“There’s going to be a protracted battle between those who wish to work from home and those who think productivity is harmed by remote work”

Do you have talent? What about 10x talent? That is, the breakthrough talent that can add ten times the value to an organisation of a typical employee. Michael Solomon has not only co-written a book on this phenomenon, but built an entire business on it: he is the founder of tech talent agency 10x Management and, below, he shares his thoughts on the future of work.

As you might expect, Michael thinks differently to most. “The biggest challenge we face with all of these new technologies is from consumers who ask the wrong question,” he told TechFinitive. “They want to know if the technology is safe to use. That’s not the right question because as with most systems in the universe, it will have flaws.

“The better question is if it is better, more reliable and safer than the human equivalent. As soon as more of the public understand those kinds of questions, we can more quickly deploy certain technologies that are still being held at bay.”

Read on for his interview, and find out more about his book, Game Changer: How To Be 10x in the Talent Economy (HarperCollins; September 2020) here.

What is your current role?

Michael Solomon is an author and entrepreneur.
Michael Solomon, Founder of 10x Management

I co-founded 10x Management, which brings the talent agency model from the entertainment world to the technology industry. I now focus on running the business and providing great contracting talent to companies in need.

Who is the one person in tech you find inspiring, and why?

I am not aligned with many things about Elon Musk but the breadth and depth of what he has done as an individual is truly exceptional and admirable. I hope he gets back to innovating things that are not social networks.

What are the major factors influencing the future of work?

AI is for sure the biggest factor in the future of work at this moment in time. How and when it is deployed along with how it’s regulated will be huge determinants of how we think about earning a living and spending our time, talent and energy in the future.

How do you think the work office will change in the next ten years?

There’s going to be a protracted battle between those who wish to work from home and those who think productivity is harmed by remote work. At the end of the day, remote work will win out eventually because the best and brightest will be able to dictate what they want. That said, if the future of employment is as strained as I suspect it will be, employers will have a lot of leverage and power over most employees.  The supply and demand equation will be very much in the favour of employers.

What fields of work or industries do you think will accelerate because of technology?

It seems quite clear that scientific discovery will accelerate tremendously with the use of better and better AI. That is going to really accelerate materials sciences, life sciences, and drug and protein discovery. This will impact life expectancy significantly, but if we can’t address the growing mental health crisis we will be gaining from this and losing to drug addiction, suicide, and violence.

What is a recent example of technology disrupting work that you found interesting?

I’m actually gonna flip this around and say that I think it’s pretty amazing how many big areas that have not been disrupted by technology yet. The fact that medical diagnoses are still done by humans as the first point of contact is very surprising to me. Given a set of symptoms, artificial intelligence is very good at precisely predicting the likelihood of all of the possible sources of those symptoms and sorting them by percentage of incidence. Thus far, I have not seen a version of that in the marketplace that is being widely adopted. That will change soon.

More Future of Work interviews

Our thanks to Michael for taking the time to share his thoughts on the future of work. For more predictions, read on:

  • Eva Pankova, Head of People at ROI Hunter. “A four-day week would definitely disrupt the market, making those companies that adopt it much more competitive. Just imagine a three-day weekend!”
  • Deepesh Banerji, Chief Product Officer, Deputy. “The key to preparing for the future of work is to develop skills that are difficult to automate, such as creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence”
  • Benjamin Taylor, Organisational Consultant. “This morning at Heathrow Airport I saw a cleaning bot stuck on a rubber line on the floor. In what world is it better to have £30K robots than humans?”
  • Carmen Vicelich, serial entrepreneur. “Emerging markets will leapfrog some more mature markets through rapid digitisation”
  • Philip Ross, author, futurist and CEO of Ungroup and Cordless Group: “The office of 2033 will become a more social, healthier, more sentient, elastic, digital, personalised, shared and purposeful space”
  • Duena Blomstrom, author and CEO of PeopleNotTech. “Jobs of the future? Chief Psychological Safety Officers will be in, bureaucrats will be out.”
  • Fazilat Damani, Chief Experience Officer at Design for Good. “AI won’t completely replace jobs, but rather evolve them.”
  • Jimmy Lee, technologist and CEO of Nirovision. “The work each individual carries out will evolve to use AI copilots, but I’m hopeful that this makes the work even more productive, creative and gratifying!”
  • Tony Hallett, MD of Collective Content. “The part of society most impacted by technology will be the world’s middle classes.”
  • Colin Fraser, founder and Managing Director at Nevis Capital. “Professionals who can ‘supercharge’ themselves with AI tools will win big in our new world.”

If you have something to say about the future of work, please email us at [email protected].

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Tim Danton

Tim has worked in IT publishing since the days when all PCs were beige, and is editor-in-chief of the UK's PC Pro magazine. He has been writing about hardware for TechFinitive since 2023.