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The Big Flip: People-First Technology produces a Flipped Economy

 

This article is part of the Media 2025 series on leading exponential growth in publishing and advertising

Lesson for leaders

How can “digital changes everything” work for you? If you want exponential growth and leadership, here is a huge opportunity from our networked world that rapidly adopts new technology: today’s tech-driven world causes widespread declines. People’s incomes have stagnated while the wealth of elites has soared. Massive job losses are forecast from AI, robotics, and automation. Giant digital platforms push entire industries into downhill slides, with Amazon’s advances triggering new waves of bankruptcies and fears. Both people and companies need new disruptive options. 

Your rise could start with a new “big flip” to your leadership, by adding people-first technology to your business.

Imagine a planet of universally successful and prosperous people. Billions grow every minute, advance every day, reach their dreams as a normal part of life. Greatness becomes normal for everyone. Lead this with an exponential growth publishing platform that people and companies need if they are going to rise again, to reach the top. Build and lead a prosperous, people-first planet that includes everyone, and helps everyone switch from decline and growing weaknesses so they can join you in the lead.

Instead of a few winners-eat-everything dystopia, billions of people and thousands of companies can help lead a successful digital Earth with you as the leader.

Today’s duality: are you in control, or are you being controlled?

Think about how you are surrounded by networks. The room you’re in has electric plugs with wires behind the walls, bringing you electricity from the grid. Your house’s plumbing connects your kitchen and bathrooms to both water and sewage systems. When you step outside, the road in front of you lets you drive pretty much everywhere. If you drive to the airport, you can jump on the air transport network and go to most places on Earth. An even bigger network is invisible. The Internet reaches you by cable and wirelessly by WiFi and your mobile phone.

We also have two giant networks that operate like systems. Capitalism reaches you through advertising, jobs, money, and the products you buy and consume. Government touches you through voting, paying taxes, and being stopped by police officers. (Oh, and capitalism also touches you by buying think tanks, politicians, government regulators, and politically-appointed judges.)

You can see networks are everywhere, and they all share something important. Every one of them is developed and directed by people.

The question is do the networks control you, or do you control the networks?

What would happen if you could lead a network that everyone controls, and produces the world everyone wants?

Examples of today’s disruption opportunity: the middle class decline

There is plenty of evidence that managed networks control everyone’s personal life. In the above networks, changes are made every day. The electric grid is shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The road network is shifting to self-driving trucks and cars. The Internet is evolving from one network into private walled gardens owned by giant companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and separate Internet in countries like China, Iran, and Russia.

The middle class is another example. For decades, it has been excluded from the economy’s growth and gains. Here, a red arrow was added to show how much people have fallen behind financially since the 1970’s:

Productivity and Average Real Earnings

Corporate-first technology drove this dramatic change in society’s wealth. Tech was used to increase company productivity, which increases growth, revenue, and profit. But these were not paid as increasing wages to employees. The rewards were systematically delivered to elites, leaving the middle class and its children behind.

What is produced by corporate-first high-tech? The world economy produces plenty of wealth, but only a few receive it and own it:

Systematically Produced Inequality

What will corporate-first technology produce next?

Do politicians and business CEOs really think these are problems? Or do they believe they are successfully building a great world that benefits them?

If today’s corporate-first system is remarkably effective at building this dystopia, it can’t and won’t solve people’s problems. The world’s enormous wealth will be delivered to a few. Everyone else will keep struggling.

This is a huge business opportunity in a networked world with rapid adoptions of new technology. 

A new disruption opportunity: the “Big Flip”

The Big Flip: From Corporate First to People First Technology

What if a digital Earth and its digital economy were re-envisioned and re-invented to make them people-first?

What happens when technology is designed from the ground-up to serve people? 

It’s done. New people-first tech is designed to make everyone super-smart, super powerful, protected, and in-control. Now the question is how people-first companies and people can take the lead of a universally successful digital Earth together.

Here’s how: use exponential growth publishing and start your disruption in a small, smart team. Grow it until you lead the publishing industry. Then scale it to lead a successful digital Earth that includes everyone. Sell it to other threatened companies so they can lead too.

Together, give everyone the world’s best knowledge, tools, and abilities at their fingertips, so everyone can rise all the time. They will gain digital boundaries and blended screens, so their screens display their personal choices. For example, you could see healthy food, renewable energy, and only people-first companies. The only visible companies will be the ones people trust and want, and they will be “always on” to provide new connected consumption.

Everyone will see the kind of planet they each want, with choices they believe in. For a company to appear, it needs to be people-first, and deliver what that person wants. As connected consumption delivers higher levels of success and satisfaction, these companies will grow to lead the economy. They will raise humanity to achieve above each person’s full potentials. Those people will live on the planet they believe is right for them and their family.

This could be a new kind of world you start, a world you lead.

The next step is up:  yours, the world, or both together?

Major change is upon us. A global digital transformation is arriving faster every year.

Will this strengthen the same old system, a corporate-first planet of dystopian inequality, with struggling people ruled by super-wealthy elites? Or will we live on a people-first world designed to deliver prosperity and success to everyone?

So far we’ve stagnated:

  • Most corporations won’t help because they don’t understand this future. Their goal is to capture the world’s wealth, not solve its problems.
  • Government won’t help because corporate money dictates politicians’ elections. Government employees are on a career path that revolves between government jobs, corporate jobs, lobbying firms, and think tanks.
  • Think tanks and international NGOs won’t help because government and corporate jobs beckon, so new thinking outside “the system” is a career-killer.

If the world won’t help and can’t act, then who will step up to fix the future? How about publishers that are in systematic decline from the dominance of Google and Facebook? Does that include you? Is your survival threatened enough that you would like to start a people-first planet that you can run and lead?

If yes, think Big Flip. Think about using networks to drive rapid technology adoptions, and delivering a positive, people-first digital Earth.

 

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Dan Abelow

About Dan Abelow

Dan is an independent inventor, author, speaker, and technology consultant. He holds degrees from Harvard and the Wharton School of Business.

His latest invention, the Expandiverse, is new technology for building a people-first Digital Earth. Its first patent has already been cited over 750 times by subsequent patents. Dan’s previous patents were licensed by over 550 corporations that include Apple, Google, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft and others. In addition, he has developed hundreds of UX advances for industry-leading companies.

Contact dan@breakthroughux.com

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