Time for a ReOrg

Below are some excerpts from New Economy Superstar, an abbreviated version of Daniel Pink’s Free Agent Nation, with takes from Seth Godin’s Small Is the New Big.

…most work in the future is organized as temporary combinations of very small companies, even individual contractors. This is already common in the movie industry. Imagine an AT&T that breaks up not into two or three different companies, but two or three hundred thousand different

—Thomas Malone, Re-Organization Man

In a highly volatile, hyper-innovative economy in which the means of production, distribution, and marketing are relatively inexpensive and available to anyone, the race goes to the fleetest of foot, not the biggest of bulk.

—Richard Hooker, The Post-Employment Economy, Part 1

… under pressure from an uncertain economy, bosses are discovering that there are a lot of reasons not to pay you to drive to a central location or even to pay you at all. And when work gets auctioned off to the lowest bidder, your job gets a lot more stressful.

—Seth Godin, The Last Days of Cubicle Life

Part of the economic failure we’re seeing right now comes to this hard truth – big companies have let all of us down. We’ve been let down as citizens, consumers, investors and employees. Companies wasted resources and lined the pockets of executives. As I watched the economy start to sink and I realized that some profitable companies were starting to use the poor economy as a way to cut costs, I knew it was time to get real and stop counting on the Corporate American Dream.

—Lee Stranahan, Why I Quit My Job And Bet On My Own Creativity

Everywhere you look, you might notice a new kind of flexible, smart small business. They serve a relatively small number of people. Big businesses drool over their profit margins and adaptability. Their customers are knocked out by what they do and how they do it. Oh, and one more thing. They’re taking over the world.

—Sonia Simone, Finding Your Village of Customers

Involuntary entrepreneurship” is now creating tens of thousands of small businesses and a huge market of contract and freelance labor. Many will take full-time jobs again once they become available, but many others will choose not to. The crisis may have turned our economy into small pieces, loosely joined, but it will be the collective action of millions of workers hungry for change that keeps it that way.

—Chris Anderson, The New New Economy: More Startups, Fewer Giants,
Infinite Opportunity

For the future, the trend to bet on seems to be networks of small, autonomous groups whose performance is measured individually. And the societies that win will be the ones with the least impedance.

—Paul Graham, The High-Res Society

Traditional employment will still be how most people pursue a career. That’s where most people are comfortable, so I don’t think it will change for the majority. The difference is that traditional employment can no longer be considered the “safe” option. For years, entrepreneurs have been viewed as risk-takers, but personally I think it’s far riskier to depend on someone else for your well-being. Ironically, I view entrepreneurship as a much safer option.

—Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Nonconformity

More from Corbett Barr:

On average, the 500 companies in the S&P 500 index make nearly $500,000 in revenue per employee… Regular non-executive employees at those companies earn anywhere from minimum wage (about $14,500 in the U.S.) to a max of maybe $200,000. Meanwhile, CEOs at those companies were paid $10.4 million dollars in total compensation on average last year…

When you work for yourself, you throw a little stone at the corporate power structure that is destroying the American middle class. That may be the best chance society has of returning to greater economic equality.
Real wages haven’t increased for the average American worker for over 40 years, and yet during the same time, incomes of the top 1% of Americans more than doubled. CEO pay grew over that period 39 times.