Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset
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Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Mentoring
  • Published on 29 Aug 2018

Abundance vs Scarcity Mindset in the Context of Education and Career Pathways

Economists have known for hundreds of years one fact:

“In a competitive marketplace, price always falls to the marginal cost.”

Google is free to use. So is Facebook. Yet they are extremely profitable and valuable companies. And a lot of things are costing less than they did earlier. The development of the online economy has made it plausible for us to believe that things can be made available for “free” and successful business models are built around this concept. This is the primary premise of the book Free: The Future of a Radical Price” by Chris Anderson. But the driving force for this fundamental change is a difference in mindset. He has called it the Abundance Mindset vs the more conventional and prevalent Scarcity Mindset. The following graphic represents this very well                                                                 


Source: Free: The Future of a Radical Price


These are the 5 basic differences in the mindsets but an easier way to understand is to think of the Abundance mindset as one which believes in organic and uncontrolled growth running up against natural constraints rather than imposed constraints - a win-win outcome possible for all stakeholders.

If the future is really governed by this changed mindset, it would impact our career plans in myriad ways. Our take is that the future will unfold along some of the following paths:

  • Career paths will become more experimental – moving away from a fixed path with the underlying tenet being “Don’t screw up”, to a path filled with lots of detours and a “Fail Fast” philosophy – the more varied the work experience, the more it would become valuable.
  • Education will become lifelong – “Always learning, never learning” – the first half of the education will be core skills development, and the remaining components of the learning will be on-the-job. Multiple executive programs at different stages of one’s career, each with specific skills needed for the next level of responsibility will become the norm. Epitomized by MIT’s village or Stanford’s loop learning, we expect to see a lot more unstructured, ‘design-it-yourself’ education elements.
  • Cross-domain specialization will become more commonplace and universities will become more flexible in their curricula and teaching methodologies
  • Amateurs will increase competition at the lower end of the spectrum of skills needed in each domain. However, professionals will become more specialized and therefore, be even more in demand. Therefore, the need to super-specialize will go up even more. However, this super-specialization and upgradation will need to be a continuous endeavor
  • There will be some hold-out through the regulatory process, but overall jobs that are a by-product of the scarcity mindset (for example, regulatory arbitrageurs – sorry, fixers – lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, etc.) will dwindle and newer job descriptions will emerge (opinion-makers, experience designers, algorithm designers, etc.)

The ability to adapt and morph will become the single biggest differentiator amongst the successful and not-so-successful careers of the future.

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