Amazon’s announcement that they will open grocery stores without cashiers has been a hot topic this week. The questions I have heard include, “How will it work?”, “Why didn’t anyone else think of it first?”, and “How will we replace all of those cashier jobs?”
Will all cashier jobs disappear? I don’t think so, but with a rising minimum wage, retailers and restaurants will think of creative ways to cut their workforce. Technology and our reliance on credit cards has already allowed Apple to accept credit card payments only in their stores. That’s right. No cash. Can you imagine walking into McDonald’s and placing your order on an iPad? If you can’t, you should start to wrap your mind around the concept.
Warren Buffett once said, “If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”
Below is a list of things I am not buying stock in as I think they will disappear in the coming years.
Wallets: I have been mocked for the size of my wallet, which rarely has cash (think George Costanza), more than once. I see a time, hopefully soon, where everything in my wallet fits comfortably on my iPhone. I am sure I am not the only one who has stopped carrying pictures of his kids. Once all merchants accept Apple Pay or utilize another scanning mechanism, I can leave the credit cards at home. I already pay for Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts through their apps. How much longer will we be required to show our actual driver’s license instead of a virtual one? The same can be said for my registration, insurance card, MetroCard, and other nonsense that is taking up space.
Steering wheels: I will be the first person lined up to by an autonomous car. Once everyone has one, will we need steering wheels? Taken a step further, we can get rid of the pedals, and the interior of the car can be re-imagined completely.
Desktop Computers: I swear I saw an ad for one in a Black Friday circular. Why do they still make them?
Keyboards: My seven-year old son loves YouTube. When he searches for a video, he never types. Instead, he uses the voice command option. When I asked him why, he responded that it’s faster. He’s right. I don’t think keyboards will disappear completely, but as voice recognition continues to improve and we all figure out that we can speak faster than we can type, we will use keyboards, whether external or on a screen, much less frequently.
Newspapers: Sadly, I don’t think I will ever have to teach my children how to fold a paper the way my father taught me. The online version is simply more cost efficient and user friendly.
What’s on your list of things that will disappear in the coming years?