In the case of my career, perhaps, but not anytime soon. I have tried to insulate my career at many turns – and even got my second graduate degree as an MBA in case the day would ever present itself where I would either work for myself, run my own business, or get hired on to someone else’s firm. But my career in tech has a shelf life – and because of this, I have always been ahead of the game.

When I was 22, my boss at the time Craig – was a towering 6’8″ gentlemen who was a former pastor. At that job at Vanguard, he was doing the job I do today. Run a client account with tons of tech talent. He handed me a book to read called “Who moved my Cheese”. This was as it first came out, and I spent an hour or so reading the 96 page short story. There was a lesson in it – those who do not adapt, die. Period.

In countless IT jobs I had, I’d but up against people who would say, “but this is how we always did it”. They were incapable of change. By their nature, they should not have been working in IT, and many ended up washing out of the field. Then you had others, who hoarded tasks, never documented things, and they tried to paint themselves as indispensable to the organization. At first chance possible – these people were extricated. In IT, you need people who can quickly understand something, document it, and hand it off to someone else to do. Automate, when possible.

With the latest advances in AI, I’m seeing a lot of comments about how doomed we are. How all of these people are going to lose their jobs. Make no mistake – many will, perhaps even me. But I have spent the last 28 years of my career with every day thinking it could be the last. I’m kind of immune from any kind of shock this would create for most people at this point. I had planned to be replaced someday.

But the truth is, most are just seeing net jobs lost and missing the far bigger point. I mean they are FAR off. Let’s review some changes over the years.

What about a file clerk?

Let me paint the picture. All of these people are going to LOSE THEIR JOBS! Computers are coming. Interestingly enough, these people found other things to do. Perhaps some of them even learned COBOL or BASIC or some form of query-based languages at the time to do searches for others? Perhaps the 200 people on these floor were taken down to 5.

Post office

What about these postal workers?

They have automatic sort nowadays. Yet these people would all lose their jobs.

Stock brokers?

Interestingly enough, with the internet and trading platforms with cheap trading – or free – this entire profession became useless. Yet these people all seemed to do ok?

Think about advances with diesel trucks and mining equipment. Think about how many of these people lost their jobs.

Now – we consider all of the people this put out of work.

Yet somehow, today, in the US, we have 3.4% unemployment. Despite all of the above changes, people either adapted or were left behind.

AI is, in a sense, an intelligent form of automation. From my limited experience with Chat GPT, it was things like “write me a 500 word summary on what happened at Three Mile Island in 1979”. Or, “write me a poem with Donald Trump and Joe Biden”. I didn’t have a ton of use for it, but I could see how the research aspect of it could save me a lot of time trying to compile information.

I could also see a day where a newspaper comes online and it is nothing but one person running it – where all of the stories are written by an AI bot who compiles its information from dozens of sources. Where Drudge Report sort of curates a particular type of news, this news site could, in theory, read all news everywhere (called scraping) – and taking this to then break new stories which is re-written from a ton of sources. This bot could then go much further and provide historical significance to the events or people in the story in mere fractions of a second. Meaning – you STILL need source news, perhaps from some of the big boys, but many other struggling entities right now can get wiped out.

In many cases – there isn’t a full 100% swap of AI. In all of the items above, you potentially had automation replacing a lot of the work, thus removing cost overhead of employees. However, one example I wanted to save – is how I believe factories are potentially going to change.

If you think back to the first assembly lines – Henry Ford famously said, “you can have the Model T in any color, as long as it is black”. It began the assembly line – which of course then put people out of work.

You can then fast forward to the Detroit boom and eventual bust, when a lot of the jobs left for other countries. Why? The labor was cheaper.

You can see a more modern assembly line here. I had a stint at Harley Davidson production plant in York, PA my senior year of college as an intern. It was fascinating to see the line, and the barely working 486s connected to each station. They’d scan in the barcode of the bike, and the computer would tell them what was needed from the worker at that station.

Many of those jobs were high paying union jobs – and jobs like this over time would move to Mexico or the like for far cheaper.

