How to Succeed in 2020
Rich Higgins, CPA
Focused on You. Dedicated to Your Success.

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March 9, 2020

Entrepreneur ran an interesting article last December which you might have missed. Entitled How to Succeed in 2020 , the article discussed many of the challenges that we have to be aware of in order in our to protect ourselves and our businesses. Here is a quick synopsis of the suggestions provided in the article from 12 leading experts.

  1. Digital Reputation - 2019 MacArthur Fellow Danielle Citron, a law professor at Boston University Law School and leading cyberprivacy expert, predicts all kinds of economic sabotage, deepfakes, and cyber security breaches. According to Citron. the best way to protect yourself may be to keep a ready log of your whereabouts to debunk these frauds. “Every day, deepfakes are getting easier to make and harder to distinguish from real footage,” she says. “Brace yourself.”
  2. Employee Benefits - Tom Gimbel, the founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a national staffing and recruiting firm found that, “Unemployment is just so low. It’s an employee’s market.” To stay competitive, Gimbel urges business owners to offer true benefits rather than flashy perks. “Everyone has free food and fun games in the office,” he says. “But what employees really want is a 401(k) and match.” 
  3. Regulations – New federal and state regulations are going to impact several industries in the gig economy. California’s new law Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5) requires most companies to reclassify contract, freelance, and contingent workers as full-time employees eligible for benefits, a guaranteed $12–$13 state minimum wage, and protections under the state’s employment law. The law codifies the ABC test which helps employers determine who should be classified as a freelancer. Exceptions are given to some types of freelancers such as architects, doctors, insurance agents and truck drivers. Experts say many other blue states such as New York and New Jersey are considering adopting similar laws. Bradley Tusk with Tusk Ventures claims that telemedicine start-ups can expect to get a lot of push back from state governments. Tusk also predicts that barriers will come down for autonomous trucking, self-driving cars, and eSports betting a little more slowly. 
  4. New Technology – Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute and a professor of strategic foresight at New York University’s Stern School of Business, outlined in her book The Big Nine how tech giants are using AI to track our behavior online. This information is then being used for multiple purposes beyond market research. For example, in China, people receive points for what they buy and do online. The more points that they have, the more buying power they have. In some situations, Chinese people without enough points were denied the privilege of buying an airline ticket.
  5. Retail – Although retail stores are declaring bankruptcy, closing stores, and laying off staff, Praveen Adhi, retail operations lead and partner at McKinsey & Company, claims there is a lot of opportunity in the retail industry. Adhi says that stores need to reimagine the future, shift dollars from operations to customer service, and automated operations that do not impact the customer experience. Adhi also recommends that management really needs to understand their customers and why they come into the store instead of buying online. 
  6. Sustainability – There is a movement towards circularity or using high-quality materials made from fewer resources and with the product’s lifecycle in mind. Jaye Pribulsky, VP of sustainable manufacturing and sourcing at Nike, explains, “We are highly focused on designing waste out of out of our manufacturing processes, which is a trend growing across all sectors.”
  7. Influencers – Instagram’s COO, Justin Osofsky, says it is important to be seen as an authority who is very niche-focused and authentic.
  8. Storytelling – The leap from virtual reality (VR) to mixed reality (MR) will change how we experience gaming, movies, and relationships. MR allows a person to be in the game or movies. Entertainers can place the audience inside the narrative giving them the sense of moving through a scene, interacting with objects and characters. Ted Schilowitz, a futurist with Paramount Pictures, says that “in five-years MR technology will improve so much that you will feel that it is happening to you. MS will have the power to transform people meeting in artificial spaces via their avatars.”
  9. Automation – Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research & Development, suggests that “people should not waste time making a quick buck on some stupid consumer product. We are in desperate need of better medical outcomes, better ways to give people energy, and transportation without destroying the environment.
  10. Investing – Ben Horowitz, cofounder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley VC firm, recommends investing on a 10-year horizon. In other words, today’s investments will pay out in a decade. His investment focus is on AI, crypto, computational biology, device proliferation, the Internet of Things, and AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality), or computer-generated simulations that integrate the real world (AR) or are entirely self-contained (VR).
  11. Personalization – Companies like Netflix and Spotify made “recommended for you” popular. Thanks to technology, entrepreneurs can offer similar personalize experiences. Johnathan Neyman, cofounder of Sweetgreen, a salad chain, recommends making every experience as personal as possible. 
  12. Recruiting – Pieter Schalkwijk, head of talent management at Kraft Heinz, claims that the old-way of recruiting doesn’t work anymore. He doesn’t look at resumes when first selecting candidates. He takes a more data driven approach by using Pymetrics, an AI platform. Candidates are selected by matching their answers to a series of questions that are then matched with answers given by high performers. As a result, they can avoid the typical bias that is sometimes in play during the selection process to hire a more qualified and diverse workforce.

I hope you found the above suggestions as interesting as I did. Click here to read the full article. 

Feel free to contact any member of our team with questions at 610-828-1900 (PA) or 732+-341-3893 (NJ). You can contact Rich Higgins, CPA, managing principal- New Jersey office, at or me at . We are always here to answer your questions.  

Martin C. McCarthy, CPA, CCIFP
Managing Partner 
McCarthy & Company, PC 

Disclaimer: This alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Information contained in this communication is not intended or written to be used as tax advice, and cannot be used by the recipient to avoid penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. We strongly advise you to seek professional assistance with respect to your specific issue(s).