Company structure and organization has for many decades been relatively simple; you hire someone through a listing, either online or offline, you enter them into an old payroll system, working with your accountant, and everyone works in an office together. While teleworking has become common, as has using contractors, startups have begun to grow that totally change the very structure of a company in its entirety. Marc Andreessen's famous saying has grown to the point that businesses aren't remotely what they used to be.
ZenPayroll took the stress of having an internal payroll system, accountant and wasted HR management hours and turned it into a company. The result is that anyone, from a small startup to a full-scale company, has now outsourced an entire, formerly critical and internal part of their company to software. The same can be said of LeadGenius, a sales platform that uses crowdsourced individuals to outsource the intense research and data-grinding that's required by many sales people (junior and otherwise) to both internal software and dedicated people.
Even office management has begun to become unnecessary thanks to Managed By Q. The startup installs a tablet inside your office that effectively becomes your office manager; anyone can tap a few times to restock supplies, get the office cleaned and work with a remote live assistant to organize plumbers, electricians or carpenters. The company raised $1.65m to effectively run your office through a combination of software and outsourced, bonded and insured personnel, without the headache of extra staff or even an extra desk in the office. Co-founder Saman Rahamanian told Fox Business that even though companies are increasingly willing to outsource core company elements, many needlessly either hire an office manager or overload them with tasks that are grinding.
Even forming companies has changed thanks to software. Based in the bay area, Assembly is a Union Square Ventures-backed startup that combines crowdsourcing, hiring and company-building to create revenue-generating (or open source) software. Users of all kinds (ranging from coders to artists to even marketers) join to build software using Assembly's collaborative platform, offering whatever support they can. Assembly's success has been in creating "companies" of geographically spread-out people. The only need is a computer, an internet connection and a skillset.
Assembly provides the simple elements of company structure; an app store account run my Assembly, payment APIs, hosting and invoicing/ACH deposits if necessary. Assembly distributes software products' revenues to the core team. However, those who aren't part of the team initially can still kick in in a few ways. This includes bounties, which can be set by anyone but only awarded a "coin" value (a currency used by Assembly, much like an app-specific cryptocurrency) by the leadership team of a project. Those who work hard to complete bounties to the team's requirements can also earn ownership in the company too.
Those who simply want to watch can too by following a project, where you can transparently see the revenues and costs of each company, as well as the current stage of development; and the community aspect has already generated companies revenue and app installs.
"Assembly makes it possible for anyone, anywhere to turn ideas into great products together and share in their success. It's been fun to see the diversity in products and teams, from the over 200 people that had a hand building Helpful.io to the small group of developers and designers that launched Signup Sumo in only 7 days. In the last year over 4.5 million people have used the products built on Assembly," said Matt Deiters, CEO of Assembly.
As long as unnecessary tasks can be removed by software, I can see it staying hungry, creating companies like Talkdesk replacing entire call-centers with browsers, or LegalZoom removing a lot of companies' need to retain general counsel for simple documentation. Finally, even computer sales and IT management is being eaten by software; Y Combinator graduate Paperspace sells users a tiny box that connects to a computer in the cloud, meaning that anyone can use a powerful computer while they have an internet connection.
In the same way that our iPhones and iPads have turned into efficient ways to never need a personal assistant, software has slowly begun to make companies of all sizes leaner. This doesn't mean companies will hire less; I predict it might actually increase the ability for companies to work faster by removing unnecessary friction from jobs.