However, we are getting to the point where we are potentially going to use all of that automation and AI to bring those jobs from Mexico back here.


When I worked as a security guard for Dana corporation between my freshman and sophomore years in college, they had a building that looked like this, but much smaller. It was full automation. One can see a day where AI is then used to design the most efficient processes or means of assembling which requires the least amount of human touch.

You could then see those plants in Mexico that have 5,000 employees getting closed for a plant like that in Detroit that has 200 employees that program and maintain the AI and automation equipment as well as work with logistics. Even a lot of the shipping items can be done with AI within warehouses now, with self-driving forklifts, etc.

What many people fear with AI is “job loss”. This is undeniable. But the immediate thought from some is – “what are all of these people going to do? We need to provide Universal Basic Income (or UBI)”. The fallacy here is that they plan to re-appropriate the hard work of others and divert it to these people who lost jobs. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit, honestly.

I feel that people are responsible for their careers – and many of us have something called unemployment insurance. I once had to take that for a year on the other side of the dotcom bust. IT was humiliating – but more than anything, it was hard to get the exact job that I had worked up for, within Vanguard (EDS was my contracting company). Meaning, I had to take a pay cut and start in the mail room all over again. It was that, or starve. So, I took the opportunity to re-invent myself, and I told myself that I will never go through anything like that again in my life. After that, I was laid off twice within a year during the global financial crisis. The one time I was out of work for 11 days, the other time 4 days. I had learned so many more skills, and was driven much more than right out of college. It also helped me get 11 industry certifications and 2 graduate degrees.

While I love my job – I’m always looking out for what may be on the horizon next, and that’s my advice to anyone right now. Ever. Always be evaluating you career, your job – and skate to where the puck is going. “Who moved my cheese” is a pretty decent allegory for what is to come with AI.


One of those graduate degrees was an MBA, and no – it didn’t teach me to be a trader on Wall Street. My main focus was management studies, and I could write books on that today. MY most important thing I care about at my job is productivity. One of my philosophies is the “95% rule”. I ask people to give 100% effort, 95% of the time. So many people care about ass in seat time. If they cannot see you, then you aren’t being productive. But I can tell you – every office I’ve ever worked in had the talkers. You know, these guys that seem to work 10 minutes a day and bullshit the rest. They make rounds. Hard to track them down. All of this shows up with productivity reports. I am a student of something called “The Hawthorne Effect” and one of my disciplines I did for years was metrics, and I was even schooled with the “Decision Sciences” at Villanova University. Meaning – I have means of being able to understand the productivity of my workforce, and not “ass in seat time”. I know when someone is trying to pull the wool over my eyes. You can be confrontational, or choose to let them know that you know that you should not know that the person had an “off day” and we’re keeping a closer eye. I am of the McGregor Theory Y worker, over the X worker – I am continuously providing a challenging work environment where apex predator IT people can advance their careers and learn mad skills in short time – I do not work in the X area, which flogs people for not meeting widget productivity.

Meaning – if you see someone had a slow day/week, pull them aside. Ask them if things are ok. Discuss the productivity. Ask if you need to get them help or assistance in improving. I want my top performers to get promoted, and get raises. An “X” type of manager would see the down numbers and threaten the employee. Y workers want to thrive in environments where they can learn and improve, and X workers need to be poked and prodded – so to speak.

I go over the management lesson there to talk about how corporations at the highest level should be evaluating AI. The positions that are more rote, like a press operator, is probably an X worker and automation to replace that type of work reduces costs to the operations. However, your Y workers are the people who are vested in company success – and AI helps them as a tool invent ways of making 10x more widgets, and then this helps another worker use the AI to program the machines to do it.


Look – the work population is ever-expanding, at least until Gates gets his way with de-population, but that’s another blog in the hopper I never published. Point is, each year, companies need to increase productivity to meet demand. When I was in 5th grade, it was a big deal because we hit 5 billion people on the planet. Today, we just crossed 8 billion. In the last 35 years, our population has increased by 60%????

