A Work Revolutionelance_rachel | Oct 26, 2007
A few years before Elance came to life, Daniel Pink wrote a book about the rising relevance of independent workers and wrote an article with the same title which appeared in Fast Company at the end of 1997:
|"There's a new movement in the land. From coast to coast, in communities large and small, citizens are declaring their independence and drafting a new bill of rights. Meet some of the 25 million residents of Free Agent, USA".|
Today, the free agent movement is global and uses the Internet as its workplace.
A good number of independent workers are members of our community. They market their services, work, make money and grow their reputation on the web. Their diversity and resourcefulness, and their relationship with the Internet, have been the subject of several interesting pieces of organizational research ("The Future of Work", written by MIT's professor Tom Malone, includes a section on Elance and its community).
The combination of a rapidly changing Internet foundation and work creates tremendous opportunity. More advanced online tools and applications are becoming available for remote workers and small businesses. The ability to work from anywhere in the world, without having to own and manage expensive infrastructure, is rapidly becoming a reality (check out AEC2, Amazon's cloud computing platform).
But most of us have a love-hate relationship with new technology. As consumers, we usually love the latest and greatest. As professionals we mostly prefer the habitual (think transition from Windows XP to Vista).
Because of Elance's interdependence with an evolving Internet platform, we have to be architects of change. Trying new approaches and testing new tools ensures the continued success and growing relevance of our community - Elance people, their work, a number of rapidly changing collaboration technologies - and creates new models of productivity and collaboration.