The End of Jobs w/ Jeff Wald


Like Harvard MBAs and Ivy League pedigrees? How about best-selling books written by industry entrepreneurs?

Well, you're in luck, as Jeff Wald, author of The End of Jobs, comes on the podcast and chats the history of his company WorkMarket (sold to ADP), whether or not the iPhone could've been built by a remote team and whether or not college is bologna for high school grads. And that's just the first 10 mins. Buckle up for this no-holds interview powered by our friends at NEXXT!


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is your bridge to the disability community, delivering custom solutions in outreach, recruiting, talent management and compliance.


INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.


Joel (24s):

What's up everybody. It's your favorite podcast? You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. I'm your host. Joel Cheeseman joined as always by my partner in arms, Chad.


Chad (34s):

What's Up?


Joel (35s):

So today we are super excited to welcome Jeff Wald to the show. Jeff is an entrepreneur best-selling author, a keynote speaker and author of a new book, the The End of Jobs: The Rise of On-Demand Workers and Agile Corporations. That's a mouthful, but he's a Harvard MBA so what else would you expect? He's also notably the co-founder of Work Market, which was acquired by ADP and we'll get into that into the show. Jeff welcome. What did I miss that you want our listeners to know?


Jeff (1m 7s):

Well, first off, unbelievably excited to be here and very excited for this conversation. The only other thing I would say is, you know, look, Work Market was a great outcome and it was a very successful outcome, but this is my fourth startup and the first one failed miserably and bankrupted me. And that's a part of the startup process that a lot of people don't talk about a lot.


Joel (1m 30s):

You sound like a couple of my friends who have been married like two or three times.


Jeff (1m 34s):

I've been married zero times. I haven't failed on that one yet, but


Chad (1m 41s):

Usually obviously we see a history of founders, serial founders. Let's say that's pretty much how it goes.


Joel (1m 50s):

Why get married when you can start companies?


Chad (1m 54s):

Well that when there's a question too, I mean, overall, when you're, you're talking to 25 year olds today who were like, man, I want to be an entrepreneur so bad. I mean, you've got to put your life, your soul. I mean, everything into that startup, what do you tell them? Hey, if you want a life outside of whatever this concept is, don't do it. I mean, what, what's your recommendation? What's your advice to a 25-30 year old?


Jeff (2m 19s):

Well, I will generally tell people you need to be mentally, physically and financially ready, right? Financially is in as much as you may not have an income for a couple of years. And you know, when you run out of cash kind of game over. Cash is, is oxygen in startup land. Physically this is 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Yeah. And if you're not ready for this, if you're not ready to not be able to work out, not be able to see your family, not be able to see your friends and not be able to have a relationship. Like, look, I'm not saying you, can't just, you're going to decrease the probability of success. And the same thing is true about mentally.


Jeff (2m 59s):

If you're mentally prepared for this up and down, then, you know, again, you're just decreasing your probability of success.


Chad (3m 8s):

Well, and also be ready to go back to mom's basement, right? I mean, you've gotta be mentally prepared for that. And that's something you had to do.


Jeff (3m 17s):

Yeah, it is very true. And when I first, when the first startup I had failed, I got the call from mom, do you need to move back home? And I was like, wow, this is fucking, this is, this is bad. And I had luckily already paid my rent that month. And I said, all right, I've got 30 days, mom and 30 days, I have no choice.


Chad (3m 37s):

Wow.


Joel (3m 38s):

You're a highly educated guy. When did you think about, I'm just gonna go work for Goldman Sachs or I'm just going to go work for Microsoft. Like, are you just sickened with the entrepreneurial bug or did that thought ever cross your mind? Cause I think for a lot of young people, the best route is like go work at a big brand for a few years and get your feet wet.


Jeff (3m 59s):

Look, my first job was working for JP Morgan. I spent seven years as an M&A banker at JP Morgan, and it's a great place to start. And it's something I talk about with a lot of people as they talk about what is my next step or what should I start with? Look, whether it's the brand to your point and the brand will carry you for the rest of your career, but the network you build and learning the process and the work ethic and all these other things, it is a gift to be able to work in one of those companies, but it's not an entrepreneurial gift. It's a foundational gift to take the next step up.


