Market Snapshot: Crowd-based Insurance Startups on the Rise

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Above Image: Crowd Companies has identified more than a dozen crowd-based insurance startups emerging from financial industry hotbeds like London, more will emerge from each region.

Crowd- and peer-based business models have impacted the hospitality industry, transportation space, financial sector, and other industries as indicated within the latest Collaborative Economy Honeycomb 3.0.

We’re now seeing the rise of a growing set of startups in the insurance industry that are enabling P2P, pro-rata coverage or crowd-based models that leverage the crowd. These emerging insurance tech startups include mostly peer-to-peer offerings, with a handful that are also improving the delivery of insurance through new technologies.

P2P insurance allows for more people to be insured by aiding underserved markets. It provides coverage for gig workers in the collaborative economy, while collective purchasing yields preferential pricing (or even funds returned) to those subscribed to peer-based insurance programs. With most of the emerging startups acting as brokers, the insurance carrier startups are still forthcoming in the insurance world. Lemonade is a clear example of this (though they’ve yet to launch).

There are several companies popping up for specialized insurance, too. From insuring cyclists to pet owners, and one––Bought By Many––that specializes in ‘long tail’ insurance. This means insure those items that aren’t often insured. Then, there’s Trōvthat provides ‘on-demand’ insurance, for those who want to insure in the moment by simply snapping a pic in the app, granting fast coverage. It’s coverage for when people seek access over ownership.

The map above of crowd-based insurance startups isn’t complete; there are more emerging, and we expect for each geographic region to develop their own capabilities. See the table below for additional details.

Sample of Crowd-Based Insurance Startups: 

Startup Category Description
OnSource On-Demand Inspection On-demand visual inspection by a group of independent crowd workers
trov On-Demand Insurance On-demand protection for belongings – home, auto, personal property. Easy to turn on/off.
Tong Ju Bao P2P Broker TongJuBao is a P2P insurance platform that helps its users manage risks. TongJuBao was developed by QiBao Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd, a WOFE (wholly owned foreign entity) and is ultimately controlled by its French founder, Tang Loaec. (CB Insights)
Broodfonds P2P Insurance – Crowdfunding Group of freelancers crowdfunding each other’s sick leave
PeerCover P2P Insurance – Crowdfunding Join group, pay fee upfront, users decide if claims are fair and can get up to 5x your balance to cover claims. ‘Crowdfunded cover’
MetroMile Pay-Per-Mile Auto Insurance Metromile is a car insurance startup that offers pay-per-mile insurance and a driving app. It is currently the only company offering pay-per-mile insurance in the United States.
CommonEasy P2P Insurance Broker CommonEasy is a peer-to-peer insurance platform that utilizes the power of the crowd to collectively insure and protect material possessions, homes, and livelihoods.
Besure P2P Insurance Broker Peer-to-peer risk sharing for property insurance, not currently launched.
Friendsurance P2P Insurance Broker Pools users into small groups. Brokers with 60 insurance partners.
Inspeer P2P Insurance Broker Users form small groups for auto, motorcycle, and home insurance. Users pledge to cover up to a certain amount.
Guevara P2P Insurance Broker – Auto Pools friends and acquaintances, or other small groups, for car insurance.
Gather P2P Insurance Broker – Business Business insurance shared across a group/community.
Bought By Many P2P Insurance Broker – Long-Tail Works with insurers to develop policies and negotiate discounts for long-tail insurance needs like pet insurance, cyclist insurance, etc.
SafeShare P2P Ins Broker – Share Econ Develop insurance products and partner with sharing economy businesses to offer users and providers insurance solutions. Work to fill in the gaps of insurance for Sharing Economy providers and users.
Cycle Syndicate P2P Insurance Carrier – Cyclists Bike insurance shared over a small group. Insurance held by cycle syndicate.
Lemonade P2P Insurance Carrier Lemonade is peer-to-peer insurance and one of the only carriers, but they’ve yet to launch. Groups of policyholders pay premiums into a claims pool, and if money is left at the end of the policy period, they get refunds.
Uvamo P2P Insurance Carrier Uvamo, which plans to launch by the end of the year, aims to cut administrative costs by offering property and casualty insurance direct to consumers online. Those policies can then be diversified and grouped into a pool, which collects all the premiums paid by the policyholders. -CNBC


