New frontiers are open – Part 3

The new frontiers:

  • Oil Patch
  • Publishing
  • Education
  • Space Exploration

The American prairies

The opportunities opened up wide as the prairies and the Dakota sky with the signing of the Homestead Act.

A man and his family, or a single woman, or a former slave, could stake out a claim, work as hard as you wanted, and with a little bit of luck and constant hard work, make a go of it. Millions of people did.

The opportunity was there for the taking.

As I mentioned before, the land was free but the admission price to play was steep.

That frontier has long been closed.

Other frontiers have opened up, with the opportunities, also as wide as the prairies. Also with the same high price of admission.

In this post, I’ll talk about the oil patch and publishing. Next post will talk about education and space exploration.

Oil Patch

I’ve been paying attention to the astounding boom in oil production in North Dakota for well over a year. My interest level is sky-high because my son and his new bride are living in the middle of the boom.

The opportunities are astounding. Wal-Mart is advertising $17 an hour for entry-level cashiers. None of the retail stores in town can keep staff. 

If you want to work and work hard (everybody is working lots of overtime), there is work to be had.


The price of admission is steep.

It is sort of like the gold rush.

Housing is scarce and expensive.

Lots of employers don’t bother with all the niceties of employment law.

Safety corners get cut.

But on the other hand, guys are going there, working for a few months or a year, pocketing more spare cash in the bank than they could have after working years at home, then going back home. (The newcomers are overwhelmingly men.)

Guys who have run out of opportunities at home are going to Williston and finding jobs very plentiful.

On the other hand…

You may be living out of your car.

You may pay a fortune for a tiny room.

You may be working tons and tons of overtime.

There are long lines to get fast food.

Wal-Mart leaves pallets of stuff on the floor because it sells so fast, it’s not worth the time to stock the shelves.

But there is tremendous opportunity.

The Bakken frontier in North Dakota is wide open. The Eagle Ford frontier in Texas is wide open. Other energy frontiers are starting to open.


The industry is disintegrating and rebuilding in front of our very eyes.

Just about every single rule of the publishing world already has or is about to change.

Anyone who wants to publish a book or music CD or video or any kind of art can do so with incredible ease and astoundingly low costs.


The price of admission is steep.

You have to build an audience on your own.

You have to figure out how to use the amazing technology and make your art look good.

The fierce drive and persistence to make it happen has to be deep in your bones. The fire has to come from you.

But there is tremendous opportunity. 

I’ve published 3 print books and converted one of them to an e-book. Plan to print another e-book and convert another print book into electronic format.

Did that by myself. Hired the people I needed for specific tasks, but ran the show by myself.

Anyone can publish. If they are willing to pay the price of admission.

The publishing frontier is open.

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