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robertogreco : freelancing   43

The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death - The New Yorker
"Last September, a very twenty-first-century type of story appeared on the company blog of the ride-sharing app Lyft. “Long-time Lyft driver and mentor, Mary, was nine months pregnant when she picked up a passenger the night of July 21st,” the post began. “About a week away from her due date, Mary decided to drive for a few hours after a day of mentoring.” You can guess what happened next.

Mary, who was driving in Chicago, picked up a few riders, and then started having contractions. “Since she was still a week away from her due date,” Lyft wrote, “she assumed they were simply a false alarm and continued driving.” As the contractions continued, Mary decided to drive to the hospital. “Since she didn’t believe she was going into labor yet,” Lyft went on, “she stayed in driver mode, and sure enough—ping!— she received a ride request en route to the hospital.”

“Luckily,” as Lyft put it, the passenger requested a short trip. After completing it, Mary went to the hospital, where she was informed that she was in labor. She gave birth to a daughter, whose picture appears in the post. (She’s wearing a “Little Miss Lyft” onesie.) The post concludes with a call for similar stories: “Do you have an exciting Lyft story you’d love to share? Tweet us your story at @lyft_CHI!”

Mary’s story looks different to different people. Within the ghoulishly cheerful Lyft public-relations machinery, Mary is an exemplar of hard work and dedication—the latter being, perhaps, hard to come by in a company that refuses to classify its drivers as employees. Mary’s entrepreneurial spirit—taking ride requests while she was in labor!—is an “exciting” example of how seamless and flexible app-based employment can be. Look at that hustle! You can make a quick buck with Lyft anytime, even when your cervix is dilating.

Lyft does not provide its drivers paid maternity leave or health insurance. (It offers to connect drivers with an insurance broker, and helpfully notes that “the Affordable Care Act offers many choices to make sure you’re covered.”) A third-party platform called SherpaShare, which some drivers use to track their earnings, found, in 2015, that Lyft drivers in Chicago net about eleven dollars per trip. Perhaps, as Lyft suggests, Mary kept accepting riders while experiencing contractions because “she was still a week away from her due date,” or “she didn’t believe she was going into labor yet.” Or maybe Mary kept accepting riders because the gig economy has further normalized the circumstances in which earning an extra eleven dollars can feel more important than seeking out the urgent medical care that these quasi-employers do not sponsor. In the other version of Mary’s story, she’s an unprotected worker in precarious circumstances. “I can’t pretend to know Mary’s economic situation,” Bryan Menegus at Gizmodo wrote, when the story first appeared. “Maybe she’s an heiress who happens to love the freedom of chauffeuring strangers from place to place on her own schedule. But that Lyft, for some reason, thought that this would reflect kindly on them is perhaps the most horrifying part.”

It does require a fairly dystopian strain of doublethink for a company to celebrate how hard and how constantly its employees must work to make a living, given that these companies are themselves setting the terms. And yet this type of faux-inspirational tale has been appearing more lately, both in corporate advertising and in the news. Fiverr, an online freelance marketplace that promotes itself as being for “the lean entrepreneur”—as its name suggests, services advertised on Fiverr can be purchased for as low as five dollars—recently attracted ire for an ad campaign called “In Doers We Trust.” One ad, prominently displayed on some New York City subway cars, features a woman staring at the camera with a look of blank determination. “You eat a coffee for lunch,” the ad proclaims. “You follow through on your follow through. Sleep deprivation is your drug of choice. You might be a doer.”

Fiverr, which had raised a hundred and ten million dollars in venture capital by November, 2015, has more about the “In Doers We Trust” campaign on its Web site. In one video, a peppy female voice-over urges “doers” to “always be available,” to think about beating “the trust-fund kids,” and to pitch themselves to everyone they see, including their dentist. A Fiverr press release about “In Doers We Trust” states, “The campaign positions Fiverr to seize today’s emerging zeitgeist of entrepreneurial flexibility, rapid experimentation, and doing more with less. It pushes against bureaucratic overthinking, analysis-paralysis, and excessive whiteboarding.” This is the jargon through which the essentially cannibalistic nature of the gig economy is dressed up as an aesthetic. No one wants to eat coffee for lunch or go on a bender of sleep deprivation—or answer a call from a client while having sex, as recommended in the video. It’s a stretch to feel cheerful at all about the Fiverr marketplace, perusing the thousands of listings of people who will record any song, make any happy-birthday video, or design any book cover for five dollars. I’d guess that plenty of the people who advertise services on Fiverr would accept some “whiteboarding” in exchange for employer-sponsored health insurance.

At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear. Human-interest stories about the beauty of some person standing up to the punishments of late capitalism are regular features in the news, too. I’ve come to detest the local-news set piece about the man who walks ten or eleven or twelve miles to work—a story that’s been filed from Oxford, Alabama; from Detroit, Michigan; from Plano, Texas. The story is always written as a tearjerker, with praise for the person’s uncomplaining attitude; a car is usually donated to the subject in the end. Never mentioned or even implied is the shamefulness of a job that doesn’t permit a worker to afford his own commute.

There’s a painful distance between the chipper narratives surrounding labor and success in America and the lived experience of workers. A similar conflict drove Nathanael West, in 1934, to publish the novel “A Cool Million,” which satirized the Horatio Alger bootstrap fables that remained popular into the Great Depression. “Alger is to America what Homer was to the Greeks,” West once wrote. His protagonist in “A Cool Million,” Lemuel Pitkin, is an innocent, energetic striver, tasked with saving his mother’s house from foreclosure. A series of Alger-esque plot twists ensue. But Pitkin, rather than triumphing, ends up losing his teeth, his eye, his leg, his scalp, and finally his thumb. Morris Dickstein, in his book “Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression,” notes, “The novel ends with Lem as a vaudeville clown being beaten nightly until he simply falls apart.” A former President named Shagpoke Whipple gives a speech valorizing Pitkin’s fate, extolling “the right of every American boy to go into the world and . . . make his fortune by industry.” Whipple describes Pitkin’s dismemberment—“lovingly,” Dickstein adds—and tells his audience that, through Pitkin’s hard work and enthusiastic martyrdom, “America became again American.”"
jiatolentino  gigeconomy  freelancing  capitalism  culture  work  labor  exploitation  horatioalger  lemuelpitkin  morrisdickstein  uber  lyft  fiverr  self-reliance  individualism  economics  latecapitalism  neoliberalism  health  healthinsurance  well-being  affordablecareact  sleepdeprivation 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Teaching Machines and Turing Machines: The History of the Future of Labor and Learning
"In all things, all tasks, all jobs, women are expected to perform affective labor – caring, listening, smiling, reassuring, comforting, supporting. This work is not valued; often it is unpaid. But affective labor has become a core part of the teaching profession – even though it is, no doubt, “inefficient.” It is what we expect – stereotypically, perhaps – teachers to do. (We can debate, I think, if it’s what we reward professors for doing. We can interrogate too whether all students receive care and support; some get “no excuses,” depending on race and class.)

