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Here's What the Future of Employment Looks Like

In a conversation with Peter Diamandis, Philip Rosedale broke down the ways technology will disrupt traditional top-down corporate culture.

“I don’t think the companies we will have in 10 years will be structured in a way that will even allow your eye to draw analogies with the companies we have today,” Philip Rosedale, founder of SecondLife and Coffee and Power, recently said in an interview with Peter Diamandis.

So what exactly does he think this new employment landscape will look like? In the lengthy post, Rosedale outlined a seven key features, but here are the highlights:

Turnover will go through the roof. The trend of employees rapidly cycling through companies (currently, on average, a young person changes jobs every 18 months) will dramatically increase, redefining the way we work.

"People won't necessarily think of themselves as being employed by a single company. They won't necessarily work at one company for 10 years; they might work at it for 10 months or even 10 days,” Rosedale told Diamandis. “The companies of the future will be these aggregations of people who work together not necessarily because they're working for one person or on one project, but because they're somehow useful to each other at a high level." 

Rosedale used the creation of Coffee and Power as an example – “Most of the work was done by about 100 people. If you graph their contributions, it was the classic Internet long tail where there were five people who were more or less making full salaries from us, from all over the world” he said. The majority of work was done by individuals who contributed to specific projects, but did not have long-term ties to the company.

No more top-down management. Evaluations will come from co-workers, marking the end of top-down management. For Rosedale, evaluations by management teams result in wasted time and wasted resources. To work effectively, the feedback process needs to be continues and organic; “You get people to share information about what they're doing, and then to recognize each other for their achievements in a way that creates a modern version of the resume," he told Diamandis. "It's a kind of a feedback loop around progress that better values their contributions to each other, allowing them to more effectively engage serendipitously with people who may give them their next job."

Employees set prices for the jobs they do. From the beginning, Rosedale adopted this model at Coffee and Power. He had a list of initial jobs he needed to assign (find a lawyer, create a logo) but instead of going out and hiring people, Rosedale created a public spreadsheet listing each project.

For example, Rosedale needed someone to write a chunk of code. “If anybody out there could help us with this they could put their name next to it, get it done and keep us updated,” Rosedale said. Instead of arbitrarily sticking a price tag on the task, Rosedale let the market assign a dollar value. “What matters most isn't that you can set the price. It's the fact that you're setting the price in a public environment," he said.

Check out the rest of the interview here. 

 

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