Who will get rich in the information age?
As you know, now we are well and truly in the
Age information. It started about 10 years ago. In fact,
many economists say it began in 1989, with the fall of
the Berlin Wall (and the start of the World Wide Web).
To understand who will get rich in it
Information age, we must first understand how
The information age differs from the industrial age (born
around 1860, died around 1989).
In fact, let’s get a full description and go back to
the Agrarian Era.
In the Agrarian Age, society was basically divided
into two classes: landowners and people who
he worked on the land (the servants). If you were a servant
there wasn’t much you could do about it:
ownership of the land is passed down from parent to child and you
they were stuck with the state in which they were born.
When the industrial age arrived, everything changed:
it was no longer agriculture that generated most of the
wealth, but manufacturing. Suddenly the land was not
is already the key to wealth. A much less busy factory
land than a sheep farm or a wheat farm.
With the industrial age came a new kind of rich
person: the businessman who made himself. Wealth no longer
depended on the ownership of the land and the family you were
born in. The acumen for business and factories were creating
a new kind of rich person. But it still required
huge capital to build a factory and start a
Then came the World Wide Web (around 1989) and
globalization. Suddenly everything changed again.
Factories (or real estate) were no longer needed to
run a business. Anyone with a website can start a
deal. The barriers to wealth that existed in the
The agrarian age and the industrial age were completely
missing. People who would never have dreamed of owning
his own business made millions with his
Of course, the Information Revolution did not begin
It started in 1444 when Gutenberg invented the printing press
press in Mainz, Germany.
But the printing press (newspapers, magazines,
paperbacks) belonged to the industrial age, not the
The printing press is a “one-to-many” technology. Tea
The Internet is a “many-to-many” technology. And that was
what changed in 1989.
The industrial age was about centralization and
control. The information age is about
decentralization and not control. Without government and without
The media mogul controls the Internet. This is the
something crucial to understand about the information age.
As we move from the agrarian era to the
From the industrial age to the information age, there has been a
constant collapse of the barriers that maintained a section of
the rich society and the other poor section.
In the information age, literally anyone can become
So now that we have a clearer picture of how
The information age differs from the industrial age,
ask that question again: ‘Who will get rich in
the age of information? ‘:
(1) Self-taught people
To explain this better, let’s go back to Agrarian.
Age and industrial age, and the transmission of
In the agrarian age, skills were passed down from the father
to yours. If you wanted to learn to be a blacksmith
you had to be the son of a blacksmith. If you want
learn to be a stonemason, you had to be the son of a
With the advent of the industrial age, all of this
change. You could go to college and learn whatever
skills you wanted. The knowledge was freely available.
But in the information age, the transmission of skills
is changing once again.
The skills needed to succeed in the information age
are not learned from our parents (as in the
Agrarian age), nor are they learned in schools
and schools (as in the industrial age). The kids are
teach your parents computer skills. And many of
entrepreneurs starting high-tech internet companies
I’ve never been to college.
The millionaires (and billionaires) of tomorrow
you probably won’t have a college education. They will be
high school dropouts, self-taught.
(2) People with new ideas.
Once again, it’s the people who can think outside
of existing structures that will be enriched in
the age of information. Often it’s just a simple idea
that launches people to success in Information
Take Sabhir Bhatia, for example, the man who invented
Hotmail. Bhatia was a computer engineer working at
Silicon Valley. He had no previous business
experience, not at all.
But one day, while driving back from work, a
friend called him on his cell phone and said he
I had an idea: how about starting a free website
email service? Bhatia knew that this was the idea that had been
waiting. He told his friend to hang up immediately
and call him at home on a secure line.
Three years later, he sold Hotmail to Microsoft for
$ 400 million.
The third group to get rich in the
The information age are writers.
In the industrial age, writers depended on great
editorials to be published (remember that the
The printing press is a technology of the industrial age: it is
centralized and controlled). And the publishing houses
took the lion’s share of the profits.
In the information age, writers are making their own
publish and keep most of the profits
themselves. In fact, writers are thriving in the
Web: mainly through electronic books and electronic articles.
But even if you don’t write e-books or e-articles,
If you own a website, you are a writer.
Because the Internet is basically a written medium. That
favors writers, people who know how to communicate
effectively through the written word. Remember, it is
not the graphics on your website they sell, it is the
words you use.
In the information age, we are all writers!