The job market is not operating in old frameworks anymore. Changes in the digital world have an impact on our professional life: 9 to 5 jobs are becoming obsolete, while everyone with a talent technically has a chance of success – everyone can be an entrepreneur. What we need in order to make use of the various talents in our society, are platforms that help people connect, and spread their ideas and products across the globe.
Thorold Barker (The Wall Street Journal) welcomed on stage, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty (Uber), Samuel Glöggl (an Uber driver), Tilo Jung (Jung & Naiv), Brit Morin (Brit + Co) and Navid Hadzaad (GoButler) to talk about Gig Economy. Uber, a transportation company, broke some transportation laws in Paris and goes to court soon - a highly controversial company, but million of users are using the app every week and lots of drivers are registered on the platform. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty said Uber has already learned their lessons, especially in France now they had to learn it the hard way. A lot of things went wrong while communicating (or not) with governments. But: As a game changer and disruptive company they changed the transportation system itself and the future of work. Gig Economy, or Uber Economy is now a term for offering services at your fingertips.
Future of work is about putting the market in touch with e.g. producers - exactly what's Uber offering: putting drivers/partners in touch with people who wants to get around. It offers flexibility and independence, so many people use the service. In Paris, 15,000 drivers are now offering rides, a couple of years ago only 1,000 drivers were available. 25% of them were unemployed before they start a career as an Uber driver. 85% of people joining the platform are 45 years old or older. Uber claims to offer an alternative to the common job market that usually isn't attractive for older people.
Samuel gave some insights on working as an Uber driver. The 29-year-old Munich-based driver discovered UberPop in 2014 listening to the radio, predicting it as "the next big thing". He did some research and ended up at Uber's office in Munich, being part of the onboarding process. He thought, why not give it a try? Uber's flexibility on working times is a benefit for his personal life. He's able to spend more time with his wife. Also Uber is paying well and his rating was very good. He turned into a professional driver owning now 3-4 cars and some drivers are driving for him. But is it al rosy? Some drivers complain about the mass of new drivers joining Uber every day. But Samuel only see the opportunities where others see a problem. More drivers means less waiting time for the customers and more rides can be offered means no decrease in money for him, he argued.
Brit Morin is offering another platform to make money. She called it "Martha Stewart meets Etsy". The community behind are often women who took time of for family, limited in free time, but very creative. The often have also Etsy shops, but want more or better distribution of their skills. Brit launched an online education program last year where women can teach their skills or improve their skills with a 60-90 minutes class on one day. Teaching your skills (as pre-produced videos) - from calligraphy to coding - women earning money through the platform.
Another way to earn money is represented with Tilo Jung. The German journalist interviews politicians for his YouTube Channel "Jung & Naiv" (young and naive) - Thorold called him the Ali G back in the days but less sarcastic. Tilo is quit successful with it - nearly 60,000 subscribers and more than 8 million views. Tilo and his team produce whatever they want and ask their community for financial support. The "business model" is not only based on YouTube-ads. If you like it you can support Tilo and his team financially - that's it. But nobody knows if they will earn money next month - a huge risk.
Maybe Tilo should think about joining Uber as a driver. In Stockholm for example over 50% of the drivers drives less than 10 hours a week - pocket money to people with another everyday job. Is this key to success? Navid Hadzaad gave us an explanation. Uber is joining the convenience trend. They provide solutions and benefits to customer's needs. But is it maybe only a temporary effect? What will happen in 5-10 years? Maybe we will have self-driving cars, do we drive anymore? Will jobs be gone and new ones created? Uber wants to create 50,000 jobs this year, but what will happen when self-driving cars will be the future in transportation? Tilo Jung handed in a really interesting question: Grows Uber business on back of its drivers? Is Uber aware of any kind of responsibility or is it just too far away right now to think about such cases? Hopefully we will see another discussion with those guys in 5-10 years to prove truth.