Joel (4m 39s):

Well, let's get into Work Market cause I think it's the most relevant for our audience. Talk about the genesis, the journey, and then I guess the eventual sale to ADP.


Jeff (4m 48s):

So started the company in June of 2010, over the course of about six or seven years, we raised about 60 million from Union Square Ventures, SoftBank and a few others. And you know, our friends at ADP kind of reached out. I actually reached out, I should say to ADP Ventures and those people started coming in and getting a view of a Work Market and asking about the future of work. And I would always give them an overview and they would always say, oh, can we come back with more people and more people? And this went on for about a year and you know, one of the guys called up and said, Hey, can I come down? They're going to be 30 of us from ADP to come down and you know, look, they had been there maybe 15 times over the course of a year with me constantly giving them an update on Work Market and what we were doing and giving my talk on the future of work.


Jeff (5m 41s):

And when they said, Hey, can we come with 30 people? There was something about that, guys. I just was like, "What?" And I said to the guys like, you know what, no, no, you can't come. It's like, what, what do you mean? We can't come? I was like, you know what? I'm not your monkey. I don't dance. I can't, I'm not here to dance anytime you want to hear about the future of work. So you guys can go fuck yourself. I'm out like Work Market. What does Work Market get from this? And so then there was dead silence. This dude was just completely Flomaxed. I just told him to fuck himself. And he, you know, it was a big pause. He's like, well, you know, we want to talk about maybe buying Work Market. I was like, oh, well, come on down. I'll dance any way you want.


Chad (6m 22s):

Why didn't you lead with that asshole?


Jeff (6m 24s):

Buy the company, whatever you need. And so that led to a process and we hired a banker and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And ADP was just such a great, great purchaser. I mean, they don't buy a lot of companies and we were so fortunate. I was so fortunate. Every day I still get on my knees and you know, thank the big man upstairs for everything we get.


Joel (6m 48s):

How long were you an employee there? How long were you under contract? Or how long did you stick around? It's still on your LinkedIn profile I think that you're still involved, but yeah.


Jeff (6m 56s):

It is. I remain involved, but you know, a few days before the acquisition closed, I got somebody in by Carlos Rodriguez who is the CEO of ADP and a nicer, smarter guy you will just never find. I mean, what an amazing human and he's like, Jeff, I want you to help transform ADP and you know, get people more entrepreneurial. I don't want ADP to turn Work Market into, you know, a standard ADP thing. You know, I don't want to change you. I looked at him. I'm like, Carlos, there is no danger that ADP is going to change me. He's like good, man I want you to come in and break stuff. I was like, Carlos, I broke five things on the way in here. And he like, literally looks in the hallway.


Jeff (7m 36s):

I was like, not literally. He's like, oh, okay, good, good, good. He said, look, I need you to stay for three years. I said, Carlos, I can't, I can't stay for three years, that's too much. I'll give you two years. And he said, look, give me two and a half. I said, all right. So we shook hands. He said, all right, I'll get the lawyers. I'm like, you don't need lawyers. I just gave you my word and I shook your hand. So come hell or high water. I will be here for two and a half years. And over that two and a half year period, there was many, many time where I would storm out of meetings, get very frustrated and people would say, oh my God, are you going to quit? I would say, look, I have said, I can't quit. You can fire me anytime you want, but I will not quit.


Jeff (8m 18s):

And so my two and a half years was up and then two and a half years, and one day I said hugs and kisses to everybody, but I'm out. And so now I am just an advisor to ADP on the future of work.


Chad (8m 30s):

So overall funding wise, you guys, we took around 60 million. Was that, is that correct?


Jeff (8m 36s):

That is correct.


Chad (8m 36s):

Okay. And the exit, the exit was about 135 million, a hundred and thirty-five million. Okay. So the exit itself has to be bittersweet. It's gotta be exciting, but also this is your baby. So if you could also talk about, you know, this was your baby and you were handing it over to now not handing it, getting paid to hand it over to ADP, and then you have to spend two and a half years. So to all the other founders that are out there, talk about that bittersweet moment and also kind of like the journey in becoming an ADPer, and watching what happens to Work Market.


