The Rise of the Naked Economy is a new book by Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Nuener, founders of the successful coworking chain Nextspace. It covers the paradigm shift from traditional jobs and employment to a world of contingent work, projects and tasks.
According to the authors, this is "like being naked, can be scarey, but can also lead to some of the best moments in one's life".
Because the authors are leaders of the coworking movement, they have deep expertise and experience with the new world of work.
They do a great job of explaining the social, economic and technology trends and shifts driving the changing nature of work.
There are several parts of the book that jump out at me.
One is the growing role of "Super Specialists". These are people who have become even more specialized that traditional specialists. They focus tightly on a specific area, niche or task. We see this need for increased specialization both in our research and in our own work.
I also like the chapters on networks and tribes. They describe networks as the close ties that we turn to on a regular basis for help and support. Tribes refers to what is commonly refered to as "weak ties" - a wider group of people with complimentary skills that often provide new insights, ideas and job leads.
Many independent workers don't understand the value of weak tie tribes. Just reading this chapter will result in an ROI many times the cost of the book.
The Rise of the Naked Economy closes with an excellent set of advice for the new world of work:
1. Find your niche (the book actually says "find your turtles" - read it to see why). This is the skill or area where you can be world class.
2. Keep your costs low.
3. Work your network, find your tribe.
4. Get out of your head - get feedback from others.
5. Remember why you work - to make a living and a life.
Anyone who is interested in how work is changing and what it means (and that's just about everyone) will find this book of value. Buy it, read it.