Q&A with Lisa Gansky, author of ‘The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing’ | JWT Intelligence →
Yet with peer-to-peer services, the community is generally a virtual one, right?
The community can be a physical place, but it can also look like Kickstarter or Spacehive or SmallKnot, even, I would say, TaskRabbit. TaskRabbit has done an incredibly fabulous job at creating a lot of reverse work around trust and safety so people have a lot of confidence in the service.
Do these businesses change the mainstream concept of what constitutes a professional service and a career?
They create a sense of what Leah Busque [founder of TaskRabbit] likes to call the micro-entrepreneur, or the micropreneur. I was in Portland last week and I asked some people what do they do for a living. Somebody put their arm around me and said, “Look, Lisa, nobody I know has a full-time job. It’s just a collection of really interesting projects.”
People are seeing that the time they have between working on a project and life is really quite interesting. Then aligning that with the amount of money you really need to make, as opposed to necessarily trying to make the most money possible, is a real shift. It’s a huge shift from 10 years ago, when the goal was to aim for the biggest amount of income you could have. I think the value has shifted to aim for an enjoyable, relatively stress-free life in which you’re enriched with a lot of experience. And so that shift means a lot when you translate that into what it will look like when it plays out in the economy.
Do you think that’s a generational trend?
No. It’s not just Millennial. The recession and people being unemployed has invited a kind of reinventing of the self from a career perspective. And instead of it being, “My career is equal to the string of jobs I have,” people are seeing their lives as kind of cocktail of projects and experiences. I don’t even hear the word “career” being used that much anymore.
Millennials are lazy, right? Wrong. You might have gotten that impression, though, reading the April 3 Washington Post piece on Millennials’ supposed “lax work ethic.” The Post’s article isn’t the only recent piece on the topic: In February, the Pew Research Center released a report called "Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change" that also missed the mark on describing my generation.
Harvard Business Review blog by 2009 PopTech Fellow Erica Williams who is a Washington, D.C.-based activist and commentator who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Campus Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress.