a new economy

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“It is not for me to change you. The question is, how can I be of service to you without diminishing your degree of freedom?” – Buckminster Fuller, via @decasteve

“Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.” – Peter Drucker, via @africadean

@lemire: Secular Stagnation

‘We are moving to a more abstract world. It is a world where it becomes harder to think about “productivity”, a concept that was invented to measure the output of factories. What is the “productivity” of a given Google engineer? The question is much less meaningful than if you had asked about the productivity of the average factory worker from 1950.’

Twitter cuts employees; but not to save money

‘It’s not that they are getting rid of low performers…it’s just that every extra employee impedes agility. It’s the complete opposite of “employees are our greatest asset.”

I suspect one of the surprising benefits of the gig economy / on-demand workforce is that organizations will find it refreshing to have fewer full-time employees to manage. It means fewer layers, less people in meetings, fewer steps between each employee and customers, and less politics.’

@freelancersu: 4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Freelance

1. Why are you freelancing?
2. What are your key strengths?
3. What are your customer’s needs?
4. Can your bank account handle the transition?

FastCompany: Welcome To The Share The Crumbs Economy

“That’s why the share-the-crumbs economy is more than a labor tragedy—it’s an existential challenge. In short, the gurus of the sharing economy have been at the vanguard of an audacious attempt to forge an economic system in which individuals and businesses with “more money than time” are able to use faceless interactions via brokerage websites and apps to force an online bidding war among lower-income people to see who will charge the least for their labor, or to rent out their personal property (such as their car or home). If everyone is consigned to doing piecework, and no one knows when the next job will come, or how much it will pay, what kind of private lives can we have, and what kind of relationships or families?”

“Organizations need A leader” [not THE leader] – via @anthonyonesto

Image by @gapingvoid

Image by @gapingvoid

5 Responses to “a new economy”

  1. tyelmene

    Change breeds uncertainty and fear, but also holds the prospect of a to-be-found opportunity.

    These are worrisome times, but perhaps the future P2P learning communities of cooperative freelancers/entrepreneurs will have more potential in this coming age of exponential change than will the corrupt multi-national corporations of today. Perhaps we can look forward to a day when this period of widespread disruption will be thought of as having been a good thing. That’s my hope.

  2. Gael Donaghy

    I wonder if this “new economy” poses a threat to capitalism itself, rather than being a more evolved version of it. For capitalism to work, enough people have to have enough income to purchase the goods and services they want (ie above and beyond the basic necessities to survive). If the owners of capital can get essential work done at the lowest cost using out-sourced piece-work, the masses who do this work are not going to be able to afford the goods and services produced / offered. So in the long run, the owners of capital are shooting themselves in the foot. Is this taking disruption too far?

  3. Shaun Browne

    I have to agree with Gael’s interpretation of this issue. The constant seeking for the lowest cost producer has lead to the gigging economy, where the vast majority live with uncertainty, battered by ever-lower incomes, and fearful of the future, does not a robust economy make. While I realize that we can’t go back to the 1950s, I do realize that what we are living through today, with a very few controlling huge amounts of wealth, with the vast majority (the 99%) lives in feR and uncertainty. Henry Ford had a reason to pay his workers $5 a day. If he didn’t, few would be able to buy his cars. I think we need to adopt Ford’s rationale, if we are to have any kind of reasonable future.


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