Given all the recent press around trade in general, Mexico and China in particular, one would be led to believe the US can and will become essentially a “closed system”, fully self-contained and self-reliant. It will not.

Beyond the political arguments, geography, demography, and history do count. Below are some of the factors that bring together and inevitably create interdependencies between the US and Mexico, which will persist:

 

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Many people have started -either implicitly or explicitly- to give more thought on the nature of work in light of recent developments. The loosely termed globalization phenomenon and its real or perceived implications have seen significant backslash. In this context, the focus this post is on some of the reasons and implications of what has essentially become a geographically distributed model that many companies leverage or are looking to use in order to create, enhance, and maintain software products.

Not too long ago, it was impossible to automate many tasks that we now take for granted can be done by a machine. We can talk to our phones and computers, have intelligent thermostats in our homes, and have seen self-driving cars become a reality. Artificial Intelligence has enabled a computer to beat the world’s best chess player, and humble champions at Jeopardy; ultimately, we will see one fully pass the famous Turing Test*. However, automation of other tasks has been attempted but were at some point deemed impossible to fully automate.

Before coming to Silicon Valley, one of our founders lived in Japan for a while and later worked in the apparel industry for a number of years. During his stay there, he studied process improvement across and saw broad automation first hand in companies like Toyota and Kawasaki. The Japanese certainly tried to automate other processes, including the end to end production of soft goods. However, sewing turned out to be an impossible task for a robot to perform. Economic factors also played a hand, but over time this was acknowledged as a fact and virtually all apparel production left Japan. leer más