New economy & the end of employment

The internet brought upon us the first instance of a crowd-based economic model in mid-2000s pioneered perhaps by YouTube and followed quickly by eBay with its peer-to-peer facilitation of exchange of second hand goods.

Full-time employment has come of age -- having evolved to today include worker protections, benefits and the works. ‘The other 99%’ happily work for a few others and the model earns respect for and from the constituents in the society.

Internet and the age of start-ups seem to be posing a challenger however.

It’s becoming personal Now!

Today Uber (ride hailing) and Air b-n-b (room sharing) are the poster boys of a glamorous new way of economic modelling popularly called ‘sharing economy’. People don’t shy today on the prospect of the extent of intrusion while willing to ‘share a bedroom’ to make the most of a gig economy.

The gig economy basically relies on its ability to use resources optimally to give best throughput and is seemingly a more efficient, productive and better system.

Platform-based disruptions

Historically, employment as a method has seen unprecedented success as a model to organise labour over the last few hundred years.

Platform-based disruptions across industries - enabled through an overall robust digital trust network (example - online profiles of hosts and guests, rating systems, etc.) in the ecosystem - is however becoming the order of the day.

Are we witnessing the transformation of good old capitalism - the defining economic force of the 20th century? Will we see the 21st century lend itself to organising labour in a different fashion ultimately leading to end of full-time employment as a core model as we know it?

Can ‘new economy’ work for everybody? Will it succeed in universally becoming the new normal? Can it be inclusive as it purportedly seems to be and contentiously fights to project?

Is the sharing economy a pre-cursor to the beginning of the end of employment?

Economic might has historically beaten military might across wars and across centuries.

Is the gig economy Schumpeter’s 'creative destruction' in disguise or is this disruption only going to be replacing a rusty nail with a crooked one!  

Are we fortunate to be living in interesting and exciting times that saw the early days of unravelling of future of work!

Domino Effect

For now, it seems 'sharing' could be a force for good but may not necessarily replace good old 'full-time employment' as a core model anytime soon.  

When and if it does, will this massive change of democratisation of economic opportunity through crowd-based capitalism even lead to evolution of a better political system of governance?  What is your view?


(Piyush Sharma, a global tech, media and entrepreneurial leader, created the successful foray of Zee Entertainment in India and globally under the ‘Living’ brand. The views expressed here are of the writer’s and Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to them.)

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