this one’s for you Nouman Tahir (and the community :))
This is How the Freelance Economy Will Evolve
According to U.K. freelancing site PeoplePerHour, more than 50% of the global workforce will consist of freelancers by 2020 (See: http://ind.pn/2dtoVg2). The freelance movement has enormous implications for society and the economy. In this blog, I will focus on what I believe will be the single most important impact of this phenomenon: the rise of experimentation as a way for freelancers to more effectively find their best fit with employers, and vice versa.
(How human beings experiment, will be the next major Global Economic Force.)
What is Experimentation?
Everyone knows what experimentation means but Merriam Webster formally defines the term as:
“Something that is done as a test : something that you do to see how well or how badly it works” — Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of ‘Experimentation’
Experimentation allowed the Neanderthals to build tools, and Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming to stumble into discovering Penicillin. Experimentation describes the hard work behind the discovery of a new idea, and it plays a key role in creativity, innovation, and the rise of the Collaborative Revolution — the disruption to how people collaborate due to digital collaborative technology, allowing strangers to meet and work together like never before.
Experimentation, though, has extraordinary potential that has not yet been unlocked by the freelance movement. This is due to the fact that freelancing has thus far remained exclusively focused on monetization.
Experimentation and The Freelance Revolution
The Freelance Revolution is flourishing as online freelance platforms like Freelance.com and Fiverr allow freelancers to get paid for both tasks and “micro-tasks.” While they are enabling the freelance economy, these platforms are still not achieving anywhere near their true potential because…
A great inefficiency still exists in our economy, despite the rise of the Freelance Movement: Experimentation sits on the wrong side of the payment barrier.
The key to unlocking the innovative potential of freelancing is the ability to experiment before any cash incentive is provided. Currently, the freelance model relies almost exclusively on trust scores and reviews as a way for people who need freelancers to assess their skills and work ethic. There is no experimentation, only referrals. There is no way to elicit creative synergies.
It’s a major flaw and it reveals we still live in a collaborative dark age.
Until this changes, the Freelance Revolution — i.e., the Collaborative Revolution - can not move forward.
(In the current model freelancers experiment with employers after contracts are signed. The future demands a shift in these mechanics, to unlock extraordinary creative potential sitting quietly hidden in the global economy.)
There is no doubt that the gig economy demonstrates the commercial potential of this revolution as freelancers get paid to complete discrete tasks on Fiverr and as people share their vehicles or homes for profit (i.e., Uber and Airbnb).
However, until collaborative software makes it fun, efficient and useful for freelancers to experiment and share knowledge before contracts are signed, society will only be harnessing a small slice of the economic benefit the freelance movement provides while wasting the massive potential of having freelancers and others experiment and collaborate on innovative ideas.
— Steven Reubenstone
Founder at Collaborizm