Artificial Intelligence, automation, robotics and big data on everything… we all know the trends.

We witness how rapidly technology is shaping the landscape of work. And we see how managing multiple hustles are becoming the new norm.

And indeed, the stats are telling: Millennials already dominate the labor market today and will make up 75% of our global workforce by 2025. In the U.S., a whopping 57 million people are already in freelancing and in just a few years, more than half of this generation will be part of the gig economy. Amongst the most tech-savvy age group of all, the 18-24 year olds, nearly 40% are worried new technology will take over their jobs.

One could argue this phenomenon is fueled by the growing skill gap between employers and employees, exponential disruptions or the disturbingly high ratio (45% in the U.S.) of underemployed recent graduates. 

But we know there’s more behind the curtains. 

With 40% of our global population today being 24 years or younger, we know the traditional employment is already changing. In fact, the entire concept of work is changing. Remember how people used to talk about work-life balance? The differentiation between online and offline? Or how your mom lovingly deleted your WoW account because playing video games isn’t helping you build a career? 

Well, the winds have certainly changed.

The year is 2020 and we are entering a bold new decade where the way we understand work is being redefined into anything between play, purpose, identity and just simply – life.

And on this, we do have a lot to say. 

Looking at the future of work, what do we have on the plate, Stefano? 

Stefano: The world is changing and work is definitely changing with it. It’s becoming more and more common for people to build their entire careers in social media and their personal brands around it.

Sure is. Let’s look at a few examples where technology, human collaboration and creativity merge.

Future or Work: Esports

To mention probably two of the most famous games of 2019, Fortnite had 250 millions gamers in March 2019 and DOTA 2 had around 11 millions. These games combined some of the biggest prizes pool ever, with Fortnite pulling more than US$30m and DOTA 2 more than $34m. Therefore, doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that more and more people are trying to build a career around eSports. 

Unfortunately, with such a high competition, eSports players need to find other solutions to make money while supporting their career. 

Streaming is becoming a perfect way to go in this situation. This is a  solution where people can practise their skills while being watched by others and earning money from it. To put some numbers into perspective, platforms like Twitch have around 100 millions active users per month, Youtube Gaming 1.5 Billion and Mixer 10 millions. Avengers  Endgame, which gained the title as the best box-office movie ever, was watched by 100 million people


Future of Work: Social Media

There are numerous names we could refer to as people who’ve successfully built their full-time careers as social media influencers. Instagrammers, Youtubers, TikTokers, etc. 

Stefano: And the numbers of these platforms are insane. The highest paid Youtuber in 2019 cashed in US$26m at the age of 8. 

Yes – 8 years old.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that increasingly more people are trying to build something out of these new opportunities, esports and social media. 

Now let’s go even deeper. 

The average U.S. salary is US$56,516. Compared to the previously mentioned figures, this number  may seem small. However, the U.S. is the second highest country measured on average salary. Case in point, the digital era has the power for people to earn much more than the average salary in their own country. 

Obviously, building a career on social media is not an easy task, otherwise everybody would be doing it and succeed at it.

Stefano: Absolutely. A good friend of mine summarizes it quite nicely by saying: ”It’s a game where the best takes everything”.

And for the majority, the statement is correct. Exactly as it is for running a business. Let’s not forget that 97% of companies fail within the first 2 years of creation. Athletes, movie stars, even top lawyers and brokers all fall under the same statistics and probabilities.


Surviving The First Years

So I guess the question then would be exploring how to survive those most critical 2 years of building a business and making a real career out of your passion?

Stefano: That is the key. Let’s keep going with the eSports and streamer examples. 

To stream, you need equipment as well as the skills that are not directly related to playing games. Some of those could be: graphic design, animation, coding, video editing and simple human interactions. Money can buy most of them because you can hire someone, otherwise you can invest time to learn those skills. That said, you are also trying to get better at the game, so you need to practice. 

Chances are, if you have no money and very little time to dedicate to something like that, it will be almost impossible for you to make it. Even if one of your viewers could help you out with say, graphic design, they’re most likely doing it for free just to help out. It’s still difficult to rely on these things. 