Jeff (9m 15s):

Well, I'll tell you this, the day the acquisition was announced, ADP number of executives came in and they had video cameras. They had an entire Avi systems set up. They were broadcasting it. We had offices in multiple parts of the country in multiple countries. The Work Market team had offices and you know, our whole team was, they were shocked. And the initial reaction is ADP. Who the fuck? I don't want to work for ADP. Why do I want to work for some old school payroll company? And my team was very vocal. And so I stood up and I just said, look, I know a lot of you are thinking, I don't want to work here. And you're planning on leaving and I'll tell you now, I think it's a mistake. And my team always knew that anytime anybody wanted to go, I would help them find a job anywhere else.


Jeff (9m 58s):

Like the only way you're going to upset me is if you just say, Hey, I'm giving my two weeks notice, I already found another job. Come and say, Hey, my time is up. I feel like I need a new challenge and I'll help you find a job somewhere or we'll help change your job within Work Market. And so I just said, look, guys, I get it. But I'm telling you right now, you are having a very rare opportunity to watch as one of the most well-run companies on the planet. Fixes our shit because as hard as we worked and as all innovative and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.


Chad (10m 28s):

Right?


Jeff (10m 29s):

I mean, this thing was held together with bubblegum and duct tape. And so having the ADP team come in, and whether it's from an architecture standpoint, a code standpoint, a process standpoint, a people standpoint, they helped us build our progress, our process, and our tech to really scale. And that is a unique opportunity. Yeah. So if all of you really want to advance your careers, you should be here for at least a year, maybe two, and then go to another startup and say, Hey, look, I helped build a company. And then I went to large well-run company and I learned how to build really correct for scale. And now I want to go back to the beginning and build it, right.


Jeff (11m 10s):

That's a great process. And so our attrition actually went to very, very low. During that time.


Chad (11m 16s):

So ADP is a monstrous company. It is humongous, right? So that the culture is different. All of that, but also the I'm sure. I guarantee you, they went through the strategy sessions on, should we build or buy these guys? And we're seeing a ton of companies today take a bunch of money, which pretty much limits that decision overall, what do you think was integral for Work Market to actually be acquired versus passed on? Because the ADP probably could have built it for less?


Jeff (11m 53s):

Well, here's the thing. You are a hundred percent correct on two very important things. One is the build versus buying. That's always going to be a conversation. And if you are building something so quickly and the tech is not so unique, then the notion of kind of build it yourself with such a huge installed base and all these other things, very, very powerful. And the build is going to become more important, which is why ADP doesn't buy that many companies. Neither does Workday. Neither does SAP.


Chad (12m 22s):

Yeah.


Jeff (12m 22s):

Neither does Oracle. Quite frankly, the big HCM players are not big acquirers. The other part of that are the valuations going on and start up plan right now. Look, I'm a big angel investor. And as of right now, I'm a genius apparently. I mean, I've put money into these companies at five, $6 million evaluations. Now they're raising money at $200 million valuations. I'm like, that's amazing. But the odds of somebody that is doing 4 million in revenue to have a company like a ADP or Workday or blah, blah, blah, by you for 200 million plus, like almost zero, just almost zero.


Chad (12m 57s):

Yeah.


Jeff (12m 57s):

The thing at Work Market that works so well is look, we were seven and a half years old. We had built a very, very complex piece of enterprise software. So the build on its own was incredibly incredibly complex and it was outside the scope of what ADP does every single day. ADP is one of the, obviously the largest payroll companies in the planet, which everybody knows people don't appreciate. They're also one of the largest, if not the largest HCM software player, but that software is entirely focused on the full-time employee spectrum. And we were focused on the on-demand. So this was a complete and total bolt-on for them and entirely new. But that being said, there were people, very senior people that post the acquisition still would, you know, would be like, oh, Hey, you're Jeff Wald.


