A nice observation in the NYT today:
[E] xpanding [student] expertise beyond computer programming is crucial to future job security as advances in the Internet and low-cost computers make it easier to shift some technology jobs to nations with well-educated engineers and lower wages, like India and China.
"If you have only technical knowledge, you are vulnerable," said Thomas W. Malone, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of "The Future of Work" (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). "But if you can combine business or scientific knowledge with technical savvy, there are a lot of opportunities. And it’s a lot harder to move that kind of work offshore."
This suggests that the first world advantage will not come from being a knowledge worker and the isolated creation of intellectual capital. It will come from the ability to see how technical knowledge integrates with a fuller range of marketing intelligence.
Western cultures have done very well by constructing knowledge silos and making management the cat walk that sees to their integration. The development of which Malone speaks suggests that the wealth of nations may also come building into the individual a fuller appreciation of the ultimate uses and markets for which any particular act of innovation is destined.
This is another way of saying that marketing, with a little application, might still be the hero of the piece, the wheel house on which the wealth of Western nations, er, turns.
Lohr, Steve. 2005. A Techie, Absolutely, and More. New York Times. August 23, 2005. here.
(filed from Philadelphia)