Open Talent and Startups
Buy the job you want.
Just a quick post based on an idea I had recently that didn’t seem realistic. That is, until I saw something similar on Harvard Business Review, and decided it may be worth writing about.
(You can read the HBR article here: https://hbr.org/2022/03/remote-work-has-opened-the-door-to-a-new-approach-to-hiring)
This idea has been formulating for a while now, and despite being understandably outlandish in its concept, seems to be pretty reasonable all things considered.
In short, recent news about inflation, oil prices and everything else that’s going on got me thinking about real estate. I’m sure there’ll be readers of this who once considered the famed “get-rich-fairly-quick” scheme of buying cheap, underrated properties, then renovating and ‘flipping’ them back onto the market for a decent premium.
Of course, with institutions and wealthy private individuals being able to bulk buy pretty much any new developments they want, this method seems to be getting less popular over time.
But that got me thinking.
The practice of acquiring something initially cheap and/or undervalued, then putting in work to get it good enough to turn around for a profit, this practice must be as old as the concept of money itself.
I’m sure people did this generations back with whatever was enough of a commodity or necessity at the time to allow for it. So if property is now losing its appeal, what could we be turning to instead?
Specifically, startups. That is, new and small businesses which are highly scalable and easy to validate value with.
And if this ‘average’ (there really is no way to define this, hence the quotes) investor wishes to quickly scale and monetise these small projects they buy, those same marketplaces are again available to snap up the newly furnished startup.
So many tools, workflows, methodologies, technologies and resources are available online to facilitate this. Acquire a tiny project that has some value which may be validated, use your knowledge to reinvent it with greater MRR, better conversion rates, whatever, then resell it on to the new person doing the same.
Where does this fit in with the Open Talent model then?
One vision that came with the idea was of the freedom for suitably knowledgeable people to buy the job they wanted, work on it for however long they pleased, then resell it and go to something new instead.
There would still be larger organisations to which people could attach themselves to, but this work could be broken down into atomic blocks, units, chunks, whatever, allowing for much better freedom in what people can do.
(Of course, many more challenges and obstacles are in the way. This is only an idea after all.)
To finish off, I personally agree with the HBR article view in that adequately resourced platforms are essential for this to work. And, I also completely agree that the increasing competition to secure talent will naturally drive people into this more flat, decentralised way of working.
How long will it take?
Who will fund these platforms?
Will this even improve our quality of working life?
Truthfully, I don’t know, but I do know that I’m very much looking forward to it.