💼 Gettin' iffy with it

The three big "-ifications" to know and emerging new platform trends.

The big “-ification” of work

There are a few new trends in ways of working that I want to talk about today, but first I want to get us all on the same page with terms. It’s about to be jargon city up in this b so buckle up.

Terms

There are three big “-ificiations” of work to know about.

  1. Skillification
    A “skills-first” approach focuses on whether someone has the right skills and competencies for a particular role, rather than how the skills have been acquired.

    The concept of roles is fundamentally broken - skills-based organizations allow for more internal mobility and hiring flexibility.


    See World Economic Forum Putting Skills First Report.

  2. Gigification
    When organizations commission short, project-based positions to external independent workers.

    Freelance adoption has been exploding with an estimated 76.4 million freelancers in the US in 2024 - up by 3.1 million in 2023.

    See research paper Gigified Knowledge Work by Microsoft, Aarhus University, and University College London.

  3. Taskification
    Consists of deconstructing jobs into smaller component parts and potentially standardizing and/or gamifying certain activities and processes.

    Taskification also results in more project-based roles instead of the steady, regular, ongoing employee roles of the past.


    See book Work Without Jobs by Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau.

One of the biggest challenges with the modern talent platform is that they operate on a time and materials basis. With a global workforce, this gets more and more complex when we start to evaluate hourly going rates in multiple countries. Let alone not knowing how much a project will actually cost in the end bases on complexity and worker skill-level.

That, plus the added benefit of GenAI increasing productivity has resulted in a move away from time-based models and towards a value and solution-based pricing model.

Enter the new trend that brings the world of gig- and task-ification together in holy matrimony. 💒 

There are a few platforms that have adopted this new way of working and are setting out clearly scoped, prepackaged, and flat-priced work that anyone in their vetted communities can take on.

The benefit? This clear menu-style selling reduces the back and forth in scoping and negotiation and gets projects going quicker.

  • Clients can get transparent pricing and express their requirements more easily.

  • Talent can work on repeatable project structures and gain more opportunities.

Here are two companies that have recently been taking off with this model.

Upper, a company known for the long-term placement and matching of technologists, has recently launched its gigs offering.

A “tech gig” is a mini-project with a clear and concise scope, is typically under 1 month, and requires an expert to execute. Gigs should ideally require little project onboarding time. If more work is required, they offer their longer-term matching solution through Upper directly.

Stellar, a community of high-end designers, as recently introduced its “sprints” concept.

A “sprint” allows clients to get a full brand or website in two weeks for a flat rate of $15k per sprint. They’re dismantling the long and ridiculously expensive traditional agency model, and it’s working.

The Stellar community leans into the brainstorming, creation, and productivity gains that modern GenAI tools offer and are therefore leapfrogging over the traditional agency model with higher-quality outputs in less time and a fraction of the cost.

Where were these guys when I paid $200k+ for a brand that took almost a year to finish?! sigh

I’d love to know your thoughts about these -ifications. What do you think? Fad or future?