There Is A Surplus Of College Professors Out There But Only A Handful Of Dr. A’s

There Is A Surplus Of College Professors Out There But Only A Handful Of Dr. A’s

There is an abundance of commodities in our economy in 2019. Do you want to get a college education? You are welcome to choose between and among 5,300 different options. These options are private, public, christian, HBCU, women’s college, you name it. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, there are $486,000 plumbers in America. There is one billion websites on google and somewhere between 600,000 and one million books published every year for your to choose and buy. On Spotify alone, we have 40 million songs to choose from and 3 billion user playlists to listen to. And to complement this madness, we can choose between 59 different kinds of salad dressings at Publix.

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It is no accident that the value of these commodities are decreasing in price and need fast. Our economy isn’t scarce anymore which means that we must do something different in order to attract people’s attention to whatever we do or sell.  Advertising a lot isn’t the answer, obviously. We don’t need to be cluttered with more messages these days. The over reliance on advertising isn’t the answer, I say.

What do we need to do then in order to make our offerings more scarce, then? In my opinion, this can only be accomplished by helping the client to save time.

In my industry of higher education, I do what I can to help my students to save time. I produce tutorials, podcasts, design video games, work in class with them on projects, go to the cafeteria and guide them on life pursuits, you name it. I make the lives of my students easier which in effect makes them save time. I’m willing to trade my time for their attention. They appreciate it. I innovate, earn the permission to speak with them and they choose me over the other thousands of daily stimuli they ignore every day.

It seems to be working. In the past semester alone, I carried out a conversation with 569 students, advised them in my office, at the mall, in the cafeteria, playing ping pong on campus, at the library, on the street, in their dorm lobby, at the park, during spring break, fall break, thanksgiving, at the swimming pool, via facebook, instagram, snapchat, linkedIn…

Wake up! Our economy has changed. Our standard operating procedures are being flipped upside down to accommodate for this explosion of intellectual property that is available for us all. Higher education is tanking because of lack of change and understanding about where the economy is headed. Information is now free. If we are to charge fore information, we may need to somehow incorporate the time variable in our offerings.

We don’t like (or want) to be bothered or interrupted anymore. There is so much noise in our lives because of over production. No wonder why students hate to waste time and effort. Things are available for them right now and often someplace else. They don’t need to come to a college class to learn. They may want to come, however, if they save time.

Here is my advise to you: If you want to advance your industry, be different. I’m different by saving students time. What are you doing to be different?

There is a surplus of college professors out there but only a handful of Dr. A’s. Are you the “Dr. A” of your industry? What is your competitive advantage? What are you doing different for others to choose you over the million other options they can choose from?

For now, this is what I’m doing. Tomorrow? Who knows! I will invent something else.

 

 

 

 

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The proletariat’s paradox

The proletariat’s paradox

Proletariat can be defined as the working class or the segment of society that chooses to work for someone else in order to survive. There are different kinds of proletariat. In fact, they come from different types, shapes and forms. For simplicity sake, I will define them as high, middle and low.

High proletariat are higher level employees in a particular organization. They hold the fate of many middle and lower level proletariats in their organization. Lower proletariat are employees who belong to the low levels of the organization hierarchy and are often seen as a commodity by proletariat at the top. Proletariat in the middle are simply defined as middle level proletariat. Their DNA contains elements of both high and low level proletariat.

Every organization has them. For better or for worse. This is interesting.

Seth Godin once said that kings profit and stay in power by making peons work harder, limiting their growth for self gain and for maintaining the status who. Peons, on the other hand, hold the belief that hard work is their ticket to one day have the chance to becoming the king.

If Seth is right, then we have a proletariat paradox, assuming that the king represents high proletariat and peons lower proletariat. I tend to agree with him.

Where do you fall in the proletariat paradox? Can you escape the inevitable? Only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

As technology fails, activities for the win

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The infusion of innovation changes the composition of any living system forever.

For some reason, we are choosing to ignore the laws of innovation, diffusion and adoption – and all for the sake of technology.

The mighty smartphone may have given us some “superpowers” such as the ability to quickly respond to messages via social media and to share photographs with our kids, but it also has helped kill shopping malls and other retailers all across America, especially in small towns and cities like ours.

Smartphones are not just killing us. They are, as mentioned, killing our malls. When we were younger, people used to go to the mall to walk around, converse, exchange ideas and buy stuff. Today, very few people go to the malls in small towns and cities, and when they do go, they go to walk, not to buy.

Our ideas are now exchanged on social media. We buy our things on Amazon. By the way, did you know that Toys R Us went out of business? Go figure.

Black Friday is dying. Cyber Monday is expanding. Most mall managers are concerned about these new online trends. They have a reason to be concerned, I think. We need to do something about this, ladies and gents. The good news is: I have a solution to this whole mess. Are you willing to hear it?

Here we go with my solution to this whole shopping mall mess in small towns all across America, and small cities like ours:

First of all, trash the idea that malls are places where people go to buy clothes. This retail model is approaching death.

Why don’t we turn these dinosaur malls into activity malls? Seniors are already walking there anyway, right?