Additional Resources:

Apple Invests $1B into Didi, the Chinese Ridesharing App

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Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Apple Invests $1B into Didi, the Chinese Ridesharing App
Apple is moving into the ridesharing space with its recent $1B investment in Didi, a direct competitor to Uber in the Chinese ridesharing market. This is significant, as it lays the foundation for Apple to roll out a self-driving car fleet in China when the time is right, likely after it has obtained deep data on rider logistics, routes, and usage behaviors. This also puts tension between Apple and Uber, as well as further challenging Google as they, too, roll out self-driving cars with an expectation of a native ride-hailing app. This showcases how traditional internet companies like Apple and Google are becoming logistics companies––a shift that will massively impact global commerce. Get more information on Apple’s and Didi from Reuters.

CVS Invests in Curbside to Bring Mobile Orders Directly to Your (Car) Door
TechCrunch reports that CVS has invested in shopping startup Curbside, with plans to roll the curbside delivery option to its 9,600 retail pharmacy locations. Details on the investment were not disclosed. Curbside pickup is currently available at 350 locations, branded by the company as “CVS Express” and also accessible within its mobile application. To use the Curbside service at no additional fee, customers place items in their basket while shopping online or with their smartphone, then head to their local retail location for delivery to their car door within an hour. Orders are fulfilled by existing CVS staff who are alerted via Curbside’s software. Curbside also has relationships with other retailers, including Target, Sephora, and Levi’s.

As Uber and Lyft Leave Austin, Texas, Other Ride-Hailing Apps Move In
Uber and Lyft have ceased operations in Austin, Texas, due to a regulation dispute with the city.Tech Times reports that, despite launching a joint $8M campaign that aimed to gather support for a proposal that would exempt their drivers from fingerprinting in background checks, Uber and Lyft did not succeed. Citizens voted to block Proposition 1, a move that Lyft claims would make it much harder to hire part-time drivers in Austin. In the wake of Uber and Lyft’s departure, other ride-hailing apps have moved in, including Get Me, Wingz, and Fasten. These companies will be following Austin’s regulations fingerprint their drivers.


We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies™ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

Image from Pexels used under Creative Commons license.

Want to inspire Intrapreneurship in your company? Open this box

Can you let your employees take charge of innovation – with little managerial oversight? When employees are empowered to make a difference on their own – to lead rather than follow a managerial directive – the innovation process takes on a life of its own.

Adobe Kickbox, a physical box of practical tools and resources for employees to innovate rapidly and independently, fosters innovation in every pocket of the company. It helps capture grassroots innovation happening at the edges of the internal network.

At more than 11,000 employees, Adobe is a large software company in the heart of Silicon Valley. Such companies can struggle to keep talent when the best and brightest are often lured away by promises of lucrative start-ups and entrepreneurship. By focusing on fostering intrapreneurship in its employee base, Adobe offers the empowerment needed to keep staff engaged and challenged while directly contributing to product R&D and company growth.

Although today Adobe Kickbox can be used by any company, it originally began as the sole innovation process used at Adobe since 2012.

Since its inception, more than a thousand new ideas have been prototyped using the Kickbox process. Once Adobe realised the potential for Kickbox to support innovation in all companies, it began offering its resources free for download at Thousands of companies and organizations have already downloaded the kit in multiple languages.

