One of the things we like to talk about is trends. Trending in revenue. Trending in an industry. Trending in technology. So reading this piece in Forbes fits right in our bailiwick. Jeffrey Greene – who’s a pretty smart guy – suggests that technology is the largest threat to the white-collar sector.
Interesting, right? And he’s probably right.
Let’s think through this. I think the common belief is that technology kills the working class. I go back to growing up a child of the 80’s – remember all the robots replacing workers in auto factories? Boom – working class out of work. Fast forward to today: Google has been zipping self-driving cars around California for a few years now. Who is that going to put out of work? Well drivers. Truck drivers, taxi drivers…. And soon enough Uber drivers.
We think about these things in the business valuation world. What’s the industry trend? Is the industry growing or shrinking, and how does it effect the subject company?
But the moat has always been around the knowledge economy. The white collar job. How can a computer replace the decisions I make every day? There’s judgment involved! Clearly a robot can replace a guy turning a wrench all day…. But judgment?
And then you realize that driving takes a lot of judgment. Yep – Mr. Green might be onto something.