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“The Next Financial Crash Will Absolutely Hit This One Market” by Phillip Stutts


Life always comes full circle.

Growing up in the 1970s and 80s I saw a massive disruption that most likely caused my incurable disease.

The transition happened when “mom and pop” grocery stores, sourcing their products from small farms and local farmers, became overrun by mass-produced grocers, offering cheap-prices and thousands of options. Think: the big box revolution.

Before this disruption hit, “organic” wasn’t even a word in our vernacular — it was just “produce and vegetables.” They were most likely organic, but you didn’t need to label it that way.

But the disruption of local grocers in favor of mass-produced food distributors, where food was cheaply grown domestically and internationally, was brought on by the increased use of pesticides and lack of oversight. It created a massive change in our diets too — cheap, toxic fruits and vegetables + sugary/salty processed foods.

It was nirvana… food addictions exploded…and a generation later we realized that those pesticides and processed foods cause disease and obesity (I personally attribute these choices, unbeknownst to the effect, to my disease).

But now, this industry has come full circle. The small local farmer has made a massive comeback. “Organic” is a billion dollar industry. When you see Walmart not only offer organic options but invest billions of dollars into it, then you know the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

It took 40 years.

My friend Dov Baron says it succinctly, “The disruptors will be disrupted.”

He’s right. (We constantly see it in politics too, where the political parties wildly swing to and from power every few years).

If you follow patterns, you can see it in other parts of our economy. There is one aspect of our new technological society that will not only be disrupted but will have a meltdown — a crash so epic, it will change your life — and here’s the kicker — you invest in it every single day…

It’s social media.

Yup. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. Get ready; it will crash and here is why…

Most pendulums swing, like the grocery industry, over a generation. But the creation and evolution of social media is much different.

Social media platforms were born and matured in a matter of years, not decades. Their market correction will move just as fast.

Why, you ask?

While the intent of social media platforms was to make us more connected (like the grocery industry was to give us cheaper, better food options), it has devolved into chaos, creating inauthentic relationships that value hearts, likes, or smiley faces rather than a real connection.

You have to admit; social media is not serving the greater good for society right now (again, similarly to mass-produced food distribution). When one measures their self-worth on how many “hearts” and “exclamation points” they get per post, we’re playing with fire.

No matter the age, we have fallen for it, become addicted to it, and it’s warped our relationships.

What’s changed?

  • Twitter is not about informing anymore — but tattle-telling on anyone who dares have an opinion different from others. Their censorship of certain voices is 100% their right as a business, but it’s also going to be their downfall. Same goes for YouTube — their great intent has devolved into chaos, censorship, and biased rules that apply to one type of thinking.
  • Facebook is in trouble as well — from the data breaches to the ever-changing attention-seeking algorithms. I get that they are a behemoth, but watch what U.S. and European politicians do in the next few years to regulate them — and our data. It will fundamentally change Facebook as you know it. (Read: “FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds limited oversight on privacy” — which is the largest privacy-related settlement the FTC has ever won from a company)
  • Instagram is its own economy (and it’s owned by Facebook). Not only will it collapse just by association, but their downfall will also be tied to how our society has based their psychological well-being to a “heart”— or lack of one. It’s beyond perilous.

The point is this: we are, right now, witnessing the mass-produced, big-box, sugar-high moment of social media platforms, with all the negative side-effects.

The downfall of our relationships due to social media has occurred. It’s over. It’s only a matter of time before the wave of our attention, connection and a yearning for personal relationships self-corrects the status quo.

And the pendulum is about to swing hard. A market crash is coming. It may take months but most likely a few years.

Here’s what you can take from this:

  1. Use the better “parts” of social media. Look, I own two marketing agencies and a brand company. I’m still going to use social media for my clients and brand because the crash hasn’t happened yet and eyeballs are still squinting in its direction. But everything I fight for in marketing my clients is to show them how to use social media to make deeper connections with their customer/client base (that should have been the outcome of these platforms to begin with).
  2. Limit and monitor your use of social media. Personally, I’ve reduced mine by 95% in the last year. The result? I’m happier, my relationships are better and I don’t miss it. I have real connections with those I love and care about. I care less about followers and hearts. It’s been life-changing. I challenge you to consider it too.
  3. Want to hear more of how I see the social media market crashing? Check out my recent interview on Dave Will’s super interesting podcast, EO 360° by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization: here.

P.S. — If you know of a friend or a colleague that would enjoy my bi-weekly updates about incredibly cool, funny and idiotic marketing ideas, please have them email me (ps@phillipstutts.com) or sign up below.

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