative products to increase convenience, provide new capabilities and save time. Likewise the same corporations that lay off employees may also increase profits by introducing new innovative products.
I personally have been on both sides of the aisle.
As an employee in technology, I was expected to do more with less only to be “rewarded” with long work hours and modest pay increases. As an inventor, by licensing my product, I am able to leverage the capital and talent of business partners and share in the profits from bringing a new product to the market. I definitely prefer the latter to the former.
In business, there are no guarantees. But a successful new innovative product will financially reward all of the business partners, including the inventor.