Prediction: Micro-jobs Are the Future

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Status: Occurring

Prediction: Even the definition of what a job is will be in question

“The two greatest changes sweeping the U.S. labor force are continued impermanence and micronization of jobs. Even the definition of what is a job is in question. Some companies are starting to adapt to these new roles and their shrinking salaries. In fact, they’re not even salaries. This gets around the minimum wage debate altogether by using fixed prices for projects and tasks, instead of hourly wages. Even if it takes someone 10 hours to do a $50 project, the onus is on the individual, not the employer. This might be the way employment works in the near future…Just when you thought projects were small, task-based labor has
arrived. And some of it is barely recognizable as work”

Econovation, 2011, p.80

What Happened

Peer-to-peer micro jobs app targets Gen-Z, Jun 2018

There’s an Uber for Everything Now 2015

“The fabulously wealthy may call their servants by ringing a little bell. In the lifestyles of the geeky and lazy, one can now summon a household staff just by tapping on a smartphone. I’ve got a maid, masseuse, doctor, chef, valet, personal shopper, florist and bartender. Each has his own app and can arrive at my door in as little as 10 minutes…”

How Everyone Gets the ‘Sharing’ Economy Wrong 2015

“If you want to start a fight in otherwise polite company, just declare that the “sharing economy” is the new feudalism, or else that it’s the future of work and all the serfs should just get used to it, already. The “sharing economy” being, of course, a hodgepodge of mostly unrelated but often lumped-together startups, many originating in Silicon Valley, that involve “sharing” things like cars and homes. Think Uber and Airbnb but also Instacart, Postmates, TaskRabbit and many more.”

Fiverr’s $30M Funding Shows That The TaskRabbit Model Is Growing 2014

“Desksourcing” Is A New Labor Market Concept In The Mobile-First World 2015

Handy Raises $50M Led By Fidelity, Reportedly At $500M Valuation, To Clean Up In Home Services 2015

TaskRabbit Announces Novel Integration with Amazon Home Services 2015

“Here’s what you can expect to see when you visit Amazon. When you purchase a flat screen TV or a new dining room table, you will see friendly Tasker faces as you go through the check-out flow. You can browse Taskers profiles, including ratings and reviews, and choose the person you’d like to work with. The entire transaction – including the product and service purchases – stays within Amazon.”

Goodbye Jobs, Hello ‘Gigs’: How One Word Sums Up A New Economic Reality 2016

Online Marketplaces And On Demand Services Are Popular Part-Time Jobs 2015

Ford Launches Peer-To-Peer Car-Sharing Program 2015

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death 2017

The Real Future of Work 2018

“From 2005 to 2015, according to the best available estimate, the number of people in alternative work arrangements grew by 9 million and now represents roughly 16 percent of all U.S. workers, while the number of traditional employees declined by 400,000. A perhaps more striking way to put it is that during those 10 years, all net job growth in the American economy has been in contingent jobs…Businesses prefer these arrangements, too, because they can shed expensive benefit packages and are not responsible for following federal labor laws. But that also gives them an incentive to “misclassify” their workers, overseeing them as if they were employees but officially classifying them as independent contractors to cut costs. Data on misclassification are limited, but state-level audits indicate that about 10 percent to 30 percent of American workers are currently misclassified.”

What’s Next?


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Provocative predictions & prescriptions on where innovation, economics & culture will take us. Fearless. Funny.