What, exactly, makes Kickbox so different and so successful? Adobe Kickbox pulls employee innovation out of people’s brains and into action, using the following tools in a training session:

  • Prepaid credit card with $1,000 for project research and proof-of-concept (empowerment)
  • Starbucks gift card (caffeine)
  • Chocolate bar (sugar)
  • Complete directions for Adobe’s innovation process (some structure)

Once an Adobe employees completes the final phase of the innovation process directions, they’re then awarded a “Blue Box” (with its secret contents undisclosed) and assigned an executive sponsor to bring their ideas to fruition. Your guess is good as mine, as what’s in there – but that desire to get to the next level will drive motivation.

How to ensure quality ideas while still “failing fast”

The goal of the Adobe Kickbox innovation process is to increase the rate of failure by making small bets on ideas in a really fast, decentralized way. It intentionally “breaks” all of a company’s processes and requires leaders to completely rethink their innovation funnel. But, in the end, it will result in diverse ideas and products that customers actually want. To fail fast, employees follow the Kickbox’s six steps to innovation.


  1. Inception. Motivating Innovation of new ideas.
  2. Ideate. Brainstorming to come up with new ways to help customers and employees.
  3. Improve. Polishing Ideas to refine before taking to market.
  4. Investigate. Talk to customers and test directly. (This is often where the $1,000 prepaid card comes in, as employees create a proof of concept to show that customers would want and adopt their idea. This may include advertising, A/B testing, or hiring the crowd to build a prototype.)
  5. Iterate. Evolve hypothesis based on findings from the investigation.
  6. Infiltrate. Pitch to management. (The final pitch in step six must end with a request for money – budget/resources – in order to secure c-suite commitment. Those with hard numbers from the tests stand to gain more traction)

Using this process, Kickbox teaches people to innovate when there is no innovation programme within the company. It requires no infrastructure, no leadership review and deliberation, and comes with complete directions. To ensure quality of ideas, Adobe also requires employees utilizing Kickbox to first attend an instructional class, a foundational course many other companies have since replicated.


Kickbox innovation requires complete commitment, even to points of contention

In order for Kickbox to be successful within an organisation, companies must adopt the six-step process fully, without exception. In a Crowd Companies innovation council call, Mark Randall, VP of Creativity at Adobe, shared three big points of contention that companies most struggle with in Kickbox adoption:

  1. It must be open to all employees. Kickbox won’t be successful if it doesn’t embrace the fact that a good idea can come from anywhere, in any department, not just marketing or product development.
  2. Employees are empowered to pursue any idea. The empowerment for all employees to explore democratises innovation and puts trust into action.
  3. Intrapreneurs must receive “no-look funding” in the amount of $1,000. This is a critical part of the “special sauce” that makes Kickbox successful. It’s a significant risk to invest in ideas blindly, but Adobe found that people spent their money much more carefully than they did using normal budgetary allocation.

Kickbox inspires profound changes in employee behavior and their relationship to the company. You can download Adobe Kickbox here to begin the full innovation process today.

I’ve worked with Adobe for many years, and they’re currently a customer of my company, Crowd Companies, an innovation council.

This was originally posted on the Virgin business blog.

Uber Drivers Will Remain Contractors After $100M Settlement


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Uber Avoids Trial, Settling With Contractors in $100M Class-Action Suit
The Guardian reports that ride-hailing service Uber will settle a class-action suit up to $100M with drivers in California and Massachusetts, skirting a trial that could have reclassified contractors as employees. The proposed settlement, awaiting judge’s approval, would allow Uber to continue classifying drivers as independent contractors, though it will make some changes to their working conditions. These include stopping driver deactivation “at will,” allowing drivers to solicit tips, and facilitating the formation of a “drivers’ association” that can play a role similar to a union. The settlement money will be apportioned to drivers based on the number of miles they have driven with an Uber passenger.