What happens to affective teaching labor when it runs up against robots, against automation? Even the tasks that education technology purports to now be able to automate – teaching, testing, grading – are shot through with emotion when done by humans, or at least when done by a person who’s supposed to have a caring, supportive relationship with their students. Grading essays isn’t necessarily burdensome because it’s menial, for example; grading essays is burdensome because it is affective labor; it is emotionally and intellectually exhausting.

This is part of our conundrum: teaching labor is affective not simply intellectual. Affective labor is not valued. Intellectual labor is valued in research. At both the K12 and college level, teaching of content is often seen as menial, routine, and as such replaceable by machine. Intelligent machines will soon handle the task of cultivating human intellect, or so we’re told.

Of course, we should ask what happens when we remove care from education – this is a question about labor and learning. What happens to thinking and writing when robots grade students’ essays, for example. What happens when testing is standardized, automated? What happens when the whole educational process is offloaded to the machines – to “intelligent tutoring systems,” “adaptive learning systems,” or whatever the latest description may be? What sorts of signals are we sending students?

And what sorts of signals are the machines gathering in turn? What are they learning to do?
Often, of course, we do not know the answer to those last two questions, as the code and the algorithms in education technologies (most technologies, truth be told) are hidden from us. We are becoming as law professor Frank Pasquale argues a “black box society.” And the irony is hardly lost on me that one of the promises of massive collection of student data under the guise of education technology and learning analytics is to crack open the “black box” of the human brain.

We still know so little about how the brain works, and yet, we’ve adopted a number of metaphors from our understanding of that organ to explain how computers operate: memory, language, intelligence. Of course, our notion of intelligence – its measurability – has its own history, one wrapped up in eugenics and, of course, testing (and teaching) machines. Machines now both frame and are framed by this question of intelligence, with little reflection on the intellectual and ideological baggage that we carry forward and hard-code into them."



"We’re told by some automation proponents that instead of a future of work, we will find ourselves with a future of leisure. Once the robots replace us, we will have immense personal freedom, so they say – the freedom to pursue “unproductive” tasks, the freedom to do nothing at all even, except I imagine, to continue to buy things.
On one hand that means that we must address questions of unemployment. What will we do without work? How will we make ends meet? How will this affect identity, intellectual development?

Yet despite predictions about the end of work, we are all working more. As games theorist Ian Bogost and others have observed, we seem to be in a period of hyper-employment, where we find ourselves not only working numerous jobs, but working all the time on and for technology platforms. There is no escaping email, no escaping social media. Professionally, personally – no matter what you say in your Twitter bio that your Tweets do not represent the opinions of your employer – we are always working. Computers and AI do not (yet) mark the end of work. Indeed, they may mark the opposite: we are overworked by and for machines (for, to be clear, their corporate owners).

Often, we volunteer to do this work. We are not paid for our status updates on Twitter. We are not compensated for our check-in’s in Foursquare. We don’t get kick-backs for leaving a review on Yelp. We don’t get royalties from our photos on Flickr.

We ask our students to do this volunteer labor too. They are not compensated for the data and content that they generate that is used in turn to feed the algorithms that run TurnItIn, Blackboard, Knewton, Pearson, Google, and the like. Free labor fuels our technologies: Forum moderation on Reddit – done by volunteers. Translation of the courses on Coursera and of the videos on Khan Academy – done by volunteers. The content on pretty much every “Web 2.0” platform – done by volunteers.

We are working all the time; we are working for free.

It’s being framed, as of late, as the “gig economy,” the “freelance economy,” the “sharing economy” – but mostly it’s the service economy that now comes with an app and that’s creeping into our personal not just professional lives thanks to billions of dollars in venture capital. Work is still precarious. It is low-prestige. It remains unpaid or underpaid. It is short-term. It is feminized.

We all do affective labor now, cultivating and caring for our networks. We respond to the machines, the latest version of ELIZA, typing and chatting away hoping that someone or something responds, that someone or something cares. It’s a performance of care, disguising what is the extraction of our personal data."



"Personalization. Automation. Management. The algorithms will be crafted, based on our data, ostensibly to suit us individually, more likely to suit power structures in turn that are increasingly opaque.

Programmatically, the world’s interfaces will be crafted for each of us, individually, alone. As such, I fear, we will lose our capacity to experience collectivity and resist together. I do not know what the future of unions looks like – pretty grim, I fear; but I do know that we must enhance collective action in order to resist a future of technological exploitation, dehumanization, and economic precarity. We must fight at the level of infrastructure – political infrastructure, social infrastructure, and yes technical infrastructure.

It isn’t simply that we need to resist “robots taking our jobs,” but we need to challenge the ideologies, the systems that loath collectivity, care, and creativity, and that champion some sort of Randian individual. And I think the three strands at this event – networks, identity, and praxis – can and should be leveraged to precisely those ends.

A future of teaching humans not teaching machines depends on how we respond, how we design a critical ethos for ed-tech, one that recognizes, for example, the very gendered questions at the heart of the Turing Machine’s imagined capabilities, a parlor game that tricks us into believing that machines can actually love, learn, or care."
2015  audreywatters  education  technology  academia  labor  work  emotionallabor  affect  edtech  history  highered  highereducation  teaching  schools  automation  bfskinner  behaviorism  sexism  howweteach  alanturing  turingtest  frankpasquale  eliza  ai  artificialintelligence  robots  sharingeconomy  power  control  economics  exploitation  edwardthorndike  thomasedison  bobdylan  socialmedia  ianbogost  unemployment  employment  freelancing  gigeconomy  serviceeconomy  caring  care  love  loving  learning  praxis  identity  networks  privacy  algorithms  freedom  danagoldstein  adjuncts  unions  herbertsimon  kevinkelly  arthurcclarke  sebastianthrun  ellenlagemann  sidneypressey  matthewyglesias  karelčapek  productivity  efficiency  bots  chatbots  sherryturkle 
august 2015 by robertogreco
Continuations : Debating the Gig Economy: Going Past Industrial...
"Yesterday Hilary Clinton mentioned the “gig economy” in a speech. She said
Meanwhile, many Americans are making extra money renting out a small room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car. This on-demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation.

But it is also raising hard questions about work-place protections and what a good job will look like in the future.

