Gutenburg’s law: no job is safe

Before the Printing Press was invented by Johannes Gutenburg in 1440, books were written by scribes. With this invention, the professional (and tedious work) of scribes became obsolete and shifted the power to the hands of amateurs – who were faster, cheaper, and more accurate (book production rose from a few million to a billion in Europe over the next 400 years).

550 years after the Printing Press we are seeing the same shift. The internet has moved the work of music and movie producers, television and newspaper reporters, book publishers, lawyers, CPA’s, even doctors, mechanics (and so on) from professionals to amateurs.

Thanks to the internet, smart phones, cameras, social media everyone now has a voice and a way to connect with each other.

What does this all mean?

The status-quo is no longer decided by producers, reporters, publishers, lawyers, CPA, doctors, mechanics but by you and me. Because the content is no longer being filtered by them, now we can decide what is relevant.

What the scribes failed to do 550 years ago, was embrace that the world had changed forever and it was never going to be the same ever again. They held on to the old believe, until they were no longer useful or relevant. You can’t be a professional without being useful or relevant.

So we need to evolve and embrace what is coming. If you think it’s always going to stay the same and that your job will be secure 20 years from now (10 years? 5?), you may be mistaken. 65% of today’s students will be employed in job’s that don’t even exist yet.

Change is coming and if you’re not on board, you may become obsolete.


A superhero cannot be a superhero all the time. When you are feeling down about your job, remember that this is the place for you to be Clark Kent: the shy, clumsy, passive, introvert.

It’s not who you are though. You are in disguise. You put on the suit, tie, and glasses to temporarily fit in. It’s the place for you to observe and be closer to the people. To interact with the market. To find out what is important to the people you serve.

It’s easy for Superman to forget who he is living a double life. It’s easy for him to trick himself into thinking he is Clark Kent. He’s not. And he shouldn’t try to be. That’s the problem though. Even Superman wants to fit in. What a waste if he just chose to be Clark Kent, never to reach his full potentialBut he has a choice. So do you.


Looking at the formula our first reaction is to say that it’s wrong.

But when one male and one female have one baby, you get one plus one to equal three.

We make our decisions based on past assumptions and experiences that we believe to be true. Sometimes those past truths lock us into a designated way of thinking. Not good nor bad, just shuts us out from the possibility of something new.

The three levels of gratitude

Level one can start with a simple thank you. Showing appreciation for someone’s work doesn’t have to cost us anything.

The second level is to give something back in return. We can say, “Thank you. I appreciate this service. Here is 20 bucks. It’s not much but it’s the least I can do.” While it is nice (and essential) to get paid, it’s not what brings us closer together.

The third level is to share what we learned and experienced with someone else. “Thank you. That book changed my life. I have so many notes, highlights, and dog-ears through the pages. The book has inspired me to work on this new project.” Sharing the gift and spreading the idea is the best form of gratitude. By sharing the work with others it brings us all closer together.


It’s much easier to fix a crooked tree when it is sapling before it becomes a full grown tree.

When a tree is left on its own it will have been subjected to the elements and grows in the direction the wind pushes it causing it to become crooked.

To fix a fully mature crooked tree requires a lot of work: straps, cranks, tools, muscles.

The task may be futile.

To grow upright so much man-power could have been saved if at a sapling a string and a stake was placed to hold it still and steady when the winds come.

Much similiar to what we see with goods, products, services, work, businesses, families, relationships, respect, code, and so on.

The little kid

We have all gone shopping and seen the little kid in the cereal aisle crying and begging his mom for his favorite cereal.

Inside each and every one of us you will find that little kid. The little kid is the enemy in each of us.

This little kid is a former version of ourselves, he screams that we are hungry, angry, lonely and tired.

He tells us that we need to have that new thing because the old thing isn’t as good. If we just had the new thing we would never ask for another thing ever again. We would be so happy if we just had the new thing.

We need to teach this little kid to behave and to be generous.

Delaying gratification is the only way to make the little kid behave.

It’s not where you start

It’s not where you start but where you finish.

It doesn’t matter that you didn’t come from money.
It doesn’t matter what gender you are.It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is.
It doesn’t matter what kind of education you have.
It doesn’t matter where you were born.
It doesn’t matter how old you are.
It doesn’t matter how you look or sound.

Don’t worry about the constraints: Google’s home page is so simple but yet so brilliant because the founder, Larry Page, was limited in his abilities to code. The beauty of Twitter is that it is limited to 140 characters not 140,000.

What does matter is that you are willing to start something that is so ridiculously hard, a project so big, that it consumes every bit of you; a project that will make a difference in people’s lives.

Why does it matter?

Because you will be different in the end and the people you touch will be different too.