Jeff (13m 45s):

I really was voting. I was really arguing against the Work Market acquisition. I thought we should build it ourselves. And I'd be like, oh, okay. What the fuck was the point of you saying that to me? Why do I, well, I just think you should know it. I'm like, all right, well, good luck, fuck yourself. And I would walk away. I'm like, why would you tell me that? I don't give a shit didn't want to buy us, like, okay, but you did. We're on the same team now.


Joel (14m 11s):

So for a lot of listeners that here what Work Market does, and I guess here freelance sort of platform, they think of Upwork and Fiverr. And these are companies that's sort of started when you guys started. I mean, where Upwork was E-Lance and, but this was sort of a trend that was starting for the listeners that need to know how they're different or were Work Market fits in differently to the freelance platform. How would you answer that question? You're not Upwork, right? You're something different.


Jeff (14m 38s):

We're not, I would draw a distinction between a platform and a marketplace. Upwork is the largest marketplace. And quite frankly, you guys, there are probably 300 different marketplaces out there right now. Marketplace for plumbers. Marketplace for the nurses. Marketplace for translation. Markets, markets, markets. And they're large, and they're growing and they're doing well, a few of them. The platforms are enterprise software that help you scale a process. They help you organize and manage and pay. And so Work Market has a marketplace, but it is a tiny feature of an entire suite of features that allow you to efficiently and compliantly engage a freelance population.


Jeff (15m 26s):

So most of our customers come on and they have their own group of freelancers. They just need to manage it efficiently and manage the compliance.


Joel (15m 35s):

I want to jump to the book, the End of Jobs that came out about a year ago, obviously mostly written, if not all written pre-pandemic, what was the inspiration for the book? What might have changed if you had written it post-pandemic? Just talk about that.


Jeff (15m 51s):

Well, the inspiration for the book was frustration. You know, I had the pleasure of being invited to all these different conferences and panels, and you'd hear all these people that would talk about the future of work. And a lot of people would just talk. And this is, I think, as a general problem in society right now, it's very easy to say something controversial to be heard, even though it is very unlikely, what you're saying has any chance of coming true. Right, you're saying something simplistic and this and that. I would just get very frustrated when I went to the do these different things and I thought, look, if you're going to make predictions on the future of work, you need to utilize the evidence we have. And those evidence are broken into three buckets.


Jeff (16m 33s):

One is what is the history of work and teach us? What is the data in the world of work teach us? And what a companies actually do when they're engaging in doing labor force planning? So if we can utilize history data and how companies actually engaged labor, we have a much higher probability of not only being correct, but we certainly have something that is logical, reasonable and defensible. And so that was what the book intends, it tries to do.


Joel (16m 58s):

Do you think it would have been different post-pandemic or that the everything you said in the book still relevant after COVID.


Jeff (17m 4s):

The book officially came out in June of 2020, and so clearly in May, I was like, oh shit, should we rewrite some stuff? And the publisher said, look, we can do whatever you want. It's your book. But if you pull it back, we're not going to be able to launch the book for another six months, just cause you're going to start from the beginning. You've got to go back into the queue and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I was like, no, no, no, no, no, no. I don't know if you guys have heard this from other authors, but writing a book sucks. It's just a very difficult, long arduous process. And it gets very frustrating by the end. And I just was like, no, I'm not rewriting anything. Just, just put it out.


Jeff (17m 44s):

I'm done. So would I have different points of view? Of course. Of course there are different things, but the main points about history, data and how companies engage workers, that doesn't change. And so would I have focused a little bit more on remote work? Absolutely. But I focused a little bit more on a few other minor points, yes. But the major themes they're immutable to these, these are things that just have been true for hundreds of years and a pandemic is not a unique thing in the human experience.


Joel (18m 17s):

Gotcha.


Chad (18m 17s):

So talk about technology. So the industrial revolution moved at a much faster pace than we were used to as humans, no question. But we're going at warp speed. We past Mach speed. We're going at warp speed now.


Joel (18m 33s):

Ludicrous speed.


Chad (18m 35s):

Are we still able to use the lessons of the past with the speed that we're actually finding every single day with the, you know, the speed that technology moves?


