March 4, 2020 The Real Future of Work – Changing How we Talk about On-Demand Talent

What comes to mind when someone says, “work”?

We as humans have an understanding or some philosophy of what work is today. Perhaps it conjures up powerful imagery of glass offices,  gridlocked commutes, and social connections that become a meaningful part of our lives. There’s likely both positives and negatives in your mind right now that represent ways that you feel about the present of work. The future of work is another story.

What about, “the future of work”? 

Hear from Clinton Bonner, VP of Marketing, about what’s missing from the current conversation, and what Topcoder is doing about it:

We’re leading the change, but the Future of work talking points are incomplete

The majority of the themes defining our Future of Work are imprecise and incomplete. Currently, they focus on:

  • employee upskilling and retention 
  • preparing the workforce for AI and automation
  • social responsibility of the enterprise.

 Important? Yes. Full picture? No way. 

Now for a StaLlone movie metaphor…

Focusing solely on the above is tantamount to the Rocky Balboa series focusing on Paulie’s adventures meandering through the shadow of his famous brother-in-law. Of course, fans of the series adore Paulie, his redemptive arc, and his robot girlfriend from the fourth installment. His character added depth and gritty realness that made the whole stronger. But, Rocky is about a fighter who overcomes long odds and keeps getting back up.

The current talk track surrounding the future of work is not focused on the real star.

The real star: on-demand talent for the enterprise

How Did we get here? History repeats itself

You might know it as crowdsourcing, the gig economy, the talent economy or by some other name. At Topcoder, we prefer the Passion Economy for many of the reasons Li Jin of Andreessen Horowitz expertly details in her wonderful article

  • In the 2010s, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) changed the enterprise. 
  • Employees wanted experiences they were already receiving from B2C applications— the stakes were raised and the employee was never looking back. 
  • The decade that followed this shift was intensely focused – and in many ways still is – on digital transformation of the enterprise to satiate this new standard.

Well, it’s happened again 

  • Consumers rabidly adopted B2C applications and platforms that made use of the gig economy. 
  • Our car rides, our burrito deliveries, our menial tasks or social chores could now be handled, elegantly and rather magically, by freelancers participating in the gig economy.
  • The path from introduction, which included social uncertainty and fears, to a clear, established preference to use gig-powered platforms to better our personal lives is truly remarkable. 
  • On the grand scale, gig platforms earned and established trust and paired that with valuable experiences and magical interfaces that now make “the old way” feel laborious and worse yet, un-effective.

the passion economy By the numbers

  • 40% of millennials have a “side hustle” (source)
  • 67% of those are actively seeking out gigs
  • 98% of workers want an option for remote work (source)
  • Enterprise use (rooted in trust) of specialized, high-value on-demand talent is quickly on the rise

Introducing: Uprisor

Uprisor is a new industry event that lives at the epicenter of on-demand talent and enterprise leaders and doers who are wielding this talent in significant ways. 

  • The content will be focused.
  • The thought leadership will be world-class. 
  • The networking and educational opportunities at Uprisor will be one-of-a-kind.

If you’re piqued by this real future of work and think you, your team, and your organization can benefit meaningfully by focusing on it, then Uprisor will provide great value to you.

In the coming weeks, we’ll provide more detail surrounding the make-up, workshops, live event elements, and core content that will comprise Uprisor. This will be a unique event and one you should consider attending with your team.

Uprisor will take place in Seattle, WA in the mid-fall of this year.

To register interest to attend Uprisor and to receive timely updates, visit here.

Uprisor. How the World Works.

VP, Marketing


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