In 2004 when Chris Anderson released “The Long Tail,” the world was suddenly awakened to the potential for niche markets that appeal to an increasingly diverse consumer marketplace.
In business terms, it gave rise to the notion of online businesses selling relatively small quantities of unique products, yet generating enough income for a person to live without a job.
In 2007, Tim Ferriss pushed this idea several steps further in his book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” Not only can people create their own niche businesses, but they can build it up to something quite profitable and start regaining their freedom.
In 2008, I wrote an article on “The Empire of One” about one-person enterprises that were being enabled by the rapidly evolving communication structure inside the Internet.
In 2009, writer Tina Brown coined the term “The Gig Economy” as she noticed a growing number of young people (one third of her survey group) were working multiple jobs and as freelancers.
Combining the growing freelance mentality of young people with the relative ease of launching a niche online business and we have an explosive trend driving us towards a future of “workerless businesses.”