Jeff (18m 49s):

There is no question that the movements are happening at a much quicker pace. They're happening at a much more global pace. And they're impacting more industries than the previous industrial revolutions we have dealt with as companies, workers in society. That just simply means we have to do these things quicker, which means the adjustment periods will be picked quicker and the people getting left behind need to be retrained quicker.


Chad (19m 14s):

Yes.


Jeff (19m 14s):

And so I don't have any fear about new technologies because we've gone through this change hundreds of times. And we generally go through it with the freak out phase where people go, oh my God, all the jobs that are going to go. And then we get to the point where, or at all the jobs aren't going to go, but some jobs really do go. We have some economic and social dislocation. And then we get to the adoption phase where the new technologies are fully adopted and people have retrained. And that used to take 50 years. Now it's going to take 15, maybe 20, but the outcome will still be the same. Most likely.


Nexxt PROMO (19m 54s):

We'll get back to the interview in a minute. But first we have a question for Andy Katz, COO of Nexxt Andy, if a company wants to actually come to Nexxt and utilize your database and target texting candidates, I mean, how does that actually work? Right? So we have the software to provided two different ways. If an employer has their own database of opted in text messages, whether it's through their ATS, we can text on their behalf, or we have over eight and a half million users that have opted into our text messaging at this point. So we can use our own database. We could dissect it by obviously by geography, by function, any which way some in sometimes we'll even parse the resumes of the opted in people to target certifications.


Nexxt PROMO (20m 38s):

So we really can dive really deep if they want to hone in on, you know, just give me the best hundred candidates that I want to text message with and have a conversation back and forth with versus going and saying, I need 30,000 retail people across the country. And that's more of a, you know, yes, no text messaging back and apply. For more information, go to hiring.nexxt.com. Remember that's Next with the double X, not the triple X hiring.nexxt.com


Chad (21m 16s):

So do you think that with the pandemic, we've actually seen the industry adopt much faster because they had to/ We were hearing that all of these different jobs that could not be done remotely are now being done remote, right? So they had to adopt technology. They had to become more agile. So from that standpoint, what is, what do you think the future looks like? Do you think that we just snap back into our, you know, like 1950s, you gotta be onsite from nine to five workplace, or do you see more of a hybrid type of a movement?


Jeff (21m 49s):

So very, very clearly even before the pandemic, we were moving away from that one office, one manager nine to five job, moving towards the fluid team-based work from anywhere, always on job. That is the main thesis of the book. When I say the end of jobs, it's not the end of the number of jobs. It is that nine to five, one office, one boss job, moving to fluid team-based work from anywhere, always on.


Chad (22m 15s):

Right.


Jeff (22m 15s):

But here's something that's super important for listeners to understand when you think about the future of work. Simple conclusions are almost always wrong. This whole notion of, oh, this new tech exists therefore that job goes, almost never happens that way. It may happen over time, but anytime people say, oh, you know, autonomous vehicles are coming, all professional drivers are going to go. And you're like, no, that's just, that's not the way it's going to happen. Might that be the case 30 years from now? Sure, sure. But I will tell you this. When you think about truck drivers in the United States, there are 3 million professional truck drivers in the United States of America. They're about a hundred thousand job openings in that space that have been open for quite some time.


Jeff (22m 57s):

Right? We have a skills gap. People are, don't want to be truck drivers, right? One of the reasons they don't want to be truck drivers is cause people say, oh my God, that job is going to go away. It is not going to go away, for like 20 years, maybe 30, but people make this conclusion, autonomous vehicles are coming. Truck drivers are going to be out of work, not the case.


Joel (23m 15s):

When you heard Jamie Diamond at JP Morgan and some of the other Wall Street bankers, financial entities say, get your ass back to work. What goes through your mind? Do you think you're totally tone deaf? Or do you think, yeah, you can do that because of your industry.


