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New Work Order: CrowdSourcing as the third wave of work

In my previous post, we’ve discussed the evolution of capitalism and the different versions of it over the years. Let’s take a look at the parallel developments of the job market.

The job market is now entering its 3rd generation. The first one was the InSourcing that was a main feature in capitalism 1.0 and 2.0. The second generation is the OutSourcing - a symptom of the corporation era, or capitalism 3.0. We’re still seeing a major shift today towards OutSourcing but not as much as before, due to the new economic reality, which is coupled with technological changes. In recent years we’re witnessing the rise of the third generation of a job market - the CrowdSourcing.

Unlike the previous two trends, CrowdSourcing isn’t based on employment contracts and an employer - employee relations. In a nutshell, imagine you had a task that required over 100 people to perform, however your business only employs 20 people. Some tasks are delegated to the people most accessible to everyone - the crowd. Basically this method consists of delegating small tasks to an undefined amount of people in order to achieve various goals.

There is an abundance of examples of jobs and processes that are getting done today via CrowdSourcing. News media is a prime example of that: more new companies rely on the public for news and reports rather than hiring their own reporters. They encourage the public to send in pieces, photos, videos and even feed off sites like Twitter and Facebook for news items. What makes CrowdSourcing work is that the public is answering the corporate call.

Recent Studies found that approximately 34% of all the employed people in the western world don’t work in the traditional employee fashion with an employer-employee relationship between them. And this trend is just getting stronger as more people are working as freelancers or through CrowdSourcing. It’s evident everywhere, from IT to writers, editors, photographers, website builders, translators, graphic designers and more.

In 1800, less than 3% of the world’s population worked in a workplace that had 4 or more employees. You had professional craftsmen that usually worked in their homes or workshops. A blacksmith might had 1-2 apprentices and a baker a few assistants but most of the professional work concentrated in one area (the baker wasn’t the farmer as well) and in a small framework.

The industrial revolution gave birth to a radical change in the work market. The workers began to group together and form unions in order to gain more stability and influence. The industrial revolution also changed the workers state of mind, making the work place a priority instead of the former ones like family, community, friend and church. As the organized work model solidified, the organization was a major factor in the workers’ life, and he became defined by the organization he belonged to (Union trucker, Army Vet, Etc’).

In a sense, this new job market model brings the market back to his pre-industrial revolution days: back to the independence, back to craftsmanship, and even back to solitary work. Only - only this time this new work model is build around technology that enables us to constantly communicate. This third generation job market is the new work environment; it’s the future as well as the present.

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