Airbnb Launches New Products to Inspire People to “Live There”
Beginning last week, Airbnb is rolling out a new app that includes features focused on creating more personalized user experiences. These features include an innovative matching system designed to understand travelers’ preferences and pair them with the homes and neighborhoods, as well as a new “Guidebooks” feature will unlock local insights, giving travelers access to millions of insider tips from Airbnb’s global community of hosts. Airbnb is also launching a brand campaign, “Live There,” designed in response to the growing dissatisfaction with standardized tourist offerings as indicated in its recent survey data. Learn more about the new app features, campaign, and survey from BusinessWire.

Tesla’s Musk Secretly Working On Self-Driving Bus to Reduce City Traffic
Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is working on a self-driving vehicle he says could replace buses and other public transport in order to reduce traffic in cities. But, according to Bloomberg, he’s keeping the development a secret. At a recent transport conference in Norway, he told the audience, “We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations. … Autonomous vehicles are key,” he said of the project, declining to disclose more. Musk in the past has mentioned building car tunnels as a fix for traffic congestion and is also exploring Hyperloop to transport people between cities via pods enclosed inside of a tube.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies™ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

Image from Pexels used under Creative Commons license.

The Collaborative Economy isn’t “bursting,” it’s maturing


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Collaborative Economy Market Contraction Signals Maturity
Salon’s recent article detailing several failed Collaborative Economy startups created quite a buzz, with many turning to Crowd Companies’ founder Jeremiah Owyang for his insights. Data shows that people are increasingly adopting sharing behaviors, and many startups are indeed profitable. The Collaborative Economy isn’t going away––but it is moving into a contraction phase as it matures. The market is changing as startups saturate identical markets and use cases, “VC welfare” strings start to tighten, and startups combine or disappear completely. This is normal, alike every tech cycle, and means that market leaders will accelerate even faster (amidst being further scrutinized to prove their profitability to investors). Soon, the Collaborative Economy will enter the next phase, normalization. Read more of Jeremiah’s take on his blog.

Uber Unveils Trip Branding and Personalization Features
Uber’s latest feature release, Trip Branding and Personalization, allows companies to specify branded, customized elements that show up on-trip to consumers using the Uber app. Developers who use deep-links or Ride Reminders can now easily re-engage users they send to the Uber app and link back to their URL of choice. This helps create a more personalized experience for customers, as Hilton showcases in its partnership that allows users to view hotel stay details and check in while en route via Uber. Companies using this feature can also give destinations context with information like menus and attractions, as well as prompt downloads of native apps to help with other tasks like airline check-in. Learn more directly from Uber.

BMW Launches New Car-Sharing Service in Seattle, “ReachNow”
The Verge reports that BMW has launched a new car-sharing service in Seattle called ReachNow that uses a fleet of 370 BMW 3 Series sedans, i3s, and Mini Coopers. The service is priced by the minute and cars can be taken one way as long as they’re left within a defined “home area.” All cars in the ReachNow fleet have a promotional rate of 41 cents per minute while driving and 30 cents per minute while parked, with pricing capped for longer trips. The service will eventually be coming to 10 U.S. cities. BMW has run several car-sharing programs in European markets, and briefly launched a pilot program in San Francisco (shut down in 2015). Ford and GM have also launched similar services, and Zipcar recently announced per-minute and one-way service in Boston and Los Angeles.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies™ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

Image used with creative commons license from Morgan Schmorgan


Crowd Companies Releases Playbook to Guide Members in Collaborative Economy Program Development

by Jeremiah Owyang, founder Crowd Companies

Crowd Companies is pleased to deliver part one of its Collaborative Economy Use Case Playbook to its members, covering primary use cases for program development within the “Brand as a Service” business model. The playbook assists council members in establishing Collaborative Economy initiatives by outlining resources required, recommended vendors, an implementation process, pitfalls to avoid, starter metrics, and more.

This is part one of three playbooks to be delivered in 2016, covering the three Collaborative Economy business models: Brand as a Service; Marketplace Model, and Enable a Platform (see below).