This is of course a topic I have been speaking and writing about a lot. Like Fred [http://avc.com/2015/07/the-gig-economy/ ], I think that this is a discussion we need to have. I think the framing though of the question has to be quite different. We need to move past traditional concepts of work and jobs towards an era of economic freedom enabled by a universal basic income and something akin to what I have called the right to be represented by a bot.

As long as we frame the debate in terms of “work-place protections” and a “good job” we are still caught in the industrial system. The hallmark of the industrial system is what I call the job loop: most people sell their time and receive a wage in return — they then use that wage to buy products and services, which in turn are made by people selling their time. This job loop has been extraordinarily successful. In combination with relatively free markets it has given us incredible progress. But it is now breaking down due to automation and globalization.

The rise of the gig economy is a part of this break down of the job loop. Instead of trying to fix it and to imprint traditional work and labor thinking on these new platforms I propose an entirely different approach: truly and deeply empower individuals to participate on their own terms. Just imagine for a moment a world in which everyone can take care of basic needs such as housing, clothing, food, healthcare and education.

In such a world any and all participation in “gigs” will be entirely voluntary. People will have real walk away options from gigs that don’t pay enough. That also includes “jobs” at McDonalds, or Walmart or the local nail salon. In such a world there is no need to distinguish between a W2 employee and a 1099 contractor.

Such a world is now possible thanks to the productivity gains we have made over many years and the ones that are just now emerging. If you want some good numbers on the economic feasibility of a Universal Basic Income I propose reading this piece by Scott Santens. You can also listen to and read about a discussion from a few weeks back at Civic Hall which includes additional thoughts on funding.

Empowering individuals economically through a Universal Basic Income is just the start though. We also need to give individuals informational freedom. This means that if I am a driver for Uber I should have the right to access Uber through a third party app that strictly represents me. In the open web era that was the browser (not by accident referred to as a “user agent” in the http protocol). We need the equivalent for apps.

The combination of economic and informational freedom for individuals will be a far better check on the power of platforms such as Uber, Etsy, Airbnb, etc. then any attempt to have government regulate directly what these companies can and cannot do.

So this is a perfectly good time to suggest you watch my TEDxNewYork talk on basic income and the right to be represented by a bot.

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qo7pzH_NM ]

If you prefer to read, there is a transcript [http://continuations.com/post/108912689660/big-and-bot-policy-proposals-transcript ] instead. I am also happy to report that my book (which will really be a long essay) on this topic is making good progress."
economics  universalbasicincome  2015  albertwenger  socialsafetynet  work  labor  technology  freedom  scottsantens  fredwilson  automation  gigeconomy  freelancing  hillaryclinton  uber  etsy  airnbn  policy  jobs  progress  inequality  agency  motivation  politics  ubi 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Worker Protections? There’s No App for That | Al Jazeera America
"The tech-driven gig economy is running afoul of employee rights

One Florida man’s unemployment claim could help take down a unicorn.

In April, Darrin McGillis filed for unemployment benefits from Uber, claiming that he was unable to continue driving for the company after his vehicle was damaged. Uber is already facing a handful of lawsuits alleging that drivers should be classified, treated and paid as employees, but McGillis effectively jumped the line. With his claim approved by the state, he is effectively Uber’s first employee driver — and a forerunner of likely more legal trouble to come for the growing app-based service economy that relies on legions of underpaid and underprotected contract workers in order to boost their profits.

The companies of the gig economy, the on-demand economy, the 1099 economy — whatever you want to call it — have proved the most financially successful and most ethically and legally vexing of Silicon Valley’s recent startup surge. The apps may be new, but the contract work arrangement keeping these companies humming is hardly a unique or recent innovation. Hiring contractors to lower tax and legal liabilities has been a business strategy for decades. Taxi drivers were freelancers long before Uber disrupted personal vehicle travel, and they joined blue- and white-collar freelance workers across a variety of industries, from home health aides to truck drivers to engineers.

Potential class-action lawsuits like the ones pending against Lyft and Uber in California may chasten the fast-growing app-based service economy and raise awareness of worker misclassification. But the other millions of freelancers who bear the higher cost of independence with few if any of the protections that come from having a staff job will be as precarious as ever without reforms.

[Timeline]

It’s difficult to quantify freelance work when no one seems to agree what qualifies as such. The Freelancers Union claims there are 43 million independent workers in the U.S., while the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts only 14 million. Depending on whether you include temps, on-call workers and part-time workers, these numbers can change greatly — 15 to 35 percent of the labor force. Regardless of the criteria, this population is steadily increasing.

One reason is companies like Uber. A freelance labor model allows companies to keep tax costs down and prevents workers from unionizing, since they are not protected by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. Since 1987, the Internal Revenue Service has used a 20-point checklist to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, but the list still leaves loopholes and room for interpretation. Long before the sharing economy became San Francisco’s fever dream, federal and state agencies were cracking down on employee misclassification. A Gawker staffer made waves when she successfully received unemployment after being laid off, despite having been considered a freelancer for the news and gossip website. Not long after, workers won lawsuits against FedEx, Lowe’s and a long list of strip clubs. A suit against Google is pending.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Freelancers Union and other organizations say most contract workers are wholly satisfied with their freelance arrangements, according to their informal surveys. Proponents of the shift away from traditional employment claim freelancing’s growing popularity is due to young people embracing entrepreneurial work as opposed to traditional careers. There remains a prevailing sense that independent work is the true American dream — even though it will probably prevent you from achieving that other true American dream, homeownership, because banks tend to turn down mortgage applications from the self-employed.

Last year more than 23 million people declared self-employment income, with median earnings totaling well under $25,000, compared with median employee income of more than $28,000. Corporate entrepreneurship is rewarded with lower tax rates, but the self-employed enjoy none of those benefits, instead paying an additional 7.5 percent in income tax compared with employees. They cannot qualify for an earned income tax credit. They have no guarantee of equal protection under laws mandating minimum wages, sick leave or family leave, nor do they have protection against workplace discrimination, harassment or injury, unless they prevail in a lawsuit.

[Employee and contractor]

Uber and other companies may mischaracterize the nature of their workers’ independence, but many other contractors clearly don’t meet the Internal Revenue Service’s definition of “employee.”

This loophole is not in the spirit of upholding hard-fought labor protections or fostering American entrepreneurship. The contract arrangement that supposedly empowers millions of American workers is actually crippling them. While misclassification lawsuits may do much to help workers at some companies, they do nothing to reform employment law written and implemented in a different era of work.

