The Real Gig Economy: Sarah Kessler, Author of Gigged

Amid all the buzzwords and reports on the future of work, I find Sarah Kessler’s stories about the gig economy to be the most insightful and the most human.  Her stories and her book, Gigged, give an accurate picture of some of the upsides of the gig economy, but also some of the downsides.

She shares stories of people who are sleeping in their office making five cents per task on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to creative freelancers who can make six-figure salaries working from anywhere.   She also shares the story of companies that see limits to the gig economy, like Dan Teran’s company Managed by Q which is following Zeynep Ton’s Good Jobs Strategy and looking at people as valuable and investing in them as full-time employees and partners in the business’s success.

Our conversation dives deeper into some of the stories she shares as well as some of the current challenges with platforms, and the PR machine (all the firms say people want flexibility but fail to mention they are happy to give it up for more pay!).

One of her subjects in the book puts it most powerfully, Kristy Milland, “I am a human, not an algorithm”

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