If you heard the economy was about to go in to “reverse”, you would probably be pretty worried. But consumers should actually welcome the coming era with open arms, according to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong – for, what he dubs “the reverse economy” will leave them richer.

“Corporations make a tremendous amount of profit from individual consumers giving their time, energy data and money,” Armstrong tells Beet.TV.

“The more that technology and the Internet Of Things comes in… you’re going to have the economics change a lot and the economy go in reverse… the individual consumer is going to get more benefit than corporations will get.”

Think of the classic Internet Of Things example – a fridge that knows what it needs to order. But extrapolate that idea to every conceivable consumer good.

“Instead of you going out to look for everything you need, those things will come to you – you’ll have a much better economic situation as a consumer,” Armstrong adds. “You’ll spend less time looking for things, you’ll get value from your own data. You’ll basically become more of your own profit center as a consumer. That’s a really big change. The economy’s going to come to the consumer.”

He postulates that this scenario will unfold in the next five or more years.

Armstrong is celebrating six years at the helm of AOL this month. That followed positions including running Google’s Americas business, directing sales at ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures and advising Greycroft Partners.

Armstrong has a knack for starting new ideas. The Connecticut College grad co-founded a newspaper in Boston and launched IDG’s first online magazine.

So how would he advise tomorrow’s generation to make its mark? Using three simple rules, he tells Beet.TV:

  1. “Take risks. Most people in life are taught not to take any risks. Every time you don’t feel like doing something, do it.”
  2. “Everyone is born with half the skillsets in life. You need to go out and find partners – whether it’s personal or professional – to give you the other half of your skillet.”
  3. “It’s a journey. It’s not about getting to be successful. You’re’ going to lead a long life. Take time to build relationships, take time to have friends.”

This interview is from Beet.TV’s “Media Revolutionaries”, a 50-part series of interviews with key innovators and leaders in the media, technology and advertising industries, sponsored by Xaxis and Microsoft.  Xaxis is a unit of WPP. Please find more clips from the series here.

Armstrong was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.  The interview took place at the AOL headquarters in New York.