Learn the key ideas of the book by Sarah Kessler


How the Gig Economy will revolutionize the workforce

What is the gig economy? It is a “new” working model, which has been trying to completely change the way we perceive the workplace for the last few years.  Everybody can become a businessperson, breaking free from set schedules and unbearable bosses. But is it as perfect as it seems? In Gigged we will discover the stories of those who have experienced the gig economy, and the less-known nuances of this fast growing phenomenon.  

Read in 12 min.
Listen in 15 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Discover the three realities that make up the gig economy.
  • Understand the evolution of a new way of working through personal stories.
  • Understand the issues that new technologies and work models may entail.

The author of the book:

Sarah Kessler is a journalist from New York. She is currently working for Quartz, where she writes articles about the world of work and particularly, the gig economy. In the past, she worked for Fast Company and Mashable. Her articles have been published in the Washington Post, the New York Magazine and the NPR.


What is the gig economy and how is it changing the business world?

We are in 2011, and the word “gig economy” is being used more frequently in the business world and especially, in the world of technology. The concept of “gig economy”, means temporary job/task, and is becoming more and more popular.

The first materializations of this new model are e-commerce websites offering workforce. A company can search for the ideal candidate for a specific project, selecting them among thousands of profiles. Just one person for one particular project, without establishing any sort of relationship. No strings attached.

Quickly, the idea expands to small jobs such as deliveries, dog sitters, etc. A worker receives a phone notification as soon as a task is available and can choose to accept or reject it. An additional approach for this type of work is represented by the division of projects into very small tasks, distributed among dozens or hundreds of different people. Projects such as cataloguing images, describing products or answering frequent questions. Each job requires very little time and people are paid peanuts.

It is said that this new paradigm reinvented the business world, eliminating the idea of a “permanent” and fixed job, allowing everybody to choose when and where to work. There is no boss or fixed schedule anymore. We are our own managers. These ideas adapt perfectly to a well-known demographic group, the people born between 1980 and 2000, millennials. A generation that, thanks to the new technologies, for the first time ever, can have different priorities at work, such as flexibility and personal satisfaction. It is a generation that is used to having everything on a smartphone: content, multimedia, shopping and services.  

However, along with all of these advantages, the gig economy also brings problems: ranging from the lack of job stability to little protection of workers’ rights.

It seems to be a brilliant and innovative strategy, but it’s in fact an updated version of temporary work, which had been made popular in past decades. In short, it is an opportunity for companies to have employees, without calling them employees, thus avoiding the responsibilities of an employer.


The key ideas of "Gigged"

What is the gig economy and how is it changing the business world?
The Uber startup and the Uber for X model
Amazon Turk and the global competition to get a job done paying peanuts
Managed by Q and what causes the search for collaborators instead of employees
The real demands of job seekers: the example of Samaschool
The advantages and disadvantages of the gig economy
Take-home message

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