Think about how the advancement of gene splicing helped this population grow. Did this put farmers out of work? No – it increased the yield. This allowed for more calories to be available, and thus grow the population of the species to the largest, ever. By a lot.

If you think about commodities production – everything we use today is cheaper than it was 50 years ago, inflation adjusted. Why? Technology and innovation has allowed us to be more productive. We constantly need more copper. More concrete. More lumber. Those who win the contracts and stick around, drive down costs better than their competitors.

Where this is going

Automation is going to be a constant. Forever. It makes sense in this country to teach 7th graders the most basic things about tech, and each year thereafter incorporate technology classes in all learning. I need these people aware of how to program a CNC. How to do an AutoCAD drawing. How to do the most basic programming logic.

In college, I did have to write a 500 word essay on Three Mile Island. It was the 15th anniversary. My college was 20 miles away from there. I spent probably 6 hours reading about it, writing it, and then trying to figure out how to source it. Today, I could use AI to build me that report in 3 seconds. I could then read that 500 page report in 5 minutes and learn the same thing. So why would our learning stay the way it was? Using 6 hours to put that together seems like a waste of time. I’m sorry, it just does. This is coming from a guy who probably wrote 300 papers in 6 years of grad school.

I think there are scandals today of college students starting to use tools like this to write papers to hand in. I think the problem here is that this type of learning may become obsolete. If your goal is to educate someone on Three Mile Island, you can have them read the 500 word essay that AI wrote for them. If the goal is to teach them how to research, that’s a different class. But isn’t this what we have textbooks for?

We are now at a point where I feel the student research needs to use AI to summarize complex items and get source materials. I actually liked reading studies. But trying to find relevant sources was a major PITA of research. Assume, for a moment, that AI could then provide 20 sources on TMI from “scholarly journals” – it could spit out a list, and each one of those items you could review. You could have AI provide a citation for you – one other PITA of research papers.

I believe this helps researchers at the top levels reduce the amount of wasted time researching. IF the output is to create a paper – you run into ethics issues if AI is writing this for them. But IF the output was research that could be then used to start a cancer research project, then AI is extremely valuable.

The bread an butter of ANY company is its “secret sauce”. Think about McDonald’s, from above. They have secret ingredients and a methodology of how to do things. I had once watched a documentary in grad school about how McDonald’s grew the correct type of potatoes in Russia to then make fries for them locally. To the best of my understanding, the recipe for “coke” is a secret. Think about patents and ideas owned by pharm companies. IF these companies were to be able to be more productive with their R&D divisions, as well as streamline services, they can be more productive AND profitable.

In the short term, the fear is TOO MANY people would lose jobs. Well….boo fucking hoo. I say that because in 2008, our last recession – all you heard was, “all of these factory workers need to learn how to code”. Well, you know what, we are now at the point where AI can do programming, and there’s a massive shortage of anyone with trade school background. I can’t get people to do work on my houses. There’s labor shortages, everywhere. To the coder who is 26 and making $100k right now, and if his lost his job to AI, I’d tell him to learn a trade so he can make $100,000 a year as an HVAC repairman. What – is that rude? You think telling a career factory guy who was at the top of his game in 2009 that he had to completely switch careers and learn how to code is any different? It’s not.

I believe the country, today, has too many people that got educations that are relatively worthless (and they paid too much for them) going into careers that are saturated with talent. IF there’s an AI apocalypse – I can tell you that only a handful of people will remain in those careers. I deal with it every year in tech.

Overall, many are missing that while jobs will be lost – those who are out of work will look at the classifieds and see all of these jobs paying 100k that don’t need college. I feel a lot of those jobs will get filled, which will ultimately be deflationary for wages. But I can then imagine the people displaced that are now doing different things – writing, playing music, creating companies USING AI. Going back to a trade school.

Where is the evidence that AI won’t put everyone out of work? Take a look at all of the pictures above. Their cheese gets moved. If they don’t adapt, they will have problems. People like me would put AI to good use to drive down costs and be a lot more productive for companies.