Uber faces a strong case from thousands of their “freelance” workers who look just like employees. But the company is right about one thing: Our laws weren’t written with this economy in mind. As long as there is money to be saved by shifting risk and responsibility to workers, corporations will do it. Laws protecting workers must be uncoupled from employers. Even if work is flexible, rights never should be."
labor  uber  sharingeconomy  unions  employment  susiecagle  2015  freelancing  contractwork  economic  security  socialsafetynet  legal 
june 2015 by robertogreco
The Littoral Space — Matter — Medium
"The littoral zone is defined as the intertidal segment of a beach, from the splash region above the high-water mark to full submergence of the shore. It’s the part that is constantly shifting and changing. You can certainly measure the high-water mark with a strong degree of accuracy over years, but you can’t predict how the spray will land when the tide is high, and the waves will do as they wish. The ocean has its own agency, and the sand is always shifting under your feet.

I’ve been a full-time freelance writer for something approaching 25 years, now. For most writers, me included, that is a littoral space to live in.

The sand is always shifting under my feet. The tides are broadly predictable on an ordinary day, but there aren’t many ordinary days. There have been days out here where a storm system has been bouncing around the estuary, travelling out of sight towards the far tip of the Kent coast, and then ricocheting off and dragging the river with it to unexpectedly smash up against our walls. Sometimes a weather system will get stuck and wheel over the town for days. Every now and then, some nightmare storm will brew up in a dark and unseen region of the North Sea and then hammer up the river like the Mongol Horde in full stampede."



"You discover, later, that you’re not good enough, or not lucky enough, or not present enough, and you made too many important decisions on the fly because you were too busy or too scattered or too tired, and that you’re never going to be that person who writes one of those inspirational blog posts about success. You’re in your 40s and you’re still standing on the shore, keeping a wary eye on the riptide, because you know that all the small things you’ve built could be swept away overnight."
littoralzone  warrenellis  writing  freelancing  2015  life  economics  impermanence  change  jacobmagraw  liminalspaces  liminality 
may 2015 by robertogreco
The Gig Economy Won't Last Because It's Being Sued To Death | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
"If Uber, Lyft, and others don't stop relying on contract workers, business could crumble. Is it time for a new definition of employee?"
2015  uber  sharingeconomy  labor  business  work  employment  freelancing  amazon  amazonturk  handy  sarahkessler  lyft 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Policy Network - The new 'New Deal'? Sharing responsibility in the sharing economy
"New peer-to-peer ‘sharing’ platforms have the potential to boost living standards across the many countries which they span. But as the boundaries between the personal and commercial blur, these radical innovations can also undermine hard-fought consumer and employee protections. Governments and the market need to share responsibility for developing a new social safety net. Peer-to-peer platforms in particular have both a moral and a business imperative to protect the providers and consumers of their services"
sharingeconomy  work  labo  safetynet  socialsafetynet  2014  economics  collectivism  government  responsibility  arunsundararajan  capitalism  uber  freelancing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
LOL Everything Matters When Everyone Is Connected - BuzzFeed News
"The guilt you feel when you take part in the on-demand economy may be justified."

Our washing machine is broken. Or, at least, the pipe it drains into is. Despite all my attempts to fix it, crawling around on my belly with a pipe wrench and a plumber’s snake, all I have to show is a broken PVC pipe, a minor chemical burn, and a mountain of laundry that our family of four has piled up. So last night, I put in an order with Washio, an on-demand laundry service. And this morning, an extremely nice and highly professional woman showed up at our door, promptly at 7 a.m., took away our laundry, and left us with a chocolate pastry from a bakery in Oakland.

It was amazing, and I feel conflicted about it.

It’s the same kind of feeling I have whenever I take an Uber, or Lyft, or use Instacart to pick up groceries, rather than going myself. I found myself apologizing to the woman who picked up our laundry. “Our washing machine is broken,” I explained. “Well that’s good business for us,” she countered. And it’s true, I guess. Why wouldn’t she be happy to have work? A job is a job when you need one.

And yet my guilt stems not from whatever her own personal experience is as much as it does the remaking of the great American economy into a vast labor market of contract workers — the 1099 economy — whose days are dictated by the whims of mobile software and whose job security is often determined by the numerical star rankings of a capricious and harried market.

I spent a decade freelancing, a 1099 contractor, and it was fantastic. I had a freedom most people could only dream of. There was no boss to answer to other than myself. I made decent money too, not initially, but I hustled and worked hard and made it. The American way.

Of course, I had my wife, a nurse, to lean on financially during the lean times, and my parents to fall back on failing that. Thanks to a year-to-year magazine contract, I even had the luxury of a steady paycheck during much of that time. But I banked almost no money for my retirement during those years, even when times were fat. And as soon as our first child was born, you’d better believe I went out and got a motherfucking 9-to-5. One that would make sure I had a safety net if I were suddenly unable to work. One that came with a modicum of security in case of unforeseen unemployment, and health benefits, and even life insurance — because we are all going to die. You are going to die.

And the person who drives your Uber will die. And the person who brings your groceries from Instacart will die. And the person from Homejoy who cleans your home is going to die. And the person who shows up in a TaskRabbit T-shirt and hangs your TV and assembles the Ikea bed that’s been sitting in a box in your garage for the past three months is going to die. Or maybe get hurt and leave the workforce. Or maybe the start up they work for will fail, as startups often do.
How are we, as a society, going to deal with that? Going to deal with them? What will it mean if we completely remake our workforce of laborers into contractors without the myriad benefits we associate with full-time employment? Who ultimately benefits when they don’t?

Obviously the companies who employ (or, don’t employ) contractors benefit. So too do their payment processors. Even the consumer does. That’s certain. Here in San Francisco, where a corrupt and broken taxi system has long failed us, it’s hard not to love Lyft and Uber’s amazing degree of efficiency, both in how well they work and how little they cost, comparatively.

Yet the most ruthlessly efficient (and pleasurable!) delivery mechanisms are not always the ones that are best for us over time. Heroin, injected intravenously, is amazing. But it’s probably better for most of us to take a Tylenol 3 for our pain. Yes, we can all be connected via apps and services now, but first, we are all connected as a society.

There are forces at work to put the brakes on all this. Current lawsuits in San Francisco, for example, seek to have Uber and Lyft drivers reclassified as employees. Because there are rules about who is a contractor, and who is not. We are a nation of law, and the law is not something arbitrary, given to us by God or kings, but rather it is something we have agreed upon, and that we can remake. Laws can be rewritten. And often it is the wealthy and powerful who write them. David Plouffe wasn’t hired for his insight into complex dispatch systems.

