About a year ago I wrote a blog on the post retirement phase of my life. Tom Foremski, a journalist blogger and friend who reports on the business and culture of innovation in Silicon Valley Watcher, wrote an interesting comment in my blog:
“In some ways, I see your post-retirement life as being somewhat futuristic, in that it will be the way many people will be working in the future. It's what I call an "atomic" model - collaborating with others on specific tasks/projects and then dissolving those collaborations as you work with others on different projects. In some ways, this is the way Hollywood has been working for decades. And it's also one that I increasingly see in Silicon Valley.”
“It's a model that increases individual productivity and also organizational productivity because you bring in consultants/experts for specific tasks. Why have them sitting around on salaries in-between projects?”
“You've retired from the old style of working and you are now pioneering the new style of working :)”
Tom himself made such a transition when in 2004 he left his position as the Silicon Valley reporter for the Financial Times to found Silicon Valley Watcher, one of the first journalists to leave a position with a major newspapers to make a living as a journalist blogger.
I have been very intrigued with this new distributed work phase of my career, where I am associated with several institutions instead of one primary one, as was the case when I worked full time at IBM until I retired in May of 2007 after 37 years with the company. In particular, I have thought a lot about the role of the Web and related technologies as key enablers of such a distributed style of work.