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C-3PO Is Coming For Your Job

In the early 1990s I was working in the printing industry selling huge volumes of colour printing which was used to generate sales leads for businesses to then use direct mail to contact the prospects and sell them whatever.

It was relatively wasteful for every 1000 leaflets or inserts produced that might generate an enquiry or two and that might lead to 1 direct mail conversion. The cost could only be justified due to a feature known as “lifetime value”. Effectively it cost you money in the first year to recruit a customer but in time you hoped they stayed and in the second or third year you would be in profit.

This business model was used in many business sectors.

Then came the internet. It was obvious that if a company did not use this business model but instead let people find them it would save them money. To lure internet users into “looking” people selling online had lower prices. That was not a big stretch – because they could work with lower costs.

This clearly worked well in retail where you would go into John Lewis get the sales person to demo the item and then go online and buy it from Amazon, or similar.  I shall never forget going into an electrical store seeing a great TV and then pointing out that I could buy it for £100 less online. The salesman, shrugged his shoulders and said “just do it”. In those days the TV was nearly the size of a small car in its box.

Clearly the internet changed the world of marketing, there was a huge decline in the printing of colour leaflets. 80% of the British printing industry disappeared and the cost of reaching new customers plummeted, in the early 2000s.


The world is already familiar with robots. All car factories have them for jobs like welding and painting. They do not much look like the C-3PO robot from Star Wars, but that is about to change. With that change, and AI, it is a certainty that the world of work will again change.

Tony Seba – is known to some but probably not many. His claim to fame is predicting the future. Not with Tarot Cards but rather through cost curves. Possibly not as entertaining, but more accurate.

With hindsight is easy to see change. Horses for cars. Typewriters for computers. Post for email.

Tony sees the decline of ICE vehicles within the next 10-years, and not far behind that, the rise of the humanoid robot.

Clearly as always there are people who disagree, but cost curves tend to follow trends which have occurred many times before. A bit like gravity. You can deny it exists, but it does not stop gravity working.

Naturally Tony has a website https://www.rethinkx.com/ (anything which is important has to have an X in it. No-one knows why!) Where Tony predicts the future.

If you are not a fan of reading – Steve Mark Ryan never shy and big fan of Tony’s in this video saves you the trouble of reading what Tony has put.

Does this matter?

If Tony Seba is half right the world will be unrecognisable by 2035. Long before then, most new vehicles will be electric and humanoid robots will be preforming half the work in the world.

Steven is Australian and therefore provides an unfiltered view of the world. If you are easily offended you’d best stick to the RethinkX website. Steven takes much delight in offending people. Steven summarises Tony Seba’s thinking and is in full agreement.