Washio charges $1.60 per pound for wash-and-fold laundry. The wash-and-fold a few blocks away costs $1.25 for the same. The machines at a nearby laundry are $2 to wash and another $2 to dry, and I estimate it would take me about three hours all told to get our great heaping mass of laundry washed, dried, and folded up into piles sorted by size and function. When you factor in our children and our jobs and the pipe repair awaiting me in my basement, the extra cost I’m paying to have someone come get it and do it for me seems negligible. It seems like a bargain. The devil always does."
via:alexismadrigal  labor  work  sharingeconomy  onedemand  washio  freelancing  society  inequality  security  capitalism  uber 
february 2015 by robertogreco
What Was the Job? - Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
"This was a year in which the difference between capital and cash, equity and salary, the sifter and the dam, became more apparent than ever, a separation that Thomas Piketty’s popular economics tome Capital helped to drive home. Piketty’s theory is that capital—shares of companies, real estate, other factors of production—reproduces wealth faster than the salary gains of a traditional job, hence our rapidly inflating inequality of the one percent, and the 0.01 percent.

But we are not all entrepreneurs, nor can all of us aspire or afford to be! To argue that the disappearance of the job is an emancipation rather than a bereavement is to force the ideology of start-ups on all workers even though a culture of mutual support has not emerged between technology companies and the larger population. When Apple—which still lacks a corporate giving program—pays less of a percentage on its profits than most individuals, that ethos is not just wrong but deadly.

IT’S NOT THAT WE can’t afford to give everyone jobs and salaries and health care. Technology corporations are absorbing more venture funding and retaining more liquid cash than ever before. Rather, it’s an attitude that is changing, that workers are more useful separated than together, that CEOs benefit more from coddling their highest-paid employees than making sure the entirety of their workforce is satisfied with the company’s business structure.

The result of this joblessness is a disenfranchised workforce that feels a right to the same benefits it once had but now lacks and does not understand why they are suddenly missing. Venture capitalists, star developers, and management will retain all of the standard advantages of the old jobs, with the added sweeteners of sprawling offices made from the shells of former industrial factories, catered lunches, Ping-Pong tables, and equity. As 2015 arrives, everyone else might be wise to seek out local co-working space before all the other mini-entrepreneurs beat us to it."
2014  inequality  kylechayka  freelancing  jobs  work  joblessness  economics  capital  thomaspiketty 
december 2014 by robertogreco
In the Sharing Economy, Workers Find Both Freedom and Uncertainty - NYTimes.com
"Piecemeal labor is hardly a new phenomenon. But as expedited by technology and packaged as apps, it has taken on a shinier veneer under new rubrics: the sharing economy, the peer economy, the collaborative economy, the gig economy.

Gigs hold out the prospect of self-management and variety, with workers taking on diverse assignments of their choice and carving out their own schedules. Rather than toiling at the behest of some faceless corporation, they work for their peers.

“Providers in the peer economy really value the independence and flexibility; for lots of people, it has been transformational,” says Shelby Clark, the founder of RelayRides, a car-sharing marketplace, “You meet great, interesting people. You have great stories.”

Certainly, it’s a good deal for consumers. Peer marketplaces democratize luxury services by making amateur chauffeurs, chefs and personal assistants available to perform occasional work once largely dominated by full-time professionals. Venture capital firms seem convinced.

Uber has raised more than $1.5 billion from investors; Lyft has raised $333 million; and TaskRabbit, $38 million. Part of the attraction for investors is that the companies can avoid huge employee payrolls by effectively functioning as labor brokers.

If these marketplaces are gaining traction with workers, labor economists say, it is because many people who can’t find stable employment feel compelled to take on ad hoc tasks. In July, 9.7 million Americans were unemployed, and an additional 7.5 million were working part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work, according to estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are no definitive statistics on how many people work in the gig economy. But according to a report from MBO Partners, a company that provides consulting services to independent contractors, about 17.7 million Americans last year worked more than half time as independent contributors, among them project workers.

With piecemeal gigs easier to obtain than long-term employment, a new class of laborer, dependent on precarious work and wages, is emerging. In place of the “proletariat,” Guy Standing, a labor economist, calls them the “precariat.”"



"Technology has made online marketplaces possible, creating new opportunities to monetize labor and goods. But some economists say the short-term gig services may erode work compensation in the long term. Mr. Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, argues that online labor marketplaces are able to drive down costs for consumers by having it both ways: behaving as de facto employers without shouldering the actual cost burdens or liabilities of employing workers.

“In a weak labor market, there’s not much of a floor on what employers, or quasi employers, can get away with,” Mr. Baker contends. “It could be a big downward pressure on wages. It’s a bad story.”

Labor activists say gig enterprises may also end up disempowering workers, degrading their access to fair employment conditions.

“These are not jobs, jobs that have any future, jobs that have the possibility of upgrading; this is contingent, arbitrary work,” says Stanley Aronowitz, director of the Center for the Study of Culture, Technology and Work at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. “It might as well be called wage slavery in which all the cards are held, mediated by technology, by the employer, whether it is the intermediary company or the customer.”"



"Peer-economy experts and executives recognize that many gig workers are laboring largely without a safety net. Mr. Clark, the industry veteran who founded RelayRides, reels off a list of lacunas: health insurance, retirement saving plans, tax withholding and even the kind of camaraderie and mentoring that can be available in full-time office jobs.

“Looking at this as a new paradigm of employment, which I think it is, the question is, What are you giving up?” Mr. Clark says. “At the end of the day, there’s a metalayer of support services that is missing.”

He predicts that new businesses will soon arise to cater to the needs of project workers: “There are opportunities to focus on providers, finding ways to make it easier, more stable and less scary to earn in the peer economy.”

TaskRabbit has started offering its contractors access to discounted health insurance and accounting services. Lyft has formed a partnership with Freelancers Union, making its drivers eligible for the advocacy group’s health plan and other benefit programs.

That may not be enough. Dr. Standing, the labor economist, says workers need formal protections to address the power asymmetries inherent in contingent work. International rules, he says, could endow gig workers with basic entitlements — like the right to organize and the right to due process should companies seek to remove them from their platforms.

“There should be codes of good practice at an international level that all companies should be required to sign,” he said."
labor  economics  uber  taskrabbit  lyft  sidecar  2014  work  uncertainty  freelancing  fiverr  postmates  favor  instacart  delivery  transportation  precariat  unions  precarity  stanleyaronowitz  socialsafetynet  sharingeconomy 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The apparent difficulty of living in my head, freelancing, working for large organisations and then descending in to paranoia. |
"So that’s where I am now. Toughing it out in the freelance world, sometimes turning down opportunities because I can’t reconcile my own feelings while at the same time running out of money and wondering if it’s more or less morally responsible to make sure my kids get fed vs working for an org where I’d feel uncomfortable."