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Within the Brand as a Service model, Crowd Companies identifies four key use cases for Collaborative Economy programs. These are outlined within the playbook:

  • On-Demand Delivery: On-demand delivery allows customers to order physical goods for delivery to their location in less than one hour, rather than them physically coming to your business.
  • Subscription Model: Customers commit to a recurring subscription (weekly, monthly, annually) to receive consumable goods from companies, many of which are seasonal based.
  • Rental Model: With this model, companies can sell one durable good, multiple times, through renting it out to customers. The real value comes with creating an experience around the rental though, offering complimentary services, coverage, and perks – essentially creating a full-service solution model.
  • On-Demand Services: On-demand services allow customers to order services for use at their location in the near future, rather than them physically coming to your business.

You can view a preview of the Brand as a Service Playbook below, and be on the lookout for additional playbooks as they’re developed for the Marketplace Model and Enabling a Platform. If you’re interested in learning how Crowd Companies works with large corporations please request an invitation to learn more.


People Make 15% More Working in the Collaborative Economy, Says Chase


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Chase reports that Americans earn $533 extra each month from “sharing economy” work
JP Morgan Chase reports that working for Collaborative Economy companies boosts income up to 15%, averaging from $314 extra each month when renting assets on Airbnb or Ebay to $533 extra each month by performing tasks on platforms like Uber and TaskRabbit. The bank tracked anonymized current accounts of 260K people who earned money on at least one of 30 Collaborative Economy platforms between October 2012 and September 2015. Chase estimates that during the study period 10.3M people made money from the sharing economy, a 47-fold increase from three years prior. Read more about the study at Telegraph UK.

Triscuit “flash funds” 55 maker projects on Indiegogo, totaling $250K
Triscuit teamed up with Indiegogo in March to flash fund 55 artisanal food makers on the crowdfunding platform. Businesses funded by Triscuit ranged from small farms to microbrewers to food trucks, across the United States and Canada. Triscuit supports projects big and small to give makers the opportunity to bring their simple ideas into fruition. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis partnered with Triscuit to announce the news. Get additional details from PR Newswire or check out the projects funded on Indiegogo.

White House: Make <$20/hour? There’s an 83% chance you’ll lose your job to a robot
According to President Obama’s February economic report to Congress, robot automation of jobs paying less than $20 is imminent––a prediction that puts 62% of American jobs at risk. The finding comes from a critical study conducted this year by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers which examined the chances of automation threatening people’s jobs, based on their hourly wage. Results showed a 0.83 median probability of automation replacing the lowest-paid workers. To help younger job seekers with skills development (and avoiding robot overtaking), the Obama Administration launched the TechHire initiative which focuses on building expertise in IT fields, including software development, network administration, and cyber security. Find out more about the study at Tech Insider.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies™ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

 Image from Pexels used under Creative Commons license.

The NEW Honeycomb 3.0: More industries impacted by the Collaborative Economy

Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Honeycomb 3.0 Update Shows Expansion Into New Industries
Crowd Companies’ latest version of the Honeycomb framework, Honeycomb 3.0, shows how the Collaborative Economy has grown to include new applications in Reputation and Data, Worker Support, Mobility Services, and the Beauty Sector. This is a market map to help understand how your industry can benefit from the Collaborative Economy by partnering with new startups. More than 460 startups were reviewed, and 280 were chosen to be included in Honeycomb 3.0.

> Click here to register and download a hi-res version of Honeycomb 3.0! <<

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Sharing Economy Is the Most Thriving Sector in UK, While Retail On Decline
A recent report by O2 Business and the Centre of Economic and Business Research names the sharing and rental economy the top growth industry in the United Kingdom. The rise of the Collaborative Economy in the UK is driven, in part, by ride- and car-sharing startups, as well as those in home rental and sharing. Conversely, the retail trade is one of the UK’s top 10 business sectors in decline. It’s ranked sixth, alongside manufacturing, printing, and media production. Get more information on the report from Forbes.

