get paid (maybe).
The gig economy is a fundamentally different and unprecedented paradigm. Unlike freelancing, there is no contract or agreement. Heck, there isn’t even any trust involved. You wake up in the morning and decide who you want to be for the next days or weeks of your work life. If we had to rank all the paradigms on the basis of meritocracy, the gig economy would be on top of the pyramid. Maybe we will have a transitional state where reputation primes on talent, but ideas like open source have demonstrated that this state is ephemeral. If johndoe42 writes a more elegant implementation than Torvalds, chances are that johndoe42’s pull request will get merged.
We already have the right tooling for the gig economy, but it has to grow organically. COVID-19 was the catalyzer for shifting to remote. I think the catalyzer for a gig economy will be an increasingly large talent pool brought by remote work. If Arjun, Aisha and Alexei have equal access to work opportunities and are all good at distinct things, then it’s just a matter of time before full-time positions become too restrictive for employers. Why have a backend engineer when you can have a dynamic pool of talents at your disposal, each with very specific specialities.