Note : j'ai écrit ce billet en anglais dans le cadre d'un exercice. Je le publie tel quel.

A few days ago, I discovered an interesting conference, brewing on the internet : perhaps you are one of the lucky guys (or girls) who will attend Going Solo in Lausanne, May 16th ? There's a good buzz regarding the conf', its organizer (Stephanie Booth) and the topics it will cover, even if the attending price is 375€ !

It seems that going solo and freelancers are up to date. So maybe you'll be interested in Here comes everybody, by Clay Shirky. Francis Pisani, the techy blogger at Le Monde french newspaper, deals with it on Transnet. Here is a quick summary of his thoughts.

If the global market is as well organized and as perfect as they say, why do we need companies ? If competition rules are so clear, why would'nt people be able to work together without the constraints of a firm (hierarchy, management, etc.) ?

Shirky explains why economy needed companies to stay organized, until the internet. And then he explains how internet is slowly and silently beating this model down.

We've already seen plenty of cases of people gathering for an issue (political, environnemental, human rights, consummer issues...) through the network. They don't know each other before, they gather as fast as bits run through wires, work together for a cause, and then break up when their goal is reached.

Why couldn't it go that way for work. A mission or a goal appears (a business opportunity, a subcontract order from a firm), freelancers bring the right competences together, do the job, and then desintegrate the working group to work with other people on other issues.

Francis Pisani goes further, with the open-source software example: people who work on Linux, Firefox or Wikipedia are succeeding because they accept failure. They can afford to try some things, a complicated mission or a hard job, without a huge organisation and plans. If they fail, they will learn from their failure, and they'll become more efficient. A company can't afford to take such risks, or won't dare, because it takes time and ressources.

Let's bet freelancers' way of working is the right model to face new business challenges (speed, technology, world-wide...) and to succeed in our flat world.

Here comes everybody, by Clay Shirky, and Francis Pisani posts about it, a must-read!