The iPad was developed, in the Macintosh era of maturity, as a simpler alternaive for content consumption. It nicely eliminated the headaches of PC complexity and security concerns. Today, things are radically different, and the need to be able to create content and generate personal revenue is much more pressing than when the iPad was first conceived almost a decade ago.
Because of the iPad’s legacy emphasis on simplicity and security, it still cannot replace the venerable Macintosh. It requires a Mac and Xcode to write iPad (and iPhone) apps.
And yet the future is the iPad. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said, “The iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing.”
But there’s a problem looming, and it remains to be solved.
Enter the Robots
There is a generally recognized momentum in the technology industry. When menial labor and even some entry-level jobs can be replaced by robots, they will be. Only those employees with special, advanced skills will remain employable. See: “A top Silicon Valley investor predicts robots will change our economy ‘on the order of the Industrial Revolution’.”
Sam Altman, president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, recently warned a crowd at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club that virtually no jobs are safe.
What that means is that our employment culture will transition, in many instances, from being hired and paid to creating a personal source of income. That will require the highest levels of imagination, creativity, skills, and associated tools. Many people will no longer get up in the morning and drive to work. Instead, they’ll enter their preferred workplace and create products, services, apps, videos, literature, etc. These are things that other people are willing to pay for. Projects like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are glimmers of this kind of future.
The best evaluation of that future scenario I’ve seen is this remarkable series of articles by Heather McGowan. “Jobs are Over: The Future is Income Generation.” Author McGowan writes:
The era of using education to get a job, to build a pension, to then retire is over. … this is the end of employment, as we once knew it. The future is one of life-long learning, serial short-term employment engagements, and the creation of a portfolio of passive and active income generation through monetization of excess capacity and marketable talents.
Next page: Apple tools for the future, educational focus and conclusion.