Don’t you think that we should expand the offerings and capitalize on what people are asking for? Listen to me: How about if we turn Bradley Square Mall into a facility with a rollerblade hall and an indoor ice skate arena?

By the way, is there a place in town for kids to play, especially during winter and early spring? Let me tell you something: Parents don’t want to buy clothing and toys for their kids every week. Parents want some sanity after working a long week at work.

Turn these dated malls into a kids’ activity place. Maybe mall managers should consider not renewing some of these clothing store contracts (which are struggling to stay in business anyway) and replacing them with a bumper-car enclosure, an old-fashioned arcade, Chuck-E-Cheese, air-bounce, trampoline, billiards, you name it!

We live in a dry county, people. Shouldn’t we make the mall the place for teenagers to go and have date nights? I bet we can turn the finances of these shopping malls around quickly.

Let me say this again: People want an activity mall to take their kids to, have fun and get some sanity. It is the No. 1 complaint I hear from people these days.

How do you monetize this idea of having an activity mall? It is simple. If people want to go to a store only, sell them a ticket for them to go to a store only. Another option? People can pay for an all-day pass. People can even buy a yearly pass and enjoy all the activity mall’s activities for a cheaper price. In a couple of years, we may witness the biggest revival in shopping malls this country has ever seen.

We need stronger leadership to turn mall operations around. Let’s not allow our indoor malls to become a place for delinquents to hang out.

I tell you this: Turning the current shopping malls into activity malls will help destroy some of the delinquency we now sometimes may see in shopping malls.

Technology may change the composition of a system forever, but our ability to adapt and reinvent trumps the side effects that new technologies have on old living systems.

Let me say this loud and clear: We can turn these malls around. All we need to do is to think differently, have people on board who believe in the vision, and survive the transition.

Are you game to make our town awesome? I am.

——— (Column previously published in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

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If we look back in history and pay close attention to the evolution of both the defeated world war II countries and what we call the industrialized countries of today, we can quickly conclude that the industries they have re-built were for the most part more efficient and effective than the ones we had in the United States during the 1970’s. Well, I guess Japan, Germany and others had no choice but to take the stance of excellence if they were to compete against the only superpower of the post WWII age. They had to step up their game and do things differently.

Back in the 80’s, American industries had to compete against companies that were designed and developed to literally destroy the American industrial park as the hegemony of American enterprises was everywhere. It did its fair share of damage, that’s for sure.

At the same time, the rise of immigrants and women rights along with infusion of technology has caused the job market to become an “Employers Market,” as the workforce then had (and still has) way more people looking for jobs than jobs needing people. The supply of workers became too large for the country’s labor demands resulting in employers not having to pay decent wages to its employees as economist Richard Wolff once stated. The situation we are in today isn’t different from the realities of the 1980’s — Our current situation might be in fact much worse as the levels of technology imposed in our society has reached high levels of ridicule.

The American people is overworked, stressed, without money, in debt, and for the most part… still believing that the economic crisis is temporary. Not sure about that folks. This systemic ghost is here to stay. It might not even be an economical crisis but a crisis of philosophy.

Americans now work more than anybody in the world (including the Japanese), take less vacation days than the British, have less paid maternity leave time than any other nation among industrialized countries. Regardless of whether a mom gave birth through natural birth of cesarian session, employers only pay 5 weeks for full-paid compensation only on average. Stop here for a second…. Can anyone really go back to work after an intrusive C-Session only five weeks after surgery? You tell me.

Americans are suffering from anxiety, stress, syndromes here and more syndromes there due to overwork. On the top of all of that and due to the lack of home operational income, Americans had to borrow money against their houses in the year 2000’s in order to make ends meet. Too many lost their properties dues to foreclosure and in order to survive… Had to borrow against unsecured debt. The population lives on credit card debt because it is the only way folks can live and yet maintain the standard of living of consumption they once did. Economist Wolff seems to be correct about that, also.

Well my friends, let me share this with you. This time is coming to an end as the American credit card debt crisis has reached its limits. Be ready to hear about the crisis in student loan debt on mainstream media more often, very soon. Student loan debt will be the last bubble of our generation (in my opinion) but like all financial bubbles, it will explode and it will be ugly. I predict it will occur between 2020 and 2025. Students will be going to school to defer debt in mass quantities as high paying jobs become more scarce.

I see an ugly future for a lot of us members of the struggling middle class. As a college professor, I am suppose to hold a positive stance on hope but the evidence I see doesn’t give me too much hope folks. I think this whole fiasco will occur in this country in 2023. The country might default on its financial obligations which can result in life changing events never experienced before in the land of apple pie. I honestly don’t see a way out from this mess. The good news is that I am not an economics professor but a professor of media. The bad news is that if I am right…

And they keep telling me, “We need more technology!” I reply saying, “No, we need more brain cells!” We don’t need more technology. Ladies and gentleman, the boat is sinking and we are all a part of it. I encourage you to pray and pray hard because we will need it. Be ready to reduce your standard of living… Be accustomed to living in an apartment not in a house… Stop spending and look for ways to generate your own source of income. We must stick together and be creative.

Sticking together is perhaps the only way we will be able to deal with this whole crisis. God be with us.