"IKEAfiction" is a term often used for the growing "do it yourself" culture.

There used to be a secretary for each 20 researchers or engineers, who would be experts in finding cheap plane tickets, good hotels and knew all the regulations for travel.

The secretaries I have known also very much enjoyed their job.

Now engineers, subject matter experts and researchers not only have to be world leaders in their field, they also need to keep up the intricate system of how to book a cheap flight.

Economics 101 teachers us how specialization benefits all of us with an example of 2 people on an island needing coconuts and water.

But somehow we now have an increasingly de-specialised society where the average person is supposed to know cyber security, international copyright laws, inter state trade regulations and how to invest pension funds.

Previously it was relatively easy to ask for help and advice from a professional, trust that a company would do whatever was in our best interest to keep our patronage, but when all options are equally bad there is no where to go.

Which in theory would create niches for economic growth to startups, but mergers and economy of scale can quickly eradicate those.

The IKEAfiction and de-specialization of society seems to only grow, to the detriment of overall productivity.

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Excellent piece, as usual, Adam.

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