"So I mistrust the government, home office and civil service, fine. I don’t need to go anywhere near them. I don’t think I’m going to end up in a position of being asked to A/B test the message on the side of the Home Office van.

I’m also not really a nail that’s standing out the furtherest.

But what happens, and this is something I probably do have the opportunity to mess around with, if I start getting all anti the Cameron Internet Firewall, and I get involved with building a secure decentralised news distrubution channel? What happens in 10 years time, when someone turns up and says… “You should see some of the things your son has been doing in private on the internet, maybe you want to come and help us?“, although of course that sounds stupid.

Here’s another ridiculous one, “Wouldn’t it be such a shame if your daughter was bullied, in just the way Cameron’s firewall was going to prevent but you opposed, and we all know how bullying can end”

Like, anything my family do on the internet could be used against me. How utterly foolish to think that could ever happen, obviously it won’t!

The chilling effect is basically me going “fuck it” and getting out of tech altogether. It’s a bit hard saying “Don’t be evil” when they’re twisting the arm of someone you love… and fortunately there’s been no examples of that kind of thing going on, so I bet we’re all fine.

I’m getting that much closer to jacking it all in and becoming an artist.

Who honestly wants to be the next brilliant mind to go up against the government?

I’m even begining to believe that agency world working for big brands isn’t that particularly evil after all, well, as long as they pay taxes and decent wages to their works… ah, fuck it all."
revdancatt  2013  work  labor  tradeoffs  freelancing  employment  cv  purpose  privacy  internet  web  google  yahoo  flickr  independence  trust  business  capitalism 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Neil Gaiman: Keynote Address 2012 | The University of the Arts
"The first problem of any kind of even limited success is the unshakable conviction that you are getting away with something, and that any moment now they will discover you. It's Imposter Syndrome, something my wife Amanda christened the Fraud Police."



"People get hired because, somehow, they get hired."



"To all today's graduates: I wish you luck. Luck is useful. Often you will discover that the harder you work, and the more wisely you work, the luckier you get. But there is luck, and it helps.

We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.

Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are.

So make up your own rules."

[On Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI ]
neilgaiman  luck  howwework  freelancing  art  making  glvo  2012  commencementspeeches  life  living  worrying  rules  breakingrules  creativity  uncertainty  freedom  mistakes  failure  success  commencementaddresses 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Not An Employee
"You’re independent but you don’t have to be alone. In the past few years, the coworking movement has resulted in community-minded spaces for independent workers around the world. These are not stiff and stifling “business incubator” or “office condo” spaces. They are spaces where independent workers come together for collaboration and camaraderie.

If you are in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, we invite you to join us at The Workantile Exchange - a coworking space in the heart of downtown. The location is outstanding, the community is vibrant and the benefits of membership are vast.

If you are not local to Ann Arbor, we encourage you to find not an employees around you. You can check the Coworking Wiki to see if there is an existing space near you, or you might consider starting your own ad hoc group. Most coworking spaces start out humbly, as groups of like-minded people getting together regularly at coffee shops or in other public spaces. Community comes first."
workantile  community  annarbor  independence  freedom  williamtozier  freelancing  freelance  coworking 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
"Legal Services: VLA delivers legal services and legal information to over 10,000 members of the arts community each year. For more information please click here or call The Art Law Line : 212·319·ARTS (2787), ext.1

Education: VLA plays an important role in educating individual artists, arts professionals within arts and cultural institutions, attorneys, students and the general public about legal and business issues that affect artistic and creative endeavors. For more information on our classes, workshops, and panels, please click here, or call our Art Law Line at at 212.319. (ARTS) 2787 x1.

Advocacy: From its inception, VLA has played an important role as an advocate on behalf of the arts community in different ways, ranging from participation in litigation, making public statements about matters of interest to the arts community, and making recommendations about pending legislation."
art  business  law  design  glvo  legal  writing  music  freelancing  freelancers 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Seth's Blog: The opportunity is here
"The opportunity is the biggest of our generation…there for anyone smart enough to take it—to develop a best in class skill, tell a story, spread the word, be in demand, satisfy real needs, run from the mediocre middle & change everything.

…Like all revolutions, this is an opportunity, not a solution [or] guarantee…opportunity to poke & experiment & fail & discover dead ends on way to making a difference…old economy offered a guarantee—time plus education plus obedience = stability…new one, not so much…offers chance for you to…make an impact.

¡Note! If you're looking for 'how', if you're looking for a map, for a way to industrialize the new era, you've totally missed the point & you will end up disappointed. The nature of the last era was that repetition & management of results increased profits. The nature of this one is the opposite: if someone can tell you precisely what to do, it's too late. Art & novelty & innovation cannot be reliably & successfully industrialized."
sethgodin  yearoff  change  mediocrity  opportunity  economics  gamechanging  risk  risktaking  deschooling  unschooling  lcproject  iteration  learning  innovation  stability  obedience  authority  hierarchy  management  leadership  freelancing  industrialization  industrialschooling  industrialsociety  society 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Rheingold U
"a totally online learning community, offering courses that usually run for 5 weeks, w/ 5 live sessions & ongoing asynchronous discussions through forums, blogs, wikis, mindmaps, & social bookmarks. In my 30 years of experience online & 6 years teaching students face to face & online at UC Berkeley & Stanford, I've learned that magic can happen when a skilled facilitator works collaboratively w/ a group of motivated students. The first course, "Introduction to Mind Amplifiers," ran in 2 sessions in January-March, 2011. Live sessions include streaming audio & video from me & students, shared text chat & whiteboard, & my ability to push slides & lead tours of websites. Future classes will cover advanced use of personal knowledge tools, social media for educators, participatory media/collective action, social media issues, introduction to cooperation studies, network & social network literacy, social media literacies, attention skills in an always-on world."
education  learning  onlinelearning  online  howardrheingold  teaching  socialmedia  networkculture  networkliteracy  rheingoldu  asynchronous  collaboration  collaborative  freelanceteaching  freelance  freelancing  freelanceeducation  alacarteeducation 
february 2011 by robertogreco
So Long 2010, and Thanks for All the Pageviews — Satellite — Craig Mod
"Make no mistake, there is nothing easy about writing. It requires a tremendous amount of time &, often, blind belief in the output. The larger essays can take upwards of 50-100 hours to complete — write, edit, design, rewrite, whiskey, redesign, self-doubt, layout, cry, publish, promote, correct embarrassing invariable spelling mistakes.

