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Trade and Craft

Everybody's doing something

by Christian Michael

July 04, 2013

I was perusing LinkedIn’s recommended connections for me today and I was marvelling at just how many different people with different jobs there are around the world.

We’re talking millions, billions of individuals performing tasks others need to accomplish life, all interdependently by reliant on personal skills and job satisfaction.

To embrace the vastness of it all is absolutely staggering.

How many people do you know and what all do they do? Have you considered how what they do affects others?

And consider that the billions of jobs and functions weren’t designed by some higher force. They all, each of them, were designed by individuals who saw a need and found a creative way to fill it.

Imagine Jerome invented the first car. He designed every gear, arranged every pivot, gathered the petroleum, refined it into various fluids, made sand into glass, wove cotton into the seats, soldered the electrical boards etc etc, all by himself. That was one invention pulling lot’s of other people’s smaller inventions into something completely new, something the horse and buggy industry said couldn’t exist and was unsafe. Jerome proved them wrong, but the task of doing all of that for one car at a time is entirely cost ineffective.

Meet Manny, who offers to make all the glass for Jerome, allowing Manny to focus on improving his one task (making windows), which means he learns how to make more, faster, cheaper.

Vic offers to make all of Jerome’s cloth products, eventually more, faster, cheaper.

Terrence makes all the electricals.

Heather refines all the oil found.

Billy makes the engines.


While Jerome could have tried subdividing his work like Henry Ford, he would not necessarily be able to make each element more, faster, cheaper like each individual has offered to done on their own, and all for personal profit. They didn’t think of the customer buying the car — they don’t have to. However, their pursuit of profit ultimately means Jerome can make lots more cars than he could by himself, which means he can make more, faster, cheaper so more people at more economic levels can enjoy the benefits of a vehicle.

And don’t forget the thousands of other jobs born as each of those specializing subcontractors subdivide their own tasks. Heather stops making all the oil products herself. Hank offers to find more oil. Larry offers to truck the stuff from further away. Frank, Lisa and Lana all offer to specialize in making fuel, lubricants and plastics …

All these industries bear more industries, more jobs, more functions; not because someone creates a “job,” but because someone figured out how to fill a real need.

And all human need bounds off more human need bounds off more human need. We all live in a highly interconnected web of function and the filling of needs. It’s amazing!

Think, learn, do!


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