The Gig Economy is exposing the glaring disconnect between the entrepreneurial work our country says it values and the full-time jobs with a single employer that our tax and labor policies actually support.
The gig economy employer values the quality of worker results, not the process by which they are created.
The gig economy is growing and here to stay, yet the future of one key labor policy that supports it is uncertain: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.
Over the past five years of teaching business school students about the Gig Economy I’ve heard a lot of fear and concerns about this new world of work. While the Gig Economy creates winners and losers, just as our traditional jobs-based economy does, it also offers many interesting and even lucrative opportunities for workers willing and prepared to take advantage of them.
The winners and losers in the U.S. economy have traditionally been easy to identify.
When the students in the MBA course I teach on the gig economy ask me for the best thing they can do to prepare for their future careers, I tell them:
“Stop looking for a job.”
In the race to get the check in hand, most entrepreneurs don’t do in-depth due diligence — or any due diligence — on the venture capital (VC) firms they pitch. Founding teams eager to raise capital to grow their companies enter into long-term partnerships with VC firms they don’t know well. It’s a risky strategy that can leave startup CEOs in mis-aligned partnerships with unrealistic expectations.
2013 had all the signs of being a comeback year for venture capital. Booming public equities and a recovered IPO market generated record portfolio company exits and distributions from VC funds. The industry realized its highest returns since the Internet boom.
Venture capitalists structure and market their funds based on a ten-year fund life. In actuality, only about 7 percent of funds liquidate within a decade, and recent data on fund duration indicate that the median fund takes slightly longer than 14 years to end.
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin: We celebrate these entrepreneurs for their successes, and often equally extol the venture capitalists who backed their start-ups and share in their glory. Well-known VC firms such as Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia have cultivated a branded mystique around their ability to find and finance the most successful young companies. Forbes identifies the top individual VCs on its Midas List, implicitly crediting them with a mythical magic touch for investing. The story of venture capital appears to be a compelling narrative of bold investments and excess returns…
In the Kauffman Foundation’s recent report “We Have Met the Enemy…and He is Us,” we present the disappointing returns generated from the Foundation’s venture capital portfolio. Like many other foundations, endowments and pension funds, Kauffman’s investments in venture capital have, for more than a decade, persistently failed to generate the promised “venture rate of return” of at least two times our capital invested, after fees and carry.