But things totally change if you tokenize yourself! 

Let’s say the L.A. Lakers starts offering shares of their company to anyone who can help clean the stadium at the end of each game. Similarly, Tiger Woods could give a percentage of the cash prize to the person that runs water for him during the tournament. Manny Pacquaio could credit the guy that manages his Instagram account and the FC Barcelona could offer displaying the logo of the company offering transportation for the team free of charge between the matches. 

Okay, translation. 

What we’re trying to say here is that regardless of what you do in life, you can convert your offering into a digital form (i.e. incorporate yourself as the main venture) and offer credits to those who support you along the way. This happens in the digitized form known as tokens. So as a sports athlete, you can build an self-incentivizing model together with your fans.

Or similarly, as a musician, you could bypass the middlemen and distribute your songs directly to your listeners. I recall Imogen Heap being one solid advocate for artists reimagining their business models.



Rethinking How Career Is Built

How this would work in the real world is you, as the main creator, would trade your tokens for the help and service people provide you. In doing what we do, we create Smart companies to make such things happen. These tokens are corporate shares, so virtually you have limitless options to monetize, gamify or experiment what you and your supporters can achieve together.

Stefano: Building on top of that, a Smart Company would allow new ways of working for influencers, streamers and in general all people that are getting started and are trying to build a career around their dream. 

Yes. But as a concept, this is nothing new. 

It is not uncommon to find people setting up agreements on revenue splitting around a project. The big difference in this case, however, is that such an agreement is valid, legal and automated. 

Think about having the chance to do some freelancing work and receiving tokenized shares of the company that represents your favorite Youtuber in return.  

Stefano: Keep in mind that with a Smart Company, you pay just a few cents in gas price to transfer shares. And in jurisdictions like Seychelles and Panama there is no limit to the number of shareholders your venture can have. 

With this kind of new business structure, you will be able to attract people to help you out in the beginning of your career. You will not have to invest upfront capital and you can save that precious time to get better at what you like. On the other hand, your supporters can decide to invest some of their own time to give your a boost. And if things go well, they will get a ‘thank you’ with a nice economical value attached to it. 


The Renaissance of Digital Work 

Now that we are entering the digital age of incentivizing and inclusion models, the sky really isn’t the limit. Your imagination is. 

We started this post with some pretty sobering statistics. And while we witness paradigm shifts happening across industries, we also witness the most immense opportunities. 

Think big with me. 

The growing gig economy, access to in-demand services, the ability to run multiple ventures simultaneously and layers of possibilities within this ecosystem. If you’re just getting started as a creative writer, perhaps you could try to incentivize and grow your fanbase with an inclusive model that organically engages your community. From outsourcing your editing to proof-reading and graphic cover design to distribution, what better way to self-publish today than by involving a global community with a smart and automated incentivizing model? 

If you’re already an established influencer in the space with multiple bestsellers, perhaps you’d like to live on your previous royalties with a set up Smart Company. That works, but just in case you’re in for another creative spin, how about a subsidiary under the main company that can be built to offer incentivized collaboration models for your fans too? 

There are endless ways of how this mutually benefitting win-win model could be applied for different businesses and sectors.

Not only for sports athletes, musicians or creatives but for anything and everything-as-a-service solutions. Educators to incentivize students to commit better, nonprofits to involve their stakeholders in raising awareness of the causes they support. Energy companies distributing renewable electricity, artisan craft-makers incentivizing their entire supply chain and art collectors reallocating their asset value. And the list goes on.

Stefano: Think about the Renaissance period. An era where nobles would provide food and accommodation to artists in exchange for them to create inventions and arts. Centuries have passed and obviously, the model is much different now. But at the very core, it’s probably still exactly the same. 

Indeed, the Renaissance of the digital age.

While technological advancement is here to stay, we are already witnessing another phenomenon romanticizing the other side of the coin: creative fields. 

Not so far in the future, if the machines are handling our standard daily tasks, perhaps we humans get to focus on the hybrid space between arts, technology and true invention. 

Now, wouldn’t that be something to build your career into.


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