Two Trends Changing the Future of Work

June 4, 2015 Appirio

by Mike Epner


Appirio was honored by Singularity University recently when they announced their Top 100 Exponential Organizations on their blog SingularityHUB. Topcoder, the crowdsourcing community behind Appirio’s crowdsourcing platform, was ranked #29 on this prestigious list.

SingularityHUB describes exponential organizations are those delivering 10x or better performance benchmarks compared to their peers. The article features a must-read “How do I do this?” section, which explores a 10-step mechanism to building a highly scalable organization.

Organizations make this list because they have found a new way to be massively scalable, helping to deliver more value, faster. In Appirio’s case, our crowdsourcing community of over 800,000 designers, developers, and data scientists allows us to offer our clients on-demand access to top technical minds from around the globe who are willing to compete in open call challenges. They can access these great minds through our Appirio Services Platform, a suite of services that are critical to our success and scalability.

Take a look at some of the other organizations that made this list, such as Tongal, Quirky, Etsy, TaskRabbit, and Threadless. There are larger macro trends afoot.

The 2 mega-trends changing everything

The companies listed above — and many more on the ExO Top 100 list — succeed because they help shape the future of work by bringing hyperconnectivity and passionate millennials to the crowdsourcing process.

  1. The world is hyperconnected

Technologies such as cloud, mobile, social, abundant WiFi, analytics, and embedded sensors have forever changed the way we interact with one another, with machines, and even machine-to-machine interactions. Our world is now hyperconnected. Cisco predicts that by 2020, there will be 50 billion sensors in the worldwide Internet of Things (IoT). This presents extraordinary opportunities for savvy businesses. Companies can now reach experts with exceptional and specific skills instantaneously via cloud-based platforms.

Crowdsourcing is one mainstay that is overturning the way business is done, particularly by closing the gap between hyperconnectivity and the ideas that depend on it. Just look at Harvard Medical School’s approach to genetics research or solar energy capture on the International Space Station. Retail and supply chain management are also being revolutionized by crowd-enabled mobile apps. How? By tapping into the unprecedented amount and quality of data made available by the IoT.

  1. Workers are choosing non-traditional paths to monetize their skills

Millennials are changing the face of work forever. This generation wants complete freedom when it comes to their work environment. Forget about the traditional work ethic spawned by the nuclear American family.  The era of being “jobless, but having plenty of work” is upon us.

Further enabled by unlimited access to the internet and WiFi, millennials want to work where they want, when they want. Their lack of supervision makes even full-time millennial employees resemble independent contractors (and many are). Yet millennials aren’t lazy; many simply want to follow their bliss, and do. Passion breeds the fire to work, to learn for free online, and to come back for more and excel. Many millennials want to cultivate careers by doing individual jobs that speak to their passions, with the goal of monetizing their skills in the process.

Passion has always been at the heart of Appirio’s crowdsourcing community, which was founded in 2001. Our members want to learn, socialize with their peers, obtain respected ratings, and self-select challenges that allow them to show what they’re made of — and change the world in the process.

Crowdsourcing: a unique opportunity for hyperconnectivity

At the intersection of hyperconnectivity and the desire for a new way to work lies great opportunity. According to Jeff Howe, who coined the term “crowdsourcing” in 2005, this opportunity depends entirely on people’s passion and imagination. Whether your goal is to create the next exponential organization or to transform a traditional enterprise through cloud technologies and crowdsourcing techniques, the opportunity is in front of you. The world is connected like never before. We can reach people, and the right people, instantly. This dynamic in which parties — even independent ones — are “all in” is irrevocably changing the future of work.

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