Flexibility, acceleration and a brave new world

Lisa Portolan
Thu 29 Jun

This week we’ve been talking about the deliver-economy. It’s sprung up around us, thick and fast, everything is deliverable, from gourmet dinners, wines, garments and even stockings. All hand-picked and curated for us to consume with ease.

We lap it up. It’s hardly surprising, we live in a fast world, where there’s not enough time to spend in supermarket queues, in fashion stores, or even trying to select the right stockings.

Opaque, sheer, control, foot-less, black, beige, tan … the choices are endless. In an information-rich society, we choose to allow those around us, “the experts” to make the expert choices for us.

In the last decade, we’ve seen the growth of the share-economy followed by the deliver-economy. Technology has changed the way we consume entertainment, products, and the way we do business. It’s a beast of its own making.

Technology created the buzz which we now consider part of our everyday lives (consider social media, texting, phone calls, the information available at the tip of our fingertips through the internet) and in this “busy” world we live in, we now need technology to offer us the solutions to allow us to receive services and products with ease.



There are many by-products to the share-economy and the deliver-economy (enter a new economy word) like the gig economy.

The gig economy can be defined (Gig Economy, Margaret Rouse, WhatIs.com) as “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.”

As digitisation increases, the need to be within the office, at the desk, as a full-time employee has decreased. Suddenly we can work from home and still deliver the same outcomes. We can access our emails, make Skype calls and complete discrete projects. In fact arguably, “at home”, has become the more productive location.

Flexibility has become the buzz word of 2017. You can flexibly use an app to order your transport, or your next meal, or your dress for that event on Saturday night.

You can flexibly work from home, or enter into contracts with employers, allowing you the flexibility you need to collect the kids from day-care and maybe drop into that odd yoga class.

The world is now a vastly more flexible place, than the one baby boomers grew up in or generation X.

To millennials this might all seem like the norm, we carry around portable devices which make all of these steps uber easy (Uber used in the original sense of the word pre-brand), everything is available at the tips our fingertips.

But for those born pre-eighties it is indeed a different world, comprised of its own obstacles and challenges.

There seems to be only positives associated with the share-economy, the deliver-economy, the gig-economy—but what of the negatives? Have we stepped back to consider a de-centralise world?

How will communities change? Houses change? Suburbs, and in turn lives?

The thing about the world of today is—changes like these have historically occurred, but over time, decades, maybe even centuries. Today they happen in a blink of an eye—everything is accelerated.

We lack the capacity to truly investigate the challenges because they’re upon us before we’ve had a chance too.

Flexibility and acceleration have come to define our lives.