I turned 50 in 2018. The second half of life begins and maybe the Midlife Crisis? In any case, I clearly belong to Generation X, the generation that belongs to the digital immigrants and therefore has to cope with this deficit for a maximum of time in working life. An esteemed colleague of similar age called us “the lost generation”. The term is almost one hundred years old and refers to a group of age groups who, for historical reasons, have missed something essential and are suffering from it. For us it is the missing digital gene.
Inwardly, I am going out for a defensive strike: in 1986 I was already “chatting” with someone for the first time on a Commodore 64 via university networks in Australia, and from 1987 onwards I belonged to the first generation of ETH students who, supported by computers, mastered architecture studies from day two. So am I “native” after all and not lost? There is a spark of hope for us. In the past, the equation was: older = more experienced = better. Some still believe that, but this rule is no longer mandatory today. At least not when it comes to digital transformation.
I often observe myself how I think of processes and strategies as usual based on existing market needs, machine production and manpower and then apply the digitization filter. That’s Automation 2.0.
I am in the process of reprogramming myself to think business models and processes from the digital possibilities in order to develop new offers and new market participants. With potential for disruption. This is much easier for Generation Y. They don’t have to painstakingly “unlearn” old textbook knowledge and proven experience, they grew up with a digitized operating system.
Of course, there are also many among those who drill in thin boards and surf on the surface. Yes, they are a pain in the ass. And there are true pearls of the future. What the increasing age still promises me is knowledge of human nature. And so I became a pearl diver with passion. Human pearls.