Jeff (23m 31s):

Well it highlights a very important point, which is you can't paint everything with a broad brush. So for some industries, for some job functions, for some companies sure. Fully distributed, fully remote. Great. Although keep in mind, most people that work remote work within a commutable distance of the office and still go in every now and again. For different companies and different job functions in different industries, there's a different balance of hybrid. And so, yes, we need some people to go back to the office, for some companies, they will do that. They will face some sort of backlash from their people. And then we'll see where everything plays out. I don't think even for the JP Morgans and the Citi Groups and the Goldman Sachs that have made the statements, especially here in New York City that, Hey, we want you to come back there, I don't believe they're saying you need to come back nine to five, five days a week.


Jeff (24m 23s):

They're saying we need you back. And then let's figure out what flexibility looks like for you.


Joel (24m 29s):

Gotcha. So settle an argument that Chad and I have been having, I won't say who thinks what, and I'll let you sorta be the tie breaker. Could the iPhone have been created with a remote workforce?


Jeff (24m 41s):

I would say no.


Joel (24m 43s):

Why?


Jeff (24m 43s):

I would say it's highly unlikely. I think when you talk about innovation and all of the things necessary to have breakthroughs, there are reasons we still have a lot of those things happen. Historically they've all basically happened when people get together and can collaborate and iterate and move things forward. And so things that tend to be done in a distributed way are processes that are in steady state versus different innovative points. Innovative points tend to require a lot of collaboration. We have not seen a lot of great collaboration in the knowledge economy, let alone in the product economy in terms of things that need to get manufactured.


Joel (25m 24s):

So I won't say who you sided with, but good answer. Good answer, Jeff. You talk about, you talk about three trends that I guess automation and technology typically create with economies. Number one is more jobs are created, even though there's a job destruction, inevitably the net gain is more jobs. Number two, as you say, the standard of living improves or increases. And number three, talk about fewer hours are actually worked.


Jeff (25m 55s):

Correct.


Joel (25m 55s):

And when I heard that, I thought, my God, the pandemic is totally putting that trend on hyper-speed because we're talking about higher wages. We're talking about, you know, being more flexible in terms of how many hours you work. Is that your take as well, or is that sort of a head fake in terms of the bigger trend with automation and AI?


Jeff (26m 16s):

You're certainly correct that those three things: ever more jobs being created, higher standards of living and people working fewer hours are very clear, almost uninterrupted trends over the last 200 years in the world of work. And I don't have anything that would tell me from a data standpoint that there's going to be a sudden interruption of those trends, but keep in mind, these are almost uninterrupted trends. In 2020, we did not create jobs, right? Jobs were lost and we're still below total employment that we had pre-pandemic in the United States. And it'll take time, to get that back. Yep. So what I would say though, when I think about the impact of the pandemic is we just don't know yet.


Jeff (26m 59s):

We know this tech celebration that occurred and whether it's digital work or digital currencies or digital commerce, massive movements during the pandemic and the tech celebration will be faced with the backlash, a snapback, if you will. And we don't know where that snapback it's we know that people will do more e-commerce than they did in 2019, but they're clearly not going to do as much as they were doing in 2020 when stores weren't open. So where is it going to play out? We don't know. And so until the data settles, it is very difficult to draw conclusions. And I would caution people from drawing too many conclusions. There's a huge difference between someone going back to the office three days a week or two days a week.


Jeff (27m 41s):

If you go in two days a week, you have a different tax nexus, you have a different infrastructure need. If you go on three days a week, your tax nexus can be in that office and you probably need a desk in that office versus hotel desking. So just that simple distinction between, are we going to settle a two days or three days in certain companies in certain industries and certain job functions makes a huge difference. And we don't know which is which yet.


Chad (28m 4s):

So here in the lovely United States of America, we have at least, I mean, for probably a century really focused on living to work, right instead of working to live. All of this with the pandemic and obviously the culture shift definitely happened at least we felt some companies have that during the last year. Do you think that will continue and we will become more of a European like society where we are more focused on life than work or do you think this was just a blip in the radar and America's going to continue chugging along and greed is good?


Jeff (28m 45s):

Well, look, the short answer to that is we just don't know. There's a lot in that question though, Chad, like, you know, what kind of society do we want? Will the business round table, the group of the largest CEOs and companies in America that said we're no longer focused on shareholder capitalism, we're going to switch to stakeholder capitalism. We'll see if that's true.