But the act of writing each of these essays has led to a deeper insight into the subject…this is something many creatives simply choose not to engage. & it's a shame. Reflection through writing can illuminate the next step in a creative process which all too often feels like flailing aimlessly in the dark.

…I'd go so far as to say an unarticulated experience or creative process is one left unresolved. By writing about your experience you close the loop…When you publish, both the output of the experience (book, software, photographs, etc) & now the ability to replicate that experience is in the hands of your audience. That's a powerful thing…"
craigmod  writing  internet  web  photography  kickstarter  speaking  freelancing  creativity  2010  relection  reflection  execution  articulation  doing  making  make  glvo  balance  understanding  learning  tcsnmy  publishing  blogs  blogging  ipad  experience 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Ben Pieratt's Blog In Praise of Quitting Your Job
"for some people, work is personal…in the same way that singing or playing the piano or painting is personal.

As a creative person, you’ve been given ability to build things from nothing by way of hard work over long periods of time. Creation is a deeply personal & rewarding activity, which means your Work should also be deeply personal & rewarding. If it’s not, then something is amiss.

Creation is entirely dependent on ownership.

Ownership not as a %age of equity, but as a measure of your ability to change things for the better. To build & grow & fail & learn. This is no small thing. Creativity is the manifestation of lateral thinking, & w/out tangible results, it becomes stunted. We have to see fruits of our labors, good or bad, or there’s no motivation to proceed, nothing to learn from to inform next decision. States of approval & decisions-by-committee & constant compromises are third-party interruptions of an internal dialog that needs to come to its own conclusions."

[via: http://kottke.org/10/10/for-some-people-work-is-personal ]
employment  entrepreneurship  freelancing  creativity  psychology  cv  quitting  yearoff  depression  advice  business  lifehacks  jobs  life  frustration  ownership  meaning  glvo  creation  work  compromise  meetings  interruptions  decisionmaking 
october 2010 by robertogreco
notgames
"This is Keita Takahashi. I became a freelancer in October. I want to continue fun activities and help somebody with fun people of the world along with my wife who is a composer."

[original: http://www.uvula.jp/2010/09/blog-post.html]
keitatakahashi  partnerships  fun  games  gaming  gamedesign  glvo  work  freelancing 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Unemployment Media « Snarkmarket
"It’s the dark side of Clay Shirky’s cog­ni­tive sur­plus, where tech­nol­ogy and edu­ca­tion haven’t just cre­ated a new pool of leisure time, but a pool of high-skill knowl­edge work­ers dev­as­tated by struc­tural unem­ploy­ment, with noth­ing to do but cre­ate and imag­ine and argue, strug­gling to hold on to the lives they imag­ined for them­selves, or used to lead."
cognitivesurplus  clayshirky  snarkmarket  timcarmody  writing  unemployment  greatrecession  productivity  freelancing  content  blogs  blogging  education  2010 
august 2010 by robertogreco
kung fu grippe: Episode 27: Missionless Statements
"In this special episode, Dan Benjamin talks with two of his heroes, Merlin Mann & Jeff Veen about independence, free thinking, email, productivity, & changing your game."

[There is more here (on shared values, innovation, organizations, management, entreprenuership, change, etc.) than my notes reflect—all worth the listen.]

[Video also at: http://5by5.tv/conversation/27 ]
dunbar  dunbarnumber  groupsize  classsize  productivity  management  administration  tcsnmy  lcproject  jeffreyveen  merlinmann  danbenjamin  email  communication  leadership  problemsolving  technology  enterprise  independence  freethinking  gamechanging  time  small  slow  ambientintimacy  relationships  understanding  efficiency  human  humanconnection  campfire  offhtheshelfsoftware  values  organizations  groups  sharedvalues  culture  failure  innovation  cv  risktaking  risk  freelancing  motivation  danielpink  meaning  autonomy  drive  missionstatement  vision 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Strategy - Faculty - The Case of the Vanishing Full-Time Professor - NYTimes.com
"In 1960, 75% of college instructors were full-time tenured or tenure-track professors; today only 27& are. The rest are graduate students or adjunct & contingent faculty — instructors employed on a per-course or yearly contract basis, usually without benefits & earning a third or less of what their tenured colleagues make. The recession means their numbers are growing. “When a tenure-track position is empty ... institutions are choosing to hire three part-timers to save money.” While many adjuncts are talented teachers with the same degrees as tenured professors, they’re treated as second-class citizens on most campuses, and that affects students. ...If you take a strict anti-adjunct stance, you may miss out on some star instructors — Barack Obama taught a seminar...[The good] Professoring part-time is a hobby for overachieving architects, graphic designers, lawyers and entrepreneurs, all of whom can share insights from real-world experiences that full-time academics haven’t had."
education  future  teaching  highered  academia  recession  us  colleges  universities  change  gamechanging  economics  freelancing  freelanceteaching  freelanceeducation 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Why I Prefer French Health Care - Reason Magazine [via: http://covblogs.com/eatingbark/archives/2009/12/more_health_care_links.html]
"Since 1986 I’ve missed exactly three days of work due to illness. I don’t smoke, I don’t (usually) do drugs or drink to excess, and I eat a pretty healthy diet. I have some back pain now and then from a protruding disc, but nothing too serious. And from 1998 to 2001, when I was a freelancer in the world’s capital of freelancers (Los Angeles), I couldn’t get health insurance. ... This is the exact opposite of the direction in which we should be traveling in a global just-in-time economy, with its ideal of entrepreneurial workers breaking free of corporate command and zipping creatively from project to project. Don’t even get me started on the Kafkaesque ordeal of switching jobs without taking any time off, yet going uncovered by anything except COBRA for nearly two months even though both employers used the same health insurance provider. That incident alone cost me thousands of dollars I wouldn’t have paid if I had controlled my own insurance policy."
healthcare  cv  government  health  france  reason  policy  economics  freelancing  freelance  psychology  politics 
december 2009 by robertogreco
School's Out: Get ready for the new age of individualized education - Reason Magazine
"The Homogenizing Hopper...The Home-Schooling Revolution...Free Agent Teaching...The End of High School...A renaissance of apprenticeships...A flowering of teenage entrepreneurship...A greater diversity of academic courses...A boom of national service...A backlash against standards...The Unschooling of Adults...The devaluation of degrees...Older students...Free agent teaching...Big trouble for elite colleges...Learning groupies"
danielpink  education  learning  2001  freedom  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooling  tcsnmy  autodidactism  future  homeschool  reform  curriculum  motivation  choice  change  gamechanging  freelance  freelanceteaching  freelanceeducation  freelancing  colleges  universities  economics  history  demographics  work  careers  entrepreneurship  apprenticeships  lcproject  standards  testing  alternative  autodidacticism  autodidacts 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners | Design Glut
"People always ask, “What is your greatest failure?” I always have the same answer – We’re working on it right now, it’s gonna be awesome!"
jimcoudal  coudal  philosophy  risk  failure  inspiration  business  freelancing  work  careers  glvo  fieldnotes  design  creativity  independence  entrepreneurship 
august 2009 by robertogreco
scraplab : my last day at headshift
"I have no expectation of what happens next, but here’s a manifesto. Being interesting is as important as being useful. Making things that delight and inspire is as important as creating value. Old systems are crumbling; the best you can do is be nimble, smart and make some trouble.

