This is MISSION, a weekly newsletter for people who want to ditch tired best practices and find a better way to build transformative products and companies. We cover the tech leaders who don’t just point out what’s wrong with the world, they build something different. Learn more at A.Team.
FUTURE OF WORK
Most Business Problems Are Talent Problems in Disguise
Ever get the feeling that the problem you’re trying to solve isn’t the actual problem?
“The failed feature, chaotic launch, and sub-optimal strategy may produce plenty of collateral – documents and decks, spreadsheets and marketing plans – but they are ultimately reducible to humans. To abstract, immaterial things like intelligence, empathy, savvy, and energy – and how those traits interact inside and across people. In other words, these problems can be traced to talent, or its absence.”
That’s from Mario Gabriele, who wrote a deep dive on A.Team this week in The Generalist—one of the most influential newsletters among founders and investors in tech.
The article goes deep into our origin story, the concept of fractional teams, and the new way we’re helping companies build products. But hidden in there is this quietly important idea: “The majority of business problems are talent problems in disguise.”
These days, to paraphrase Marc Andreeseen, every company is a software company. The challenge for the Fortune 500 is that many of the most talented software engineers aren’t dying to work at massive enterprises. Post-layoffs they’re not even that interested in big tech. More and more are turning to independent work, freelancing, and consulting. Lots of them end up posting profiles on talent marketplaces.
The thing is, most freelancing marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork don’t offer transformative, game-changing projects for these folks to work on. It’s mostly lower-hanging fruit. That’s where A.Team comes in.
“Though it might be tempting to compare A.Team to Fiverr, given both are talent marketplaces,” Gabriele wrote, “[A.Team] is more similar to a blue-chip management consulting firm like McKinsey. A.Team doesn’t care about winning low-value logo design or copywriting – it wants to help the biggest companies in the world solve their hardest problems. Unlike a consultancy, A.Team does that by building rather than advising.”
By creating a builder-friendly environment, A.Team attracts top software talent. Then we deploy them in teams to take on the kind of large, sticky problems that actually challenge them, without ever having to sign a W-2.
“The company has created a platform powerful enough to solve the kind of difficult problems McKinsey advised on, but is actually equipped to build solutions,” Gabriele wrote. “It makes the best of Silicon Valley – the energy, experimentation, iteration, and invention – accessible to the rest of the corporate world.”
Taking the best talent from tech and applying it to the problems that even McKinsey can’t solve—that’s what we’re trying to do.
CHART OF THE WEEK
Increasing Number of Americans Choosing to Work Part-Time
Mission contributor and Part-Time Tech author Ernie Park went on Good Morning America to talk about the latest data from the Labor Department which shows that the number of part-time workers in the U.S. increased by 1.2 million in January and December compared to the two prior months.
What’s different this time is that most of that increase was driven by choice, not by the inability to find work or out of economic necessity.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, an increasing number of Americans are turning to part-time work as a solution for exhaustion and burnout.
Park left full-time work in tech to work part time and start his own farm. “For me my identity was always in my faith, being a dad, being a member of the community,” Park told GMA. “I’ll never go back to a full-time job again.”
This week Park hosted A.Team CEO Raphael Ouzan on his Part-Time Tech podcast to talk about how the nature of work is changing and how companies can build adaptable workforces for uncertain economic times.
- The Future of Work Isn't Just Remote, It's Part-Time
- Why Fractional Teams Are the Secret to Hiring in 2023