Why Marketplace Startups Won’t Replace Full Time Employers

When you lean too far into the gig and creator economies, you’re just middleware

Joe Procopio

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Don’t quit your day job just yet.

That’s the message that should be implied — if not explicitly stated — to every applicant of every gig and creator marketplace during the vetting process.

With the poorly named Great Resignation in full swing, talent is leaving the nest (prison?) of gainful full-time employment at record levels and sometimes seemingly on a whim. As a result, talent marketplace startups are popping up to backfill that labor with the promise of a full-time salary on a work-for-yourself basis.

As a 20-year entrepreneur who has dabbled in the service-for-hire world — and as a techie who grew up with the opportunity of gun-for-hire contract employment — I can tell you that a lot of those marketplace salary promises not only go unfulfilled, but they usually come crashing down on the marketplace startup like a strong breeze through a house of cards.

If you lean into the gig or creator economies too hard, you’re going to get burned. It’s just a matter of when and how much income is at stake.

The Great Resignation Is Not Pandemic-Related

There’s a misconception going around that huge armies of employees are quitting their jobs after experiencing some kind of awakening during the pandemic lockdowns. From my perspective, the lockdowns didn’t cause the resignation movement; they just sure as hell accelerated it.

You could make the case that the Great Resignation is actually the natural outgrowth of the gig economy movement crashing head-on into the creator economy movement. That collision brought about a shift in opportunities for gig work and an expansion from “anybody-can-do-it” tasks like ride-sharing, food delivery and dog-walking into areas that require more of a creative and experiential arsenal to get the “gig.”

Thus — from accounting to digital asset creation and even medical and legal industry roles — if you’ve got skill, you can get paid to wield that skill on your own time, in your own home and for only the customers and the jobs you want.

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com