We’re on the cusp of a few things that I want to be part of. The web-of-things, post-digital, and all that stuff. The geographic web and the mobile phone as a superpower. And maybe efforts avoid ending the 21st century as we started the 10th.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not particularly good at talking, writing or thinking out-loud about these issues. Certainly not as good as some of my friends. But I do seem to be able to make things, and that seems like a valuable skill."
change  flexibility  reallyinterestinggroup  make  doing  manifestos  interesting  interestingness  mobile  phones  future  freelancing  internetofthings  cv  post-digital  yearoff  manifesto  creativity  tomtaylor  making  gamechanging  shift  spimes  iot 
march 2009 by robertogreco
William Gibson: Bohemian
"Reg is quite the model of the successful bohemian, isn’t he?” “I suppose he is.” “He’s always working on something, Reg. Always. Always something new.” He looked at her, across the heavy silver pots. “Are you?” And he had her, then, she knew. Looking straight into her. “No,” she said, there being nothing else really to say. “You should be,” he said. “The secret, of course, is that it doesn’t really matter what it is. Whatever you do, because you are an artist, will bring you, however randomly, to the next thing of your own."
via:blackbeltjones  creativity  williamgibson  freelancing  freelance  free  freedom  writing  art  bohemians  postmaterialism  postconsumerism  glvo  productivity 
february 2009 by robertogreco
FT.com / Business Life / Entrepreneurship - Two lessons in education
"College grads are picking where they want to live before they pick an employer, according to a 2006 study commissioned by CEOs For Cities, a Chicago-based nonprofit. Professionals in the 25-to-34 age group said they wanted cities with walkable downtowns that offered direct contact with a vibrant urban environment.

“I want to be able to stumble onto the fun,” says one study participant.

“Younger folks are looking for cities where they can lead an active life,” says Tom Radulovich of the San Francisco nonprofit Livable City. “The suburban notion of ‘drive to the gym’ doesn’t work for them. They want to be able to walk out their front door and shoot hoops in the neighborhood park, or find nearby trails and bike paths to jog or cycle.”"
schoolofeverything  entrepreneurship  uk  us  teachstreet  advertising  lcproject  teaching  learning  freelanceteaching  freelancing  seattle  portland  washingtonstate  oregon 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Forbes misses the point of the 4-day work week - (37signals)
"The point of the 4-day work week is about doing less work. It’s not about 4 10-hour days for the magical 40-hour work week. It’s about 4 normalish 8-hour days for the new and improved 32-hour work week. The numbers are just used to illustrate a point. Results, not hours, are what matter, but working longer hours doesn’t translate to better results. The law of diminishing returns kicks in quick when you’re overworked."
business  freelancing  work  productivity  management  administration  leadership  37signals 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Subtraction: Great Numbers, Not So Great Design
"it’s my belief that you just can’t get great design out of a design agency with a staff larger than a dozen or two." - There's that 12-15 person threshold again.
khoivinh  design  groups  collaboration  work  groupsize  productivity  creativity  administration  management  leadership  focus  business  small  innovation  happiness  simplicity  freelancing 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Freelancing, finance, self-employment | Salon Life
"Tired of getting gouged on your taxes? Sensing an impending mental breakdown? Here are tips for the self-employed, from someone who feels your pain."
freelancing  business  glvo  entrepreneurship  finance  freelance  money  taxes  tips  accounting 
april 2008 by robertogreco
MicroJobbing - Work by the Hour
"an innovative, community-based marketplace for short-term and flexible work. We bring employers and workers together in a unique and interactive manner that transforms the way casual and short-notice work is negotiated and booked."
work  freelancing  via:russelldavies  flexibility  trends 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Finding Health Insurance if You Are Self-Employed - New York Times
"Some who are in good health bet on remaining that way and forgo health insurance or get policies with low premiums and high deductibles, choosing to insure themselves for mostly catastrophic illness. Some are lucky enough to have a well-insured partner."
health  insurance  freelancing  business  entrepreneurship  money  finance  healthinsurance  us  freedom 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Freelancers Union :: Platform for an Independent Workforce
"we’re helping freelancers to come together in a nationwide online community to find work and share their knowledge. We offer life, disability, and dental insurance throughout the U.S., and health insurance in 31 states."
artists  benefits  business  union  healthinsurance  health  glvo  work  insurance  freelance  nonprofit  networking  journalism  freelancing  collaboration  writing  jobs  employment  coworking  community  money  taxes  nonprofits 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Looking for a digital coach? on Squidoo
"This lens is just for listing digital coaches. If that's not what you do, please don't add yourself!"
technology  teaching  digitalcoaches  work  freelancing  education  training  jobs 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Casual Office Space - Featured on BuzzFeed
"Freelancers are forcing themselves to congregate and retain some office culture in a casual setting. All those lucky bastards that get to work from home are now romanticizing the office life."
coworking  freelancing  entrepreneurship  social  workspace  work  place  space  location  socialnetworks  jelly  workspaces 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Jelly! - Casual coworking is awesome. wiki - The password is "j311y" (J-...
"What’s Jelly? Jelly’s our attempt to formalize this weekly work-together. We invite you to come work at our home. You bring your laptop and some work, and we’ll provide wifi, a chair, and hopefully some smart people."
nyc  coworking  jelly  austin  dc  washingtondc  portland  cities  place  space  work  networks  collaboration  collaborative  crosspollination  entrepreneurship  business  productivity  socialnetworking  telecommuting  freelancing  networking  community  social 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Coworking wiki - To establish a collaboration space fo...
"Coworking is cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents. Or, it's like this: start with a shared office and add cafe culture."
coworking  cooperation  cooperative  collaborative  collaboration  community  cohousing  alternative  entrepreneurship  openspace  office  networking  spaces  space  work  workplace  sanfrancisco  management  business  wiki  meatspace  environment  cafes  freelancing  workspace  thirdspaces  thirdplaces  openstudioproject  workspaces 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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