I have taken some time to absorb the thousands of messages that I received at #WebSummit2015. How can I describe the experience? The picture in my mind is of a vibrant, moving wall of people, pinging about a pinball-esque landscape of hungry startup companies and people who’ve made it (or are at least fakin it till they make it) floating amongst each other in an orgy of cool. The effort at “coolness” factor could only be rivaled by my years at Sundance, but with a smaller clothing budget. It was a significantly less anxious crowd, although the quantity of coffee consumed would suggest otherwise.
Web Summit 2015 = 21 Summits + 1,000 Speakers + 42,000 Attendees
So with that amount of knowledge transfer what did the Global Mobile Worker Learn?
Talent Acquisition has not fundamentally changed. It’s just been automated.
GLOBAL MOBILE WORK IS ABSOLUTELY RIPE FOR DISRUPTION
The number one challenge expressed repeatedly by Founders was they underestimated the difficulty of finding good talent.
Why? Because they are stuck in the same old model.
EMPLOYEES MUST BE LOCATED AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE TO A PHYSICAL OFFICE.
I noted in an earlier post that even the CEOs of web/mobile based collaboration tool companies could not visualize teams that weren’t cluster in some city, some really expensive city like San Francisco, New York or London.
I was disappointed by the presentations from Slack and Trello, who acknowledged they were building a collaboration tool that would let teams communicate from anywhere, then talked about the fact that their teams are heavily focused on their San Francisco base.
I have worked with both Slack and Trello. The major premise of both is to help teams work effectively between meetings, and since the products are mobile and web based that should also mean across borders. Yet, the Founding team is stuck because they can’t find talent in a seat near them.
WE CAN BARELY MANAGE DIFFERENT TIME ZONES LET ALONE LOCATION INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONALS
Back in 2009 experts were touting the importance of collaborative tools, yet no one has risen to dominate the market.
Collaboration and collective intelligence. In an information economy, only organizations that are flexible enough, so that people and capacity can be rearranged and recombined quickly without major structural change, will be able to thrive. … Project Management 2.0 emphasizes the importance of leveraging the collective intelligence of the whole team, no matter where the team members are located, at the same office or on different continents.
The tools to put location independent professionals – freelancers – to work are primitive, as acknowledged by Upworthy.
On Center Stage, the place to be at #WebSummit2015, Upworthy’s CEO, Stephane Kasriel, told The Journal that we had reached the Age of the Freelancer.
“If you look at the average duration people stay in a job, 10 years ago people stayed 10 or 15 years in a job, 5 years ago people stayed 5 years in a job; right now the average is 2.5,”
In presentations on Center Stage and later on the Enterprise Stage, Upworthy acknowledged that while the total value of jobs booked through the site is more than $1 billion (€933 million) annually, netting the company at least $100 million from its 10% commission, only about 2% of the people who signed up as new workers each day would ever get a job through the marketplace. Kasriel said an even smaller subset were destined to become “top-rated freelancers,” who earn most of the revenue.
That’s a highly inefficient system that is a great deal for employers and a swamp for freelancers.
Kasriel did a workshop in San Francisco last weekend called “Matching workers with opportunities at high velocity.” It seems like the system is designed for the lightning to happen for companies not workers.
SEASONED PROFESSIONALS HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE
The Elephant in the rooms of #WebSummit2015, besides my Fan Fave Evernotes, was that talent has a very short shelf life. The talent that the Founders were struggling to find was all under 40, still with highly focused careers.
We will explore these three things in A NEW SERIES
THE GLOBAL MOBILE WORKER DISRUPTS THE TALENT MODEL!