Collaborative Economy Has Created 17 Billion-Dollar Companies
VentureBeat reports that the sharing economy has created 17 billion-dollar companies (including 10 unicorns) with 60,000 employees and $15 billion in funding. While most of the startups were founded relatively recently, many became billion-dollar companies in less than four years. Twelve of the 17 are based in the U.S., with eight coming from California. Read the full article with additional information on the 17 companies and growth of the Collaborative Economy.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies’ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.


Uber is profitable in the U.S. while bleeding billions in China


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Crowd Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Uber is profitable in the U.S. while bleeding billions in China
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick tells BetaKit that the company is officially profitable in the U.S., though it’s losing more than $1 billion per year in China. He’s further quoted, “We have a fierce competitor that’s unprofitable in every city they exist in, but they’re buying up market share. I prefer building rather than fundraising. But, if I don’t participate in the fundraising bonanza, I’ll get squeezed out by others buying market share.” The heavy competition in the ridesharing industry abroad signals that this global market still has room for growth, especially among country-specific companies with niche market expertise. Uber’s U.S. profitability announcement is especially interesting as Reuters predicts the company could go public as soon as 2016.

Retired GM exec warns insurance industry that driverless cars could be its demise
As autonomous vehicles become mainstream, human-error accidents will dissipate, and the insurance industry will feel the impact. This prediction comes from Lawrence Burns, a retired GM executive and professor who advises Allstate, Google, and other companies on mobility issues. There will be liability, he opines at the Chicago Booth School of Business, though most traffic safety issues will be resolved. Opportunities will be abound for insurance companies who wish to weather the disruption, from using connectivity to gather driver data to reconfiguring rate structures and coverage packages. Additional pivots will need consideration though as drivers are completely eliminated and insurance could rest with the vehicles and passengers instead.

Blockchain “smart contracts” will bypass the need for backchannel auditing
Although blockchain technology is in early development, experts say it’s poised to transform global commerce, reports Singularity Hub. This is in large part due to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that are built on the platform. Managing partner of Blockchain Capital Brock Pierce has reviewed hundreds of early stage companies in the space and has found the vision of “smart contracts” most promising and poised to disrupt many areas of financial and legal services. According to Singularity Hub, Smart contracts are built on the blockchain and are programmed to self-execute, allowing the rendering of static units of value (ie. dollar bills and physical contracts) into more autonomous systems. This would bypass the need for complicated ledgers, financial back offices, and expensive legal systems and auditors to ensure duplicate transactions and illegal retaining of funds doesn’t occur.

We want to hear from you! What are the market impacts are of this week’s news stories? Email Crowd Companies’ Founder Jeremiah Owyang directly to share your thoughts.

Image from Pexels used under Creative Commons license.


How the Autonomous World is shifting the Future of Work

This is a reprint of an interview written by Gloria Lombardi, who’s captured the essence of how the Autonomous World will impact business models and the future of work, the original article is here

Could you imagine having a robot as a colleague? The idea may seem rather fanciful. But, according to founder of Crowd Companies Jeremiah Owyang(pictured right), we are witnessing a rise of the Autonomous World, which he defines as: “The future state when intelligent technology systems, operating without human participation, enable new business models in a more efficient society.

The Autonomous World is driven by the digital world. “It relies on the merger of robots and The Internet of Things (IoT),” clarifies Owyang. It is already creating new ways of doing business. “It is also changing the Collaborative Economy in different ways.”

The future of work

robot3The effects of the Autonomous World on the future of work will be both good and bad, Owyang says. On the positive side, workers will rely on robots to get their work done. “The management as well as other employees will use machines and even artificial intelligence systems to fulfil their tasks.”

But, on the downside, workers themselves maybe displaced. “They may find out that they no longer have a job: the robots are doing it for them.”

In order to be part of the workforce of the future people will need to develop new skills to manage technological advancements. “They need to prepare now for the changes that will come when computers are able to complete some tasks better and cheaper than them.”

