“Free Agent Nation: How America’s New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live”

Awhile ago I finished reading Daniel Pink‘s book “Free Agent Nation: How America’s New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live“.  I found out about Daniel Pink’s work after watching a TED Talk on “The Surprising Science of Motivation“.

Daniel Pink is a freelance author, columnist and speaker.  His works to date focus on the ever-changing nature of work and society.  His works have been featured in everything from Wired to Harvard Business Review to The New York Times.  He formerly was a speech-writer and aide within President Clinton’s Cabanet.

This book focuses on what Dan calls “Free Agents”, how this group is growing in America, what has allowed for this growth, and the challenges they face.  “Free Agents” refer to all independent workers, ranging from self-employed workers, micro-business owners, consultants, temp-workers, etc.  Pink conservatively estimates that in 2001 there were 33 million workers in the U.S.; that’s 23% of the U.S. workforce.  He sights four factors that are driving people to be independent workers:

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“The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less of More”

Right before Christmas break, I finished reading Chris Anderson‘s book The Long Tail: Why The Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.  I’d heard about this book from various sources, such as my WiredMagazine subscription, and through related web-searches regarding concepts of non-gaussian distributions from Nassin Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled By Randomness and Benoît Mandelbrot’s The Mis-Behavior of Markets such as power-law distributions.  Suffice to say, this book held up to my expectations, and is still challenging the way I think.

The Long Tail is about how information technologies are transforming many markets, and about the true shape and character of market these technologies reveal.

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