Web3 Work Matching Markets

#WF18 Tokenize Yourself Like Pelé and Messi and The New BrainTrust

👋 This is the 18th regular update from the Workforce Futurist Newsletter – which is read by those on a journey to make work better.

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Whose Brain Do You Trust?

Different players come and go, but the principles remain the same. In 2018 I was encouraged by Matthew Taylor, to write how Blockchain Platforms Can Enable Good Work.

In around 2017, a few crypto work-matching platforms were launched with this type of model with names ending in ‘lancer. They fizzled out for different reasons. It’s not always the best brains that win, but those that have some luck with timing.

Platforms charge high-fees for each transaction.

Work-matching platforms take between 15-30%.  This is bad value for workers and employers.

Braintrust has announced it’s token $BTRST  

“where workers control the network they make their living on… aligning incentives between companies and talent, slashing fees, and cutting out middlemen.”

As reported here, freelancer platforms have had a good couple of years. 

To provide a bit of perspective, Braintrust expect to take $35m this year, compared to about $3B for Upwork. (See Imagining Blockwork: A Blockchain-Enabled Upwork). But this is a very large market and not constrained to just knowledge workers or techies.

It’s worth watching Braintrust, it’s competitors in different segments, and how the incumbents respond.

In the short-term, it’s another source of quality freelancers at half the rate of other platforms. Braintrust report some blue-chip clients benefitting from 10% fees.

Work is Not Done By ‘Talent’

There are 3.4 billions workers in the world.

774m have profiles on LinkedIn.

53% of the world’s working-age women are not in the formal labour market.

One of the biggest earners on YouTube, Nastya, is a 6 year-old girl from Russia with cerebral palsy.

I feel better now.

Tokenise Yourself

In the Human Stock Market, I highlighted how you can buy shares in individuals.

I like to think that Workforce Futurist is read by the greatest footballers ⚽ of all time.

And now Pelé,🐐, has raised funds using Human IPO, with proceeds going to charity.

Lionel Messi’s recent transfer to Paris Saint Germain was partly funded by fan tokens $PSG.

And TokenProtocol is developing technology to allow people to launch a branded personal token, where sponsors can make angel investments in careers they believe in.

Whether Labour or Capital runs out first will determine whether workers will continue to accept monthly salaries, hourly-rates, payment by trip, or a passive-aggressive boss.

We need new mechanisms to incentivise and motivate people to work – and tokens will play a part. In the future you might be asked to invest in $Nastya, the next $Messi or even $AndySpence.

More Knowledge Neurons

Amazon has offered to pay college fees for 750,000 US staff. Target has said it would offer free undergraduate degrees to more than 340,000 employees. Higher Education will be transformed in the next decade. Amazon, Apple, Disney will find a way to use their ability to give people what they need on a massive scale to educate billions. A $10k education wallet will probably go a lot further than $100k/year for zoom lectures currently on offer.

‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’ or ‘Great Flourishing’? McKinsey wrote an interesting paper on how organizations can keep workers. One important lesson for People Scientists is DYOR.  It’s dangerous letting your boss read this kind of stuff, as the chart makes it look too easy.😎

Microsoft published a big study in Nature, on the impact of remote work on collaboration among its 61k employees in 2000.  It’s a long time since I designed an field experiment in the office, but one important external factor that springs to mind is → This.Was.Done.In.The.Middle.Of.A.Pandemic. 

People were frightened in March 2020. Any universal lessons on this topic might need to be toned down as this topic will be studied for decades.