Thinking back on the recent brouhaha of Jay vs. Conan and who’s going to be the host of the Tonight Show, I was ultimately reminded of how outdated that entire model of entertainment has become.
Now that we have Facebook and Twitter and Youtube and Hulu and Google, we don’t need “The Tonight Show” anymore. We don’t need late night hosts to do monologues at 11 p.m. to recap on the day’s news and the latest celebrity foibles. We don’t need a tiny club of highly paid white guys on TV who tell us what is funny and what is worth paying attention to.
Of course, being the host of the Tonight Show is still a prestigious and well-paying job. There are still millions of people who watch it. But it’s no longer the pinnacle of pop culture, and its relevance and influence is going to continue to fade.
So what does this have to do with your job?
The Tonight Show is just the latest and most visible example of how, with the Internet, we no longer need to access information at a particular time and place. We no longer need to wait for the newspaper to arrive at our doorstep in the morning, we no longer need the evening news to tell us the weather forecast, and we no longer need to watch TV or go to a movie theater at an appointed time and place in order to be entertained.
Most white collar jobs – cubicle jobs – are all about accessing and disseminating information. So why do these jobs still have to take place at a certain set time and location?
If we can get our Tonight Show highlights on Hulu and watch them on our smartphones while we eat breakfast, then why do we have to sit at a particular desk and a particular cubicle just to create value and earn money?
Just as people have gotten accustomed to accessing their news and entertainment at any time and place, before long, “work” will no longer be a place you go; it will be something you do – anywhere and anytime.