However, many people are still either unaware that the move is about to happen. “Or they are trying to resist it.” Yet, the shift is happening. And, “it will not be stopped.”

Not surprisingly, there is a lot of concern about the rights of workers. Owyang is seeing the rise of the Universal Basic Income. “It is a form of socialism where common resources and a basic income is provided to all workers.” Even if people are not currently working, they will be guaranteed a wage. “The aim is to have no one ending up starving or becoming homeless.”

The worker-machine relationship in the workplace

robotWill the Autonomous World emulate humans? No. Robots will behave differently from people. “They are going to be faster and complete transactions quickly. They will be like sub-workers or sub-serving workers.”

Obviously, autonomous machines are not social creatures like humans are. Yet, they will be able to improve communications. “For example, they will give workers essential information on emerging situations immediately at the time they occur. They will collect data, analyse it and and produce important alerts or notifications for people to access as soon as a set of circumstances change.”

And, these technologies will certainly extend the idea of the workplace. It is worth mentioning the role of self-driving cars. With the vehicle driving itself people will be able to work while commuting. “The car will start looking like an office in its own right: WiFi, large screens, and the opportunity to connect various devices to work in comfort.”

Autonomous vehicles will also function as a sort of logistics partners. “If someone needs a package to be delivered to the office, they can use those technologies to quickly send them the material. For workers, that means that they can get things on demand.” And, the supply chain itself will be faster thanks to the technology.

The impact

cc3The impact on society is and will be big. Good examples come from ride-sharing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Didi Kuaidi, which are preparing to launch their own self-driving cars. “Uber is already building the technology in its vehicles.” Meanwhile, car manufacturers such as Volvo, Ford, Mercedes and Yamaha are working on producing their own self-driving transport. And, the industry impact has continuing effects. “These firms are opening laboratories and innovation centres in Silicon Valley as they, too, strive to integrate software with their products.”

Additionally, new collaborative partnerships are developing. For example, Lyft, which is the second largest ride-sharing start-up in the United States, has partnered with General Motors: “Together they will be launching self-driving cars soon.”

The role of mobile in an Autonomous World

selfdrivingThe Autonomous World is intrinsically and entirely linked with the mobile experience. “It is summoned by mobile.” For example, people will organise their rides through the apps on their devices. The self-driving car will go to their house and take them wherever they need to go.

Mobility will also enable WiFi access: mobile devices will be on a very fast connection inside the car. “In some respect, the self-driving vehicles themselves will be like smartphones.”

And, a new form of mobile apps will emerge. “The current way of downloading and installing applications as well as logging in, is old and antiquated. It will not sustain in the long run.” In the future, people will not need to download the app: “It will be instantly available on the phone.”

And, it will provide richer experiences than today’s apps are offering. Yet, “it will take some time before we reach that point.”

Nurturing corporate culture and human talent

robot-507811_960_720Employees will always be seen as an important asset. But, the idea of talent will change in an Autonomous World. “Many companies are already outsourcing high expertise and skills from the freelancer world. They are already relying on the on-demand workers.” And, leaders must carefully take them into account. “They must prepare and nurture an internal culture that considers these individuals.”

Institutional knowledge is going to be critical too. “Companies have to ensure that the knowledge of their organisation is captured and retained.”

But, that is important anyway. “Whether or not the business has engaged with freelancers or used any machine that could potentially replace humans.”

Fascinating or frightening depending on how it is seen, the Autonomous World is shifting the future of work. “And companies must prepare for it.”

Gloria-pic-150x150Gloria Lombardi

Gloria is a journalist, blogger and author who researches, writes, and publishes content on internal communications, the future of work, innovation, technology, social media, and digital transformation. She interviews international companies and professionals in the field to produce case studies, white papers, products, events and book reviews, and report from global internal communications and technology conferences.
Follow her on Twitter at @LOMBARDI_GLORIA

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