Welcome to the New World !

Abdelhamid Niati
7 min readJun 7, 2019

A world disappears … another is created. For a long time (let us count in centuries), our societies are organized in pyramidal forms with a power which believes as one climbs the building. A verticality that can be found in companies as well as in commercial relations between humans. Indeed, the professional, the merchant, by his expertise, the exclusivity of a proposed product or a monopoly, dominates his client. It is customary to say that the latter is always right but that is not enough to remove this balance of power even in a service economy. So far everything was fine and this verticality sometimes reassuring because orderly, sometimes overwhelming because undisputed was going to experience a shake even in its deepest foundations.

A digital earthquake or “Digital Upheaval”

An old world inherited the first 2 industrial revolutions and based on the production of one side and the consumption of the other began to falter. Successive economic crises have undermined this highly standardized model in its production and consumption standards. Here the human is a worker and a consumer. The crisis of 2008, whose effects are still felt, has almost completed this world by revealing the difficulty for humans to maintain regular consumption with a decline in income and an increase in debt. Therefore, he will try to earn a little more money and consume differently through digital.

The importance of digital

The advent of social networks and platforms such as Priceminisiter or eBay has made it possible to interconnect individuals to exchange information, but also to sell and buy, to share goods while avoiding the limits of place and time. Amazon led the way to order the book seen in a literary program and have it delivered 24 hours later thanks to simple digital gymnastics on his smartphone. The objects sold are the same but the uses change because the time is not the constraint but the fluidity overcoming the peaks established. The human does not want to undergo anymore but to choose.

Competition and fluidity and sharing

These three points have become the basis of the new world. The increased competition offers a growing choice. In the same way, the fluidity of the uses and the services gives this feeling to feel freer and to no longer depend on the unique professional expert defined at the beginning. Sharing, human value, highly noble finds all its meaning in the digitized and collaborative economy. It is by these terms, in a context of crisis and weak job creation that the new players in the digital economy will make a big noise. So much so that we will now talk about the uberisation of the economy.

“Uberisation” the word is dropped! Employed for the first time by Maurice Levy (CEO of Publicis) in an interview with Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/377f7054-81ef-11e4-b9d0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3zxxI3Nr0 ), he has today entered the current language. It describes the phenomenon by which a monopoly or a well-established market will be upset by a player in the digital economy. There is also talk of disrupting when it comes to a break. As a reminder, Uber a Californian startup valued today to the tune of $ 51 billion alternative / designed taxis has upset the economic landscape far beyond the mere transport of people. Uber, a brokerage platform for private drivers and people around the world, has managed not only to take considerable market share from taxi companies in 37 countries and 376 cities but also to take people to taxis. which did not usually take it (the transport of people is a real problem with saturated public transport and taxis sometimes difficult to find). And this by having no vehicle or driver. Airbnb, for its part, has managed to offer more beds (1.5 million) than hotels without having any real estate, the smallest hotel and thus to answer the increasing increase of the number of tourists as well as with the desire to visit an immersive country (4% increase in 2015 http://media.unwto.org/press-release/2016-01-18/international-tourist-arrivals-4-reach-record-12-billion-2015).

Many areas are now involved, including liberal professions such as lawyers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n031ImsMGRc), doctors and notaries. Thus the verticality of human relationships in services and in businesses is challenged by a desire for horizontality. The human wants to live differently.

Towards an employment platform?

At a time when the permanent contract is no longer grail and entrepreneurship is increasing (http://www.insee.fr/en/themes/info-rapide.asp?id=41), we are seeing volatility employees (a very strong behavior among the youngest) and a desire to adapt activities to digital. Computer-related jobs and creativity struggle to find their place in companies. They tend to increase with the needs of a new world that has not finished expanding. The rigid management, the lack of professional recognition pushes these people to want to be free.

“neither chief nor master? “

This summarizes the situation of the sharing, the GIG economy and perfectly illustrates the growing number of independents. At Uber, the contracts that bind drivers to the platform are service contracts, so a person wishing to become a VTC driver sees his steps simplified compared to a taxi (here are the 4 steps: http: //www.chauffeur-uber. com / get-driver-deprived-by-4-steps /). In return, it must pay Uber 20–25% (25% for the sedan range) commission for intermediation. Uber was however sentenced on 17 June 2015 by the State Labor Commission of California following the complaint of one of their drivers. For this instance, Uber is not a simple platform and there is a link of subordination between Uber and its drivers because the leaders “are involved in every aspect of the operations” and have a power of sanction on the driver (a low note and the driver may be denied access to the application). A drop-in price to meet competition in France had angered some drivers because it resulted in a loss of revenue. Another conviction of $ 7.6 million has affected the Californian firm (http://www.journaldunet.com/ebusiness/le-net/1171034-uber-une-amende-de-7-6-millions-de- dollars-in-california /). Recall that the firm escapes the tax on profits (tax optimization) and its business model allows it to not contribute to the payroll taxes of its drivers. An obscure neo-wage that does not say its name? Especially since the desire of the CEO of Uber is to buy all the tesla autonomous cars to do without drivers.

A human abandoned for profit? A question that leads to reflection on the desired model in the new world.

What future for wage labor?

The old-world suffocating cannot meet the aspirations of employees and free or freelance workers because they are plural, and the social model proposed is uniform. The choice of self-entrepreneurship cannot be the only answer to a category of people ranging from the web designer to the architect through the person who grows organic products for sale in short circuit. This is the whole question because the number of these people is going to increase with the technological progress and a 4th industrial revolution which points the tip of its nose and goes very fast. So much so that the robotization of the recruitment process is topical and allows considerable time and efficiency savings according to this study: https://www.glassdoor.com/research/studies/time-to-hire-study /. Here the algorithm replaces the human. These free workers who go through platforms recover little of the value created. Indeed, via the data, large platforms retrieve user data allowing them to adjust their service and recover much of the value created.

The German IG Metal Union has brought an early response to task workers like Mechanical Turk. The union created the platform http://www.faircrowdwork.org/en/watch, which in turn enables workers to write down platforms for working conditions and pay. They can also seek advice from the union and exchange. New syndicalism has arrived … especially in Germany. In France, the unions have not yet moved to digitalization.

In France, free workers wishing to be self-employed without starting businesses can find an answer within a CAE, Cooperatives Activity Employment. These are very specific workers cooperatives like Coopaname.

Here you are an entrepreneur/employee: You sign a permanent contract within the structure and remain autonomous while having a social cover. We can therefore test and develop our business in a new legal framework while minimizing risks. We are certainly in the presence of one of the structures of the new world, redesigned and adapted to the changing human.

Will the permanent contract die? Are all people ready to mutate? Will robots take power? (alternate question: who will destroy Skynet?)

So many questions that I invite you to answer!

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Abdelhamid Niati

Writer, content manager and business coach. I am also the Head of people and the Content Manager for a non profit organisation created in Africa.