Chad (29m 5s):

Right.


Jeff (29m 5s):

A lot of people were able to take a different perspective on life and maybe want to change. We don't know. I will tell you that the American version of capitalism has upsides and downsides to it. There are trade offs and we, as a society need to decide what kind of capitalism we want, what kind of tax system we want, what kind of social safety net we want. And those are complicated issues that I don't pretend we're having effective conversations on now on compromise in our political process. But I would say that some evolution of the American system of capitalism, history would tell us, we will see.


Jeff (29m 46s):

We will see a rise of whether it's worker wages or workers uniting in a common cause not necessarily in the union movement. The union may well know, may not recover, but we will see a rise in regulation. And we will see a rise in the social safety net is what history would tell us. Those are the counterbalancing forces that generally follow periods of unrestrained capitalism that occur because of the technological breakthroughs that lead to industrial revolutions. And whether or not that's a good thing or a bad thing we can debate and discuss but that is what history would tell us, we are on the cusp of seeing


Joel (30m 21s):

You mentioned that you've never been married so I'm going to assume that you don't have any kids or at least none that you know about. Chad and I both have done our fair share of breeding. And college is always something that we talk about on the show in terms of how relevant is it, where is it going? You've got quite a few impressive degrees that include the Ivy league, where are you on, on college and the importance of a degree as we go into the future? And we see more companies giving, you know, certificates and that kind of education, where are you on that?


Jeff (30m 53s):

So, you know, our old friend, Clay Christianson who passed a little bit ago, made a prediction that half the universities will go out of business in the next 20 years. And they'll go out of business because their business model is fundamentally flawed for a host of reasons. I think about one of the contributors to my book, who is one of the largest investors in the education space, Dan Bianco with the Chee Partners. And he put forward a interesting statistic, which is 96% of college administrators believe they're training their students for the workforce. And 94% of hiring managers think that people come in incapable of starting the job and they need to be trained. And so just as huge mismatch going on today, I think about the skills that are necessary.


Jeff (31m 38s):

I think about the people in trades and what a huge skills gap there is in the trades and how people are being pushed into going to a four-year college and taking on debt. I think about the fact that there's a stigma attached to those that go into trades for reasons beyond my understanding. And so all of those things should yield. And we certainly in our predictions, predict a decrease in the number of people that have gone to a four year college. And I think that's probably the right change for society.


Joel (32m 13s):

Interesting. So I'm gonna let you out on this. I want to circle back to the book for a second. You have a pretty interesting competition as part of the book, talk about that. And then I'm going to ask what is the most, I guess, wrong prediction that has been made so far?


Jeff (32m 28s):

Well, again, back to the point that writing a book is really, really hard and I am not a fan of repeating myself. And so when the publisher said, oh, just write a few more examples of the same thing, just over and over and over again that's how business books get done. I was like, no, no, I'm not. I'm not doing that. I have nothing left to say. They said, well, it's not enough pages. And so a friend of mine said, look, you've gotta Tom Sawyer this thing you've interviewed hundreds of people. Why not ask some of them to write what they think the world of work looks like a 2040. And I happened to be an advisor to the XPRIZE. And I thought, you know what, I'm going to borrow a page from the XPRIZE. And so I personally put up a $10 million prize for whoever is the most correct. And I use that as an incentive to get some of the men and women that are shaping the future of work.


Jeff (33m 13s):

Heads of the largest labor unions, heads of the largest staffing firms, CHR Rose from some of the world's largest companies, you know, legislators, heads of trade associations. And they all basically said yes, and they submitted in their pieces. We selected the top 20 to go into the book and we have a complex voting process that will occur in early 2020. And then the winner will be determined. I'm not so sure that what the Vegas odds would be. I would hope that the Vegas odds would be against our friend, Andy Stern, who is the former head of the SIU, the largest labor union in the United States, because his view of the world is really just very dystopian and very awful.


Jeff (34m 1s):

So I hope that his view was very wrong and I think that Vegas would give him short odds.


Joel (34m 6s):

Can you give us a taste of what his world looks like?


Jeff (34m 9s):