14% of UK’s workforce is now self employed!

According to data published by the Daily Telegraph today 14% of UK’s workforce is now self-employed. And this excludes all those second jobbers and moonlighters which, as I mentioned in my recent interview on the BBC ,  is in fact the highest growing sector within PeoplePerHour’s community of 350,000 freelancers .

According to data published by the Office of National statistics there are now 367,000 more people who are self-employed than there were in 2008.

I commented both to the Telegraph and the Guardian today on what’s driving that growth. The recession is not the driver of change, it has been the catalyst. In a recent poll we conducted on PeoplePerHour, more than a third said the reason was to get a better work-life balance, and a quarter said it was to pursue a hobby or passion.

Freelancing is not a recessionary fad. It’s a structural change in the labour market. As in many step changes in the economy over the last century, recession has been a great catalyst and awakening call to accelerating that change.

The next wave of internet startups

The last decade has seen the birth and rise of internet behemoths dominating markets: eBay in second hand good, Amazon in commerce, Facebook in social media, Google in search etc.

It’s been a game of scale and winner takes all. Now there’s talk of Web 3.0 and big data.

I think the next wave of the internet will be about descaling  to address an increasingly discerning and sophisticated user. The next generation of successes will be the ones that pick and verticalise these behemoths bringing more choice and more personalization to the customer.  Focusing on quality content and taste rather than scale and.

And the reason is simple. Consumers want choice.  Sounds obvious. How is that different to 10 years ago you may ask?continue reading »

What i would do if i was Prime Minister (not that i’d want to!)


Not that this is any aspiration of mine. I think people who know me would probably agree that i am far too impatient and politically incorrect to run the country. Or any country for that matter.

I do however think that very little is done in terms of ‘out of the box’ thinking to solve our biggest problem here : Unemployment.

Here’s an interesting scenario:

There’s £4.6bn being spent every year on unemployment benefits. There are 750 Job Centres employing 78,000 people scattered around the country. A few of the most common jobs offered are sales rep, carer, call centre agent which pay minimum wage of £6.19 phour.

And then picture this. Of he 2.51m unemployed and able to work, a whopping 99% are literate and  82.7% had some higher education beyond.continue reading »

We are about to overtake Ford Motor company in workforce size!

What I find most remarkable about what we do at PeoplePerHour is giving people real access. That what the internet does through and through one would argue, and its true, but think about the impact of that for a tiny business just starting off

Because of the internet and innovations like PeoplePerHour, a one man band just starting off now has access to a workforce of near 325,000 business. Just a mouse click away

To put this into perspective that’s 2k less than Ford Motor company, a company founded in 1903 and  has – amongst other achievements – commercialized the car!  No small feat by any measure of the imagination J

Or seen otherwise – that’s 15k more than Tesco: the largest retailer in the UK with an annual turnover over £40bn!

Isn’t that truly amazing? How a company of the size of 1 can have more people readily available to work for it, from Day 1. Think of what Tesco had to go through to get there!:)

That’s what’s truly transformational and disruptive about what we do and why we have full conviction that we are at the beginning of a new era for business, for entrepreneurs and for talent the world over.

The Starbucks Index

Starbucks doesn’t just make coffee. It serves as a global standard for the service economy. Much like the Big Mac index is back of the envelope (yet surprisingly accurate) reflection of the purchasing power parity (PPP) between countries, in other words what would it cost you in dollar terms to get a Big mac in country A versus Country B once exchange rate is factored in?   It’s a measure of how much a dollar can take you in those respective countries.

With my frequent travels recently the idea of a services power parity hit me. A cappuccino at Starbucks is a very much a standard committee across the world. Yet go to New York, London, Athens, Dubai and watch and measure the time it takes to make the same commodity. In my case – truth be told – I do give them a somewhat of a hard time, with my extras duper uber dry cappuccino with an extra shot. Even more so:  the speed of comprehension and execution of my customized order is a – again surprising due to its simplicity – reflection of the efficiency of the service economy in these cities. As is the baristas reaction to a customize order in the first place. This is what I’ve called ‘The Starbucks Index”.

So next time you travel, try going to a Starbucks and ordering the exact same coffee you have in your home town and watch the difference. In some countries you will quickly realize how much needs to be done to get them back to a productive state. It has happened to me that I had to wait for the barista in one city to finish a phone conversion on his mobile phone (and believe me it did not sound like a conversation with his boss!)

Internet trends 2012

KPCB Internet Trends – 2012

Why America is still the land of opportunity

I just spent two weeks in New York. It was supposed to be a very non-descript trip, without a concrete purpose. I went there to attend a few tech conferences, meet a few people I had connected to via email and wanted to meet, and get a local vibe of the new hot tech scene that everyone is talking about – now the 2nd largest in the world after silicon valley.

I write this on the plane on the way back to London. And already I have my return flight booked for next week, I have a real estate agent looking to get me a flat (or ‘apartment’ i should say :-)) and I already signed up new office space there. And got close to making my first hire. And I feel I moved slow even. 🙂 That’s the pace this city moves in.continue reading »