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Free Agent Nation: How America's New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live

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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  588 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it has been the organizing principle of society: people are what they do. But at the dawning of the new millennium, Americans are waking up to the fact that commitment to a traditional corporate structure does not guarantee personal validation or financial security. In what is one of the fastest growing movements today, people a ...more
Audio, Abridged
Published April 1st 2001 by Warner Adult
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(showing 1-30)
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Bob Redmond
Jul 01, 2009 Bob Redmond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another interesting book from Daniel Pink about the intersection of cultural trends, market forces, and an individual's place amidst them. Once upon a time, people found themselves easily within families, nations, corporations, or other "ideological apparatuses" to paraphrase Louis Althusser. Now, however, all the machines are broken and decentralized. Pink does a great job of putting a lot of this into focus.

On the other hand, most of what he writes here is patently obvious. Maybe it wa
...more
Paige
Jan 19, 2017 Paige rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
The first half or so was surprisingly good for a 15 year old book. The second half, which was lots of prognosticating about life in the 2010's, has not aged super well. Overall a worthwhile read and a good companion piece to The Startup of You.
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional book on what Pink calls “the future of working for yourself.” He developed this book after more than a year of face-to-face interviews with several hundred workers, describing it as “as ground-level view of a revolution in how Americans work and live.” Pink is not saying that everyone will become a free agent (or should, includes a link to a website with password to find out if you are cut of the free agent cloth), but many will be making the leap. He writes in an entertaining and di ...more
Renee Fontenot
Slow start
Manuel
Jan 07, 2017 Manuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FAN provides a lot of insight on why and how a growing number of workers trade the security of a fixed paycheck, by the security of having a diversified portfolio of income sources, the opportunities ahead, the challenges they will face, and the benefits they will get.

Written at the start of the century, it foresaw many of trends that materialized later, and are still currently (2017) relevant, particularly in the context of globalization (and its impact such as a growing inequality, and the gro
...more
Isk
Dec 27, 2008 Isk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting chapters: Chapter 15, 16. The rest is boring: uninteresting details, or obvious if you've given any thought to freelancing.

Might be good if you are new to or utterly bemused by freelancing; otherwise, not recommended (except perhaps the chapters mentioned above) -- just read the chapter summaries the author provides.

Interesting tidbits:
1/4 of workers in America are freelancers; 2/3 in California hold non-traditional jobs.
Most people find jobs through contacts; and 5/6 of those cases,
...more
Annemieke Windt
Daniel Pink - Free Agent Nation
Sometimes a book is overtaken by history. Daniel Pink's Free Agent Nation is an optimistic look at the future, where more people will work for themselves and an entire economy will be reorganized to accomodate this growing army of Free Agents. But it's a book from 2001, written before 9/11 and before the Credit Crunch. So with hindsight it's an overly optimistic book.

Does that mean that it was a waiste of time to read it. No, certainly not. Pink is an engaging writ
...more
Annakingston
Now, I just want to say up front I love Dan Pink, that is to say, I’m a big Dan Pink fan, which made it even worse to be so disappointed with Free Agent Nation.  It’s not that he didn’t have anything useful to say on the topic of starting your own business, just that it all seemed a bit trite and the ideas regurgitated from somewhere else.  He talked a lot about why being a freeagent was changing the world (really? a big claim) but not much about how.

What I did like about this book is that Dan k
...more
Leonardo
May 13, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference  ·  review of another edition
En su libro Free Agent Nation, Daniel H. Pink describe un país cuya fuerza de trabajo está constituida cada vez más por «agentes libres», es decir, trabajadores que son profesionales por cuenta propia, contratistas independientes, asesores y otros trabajadores autónomos, muchos de los cuales establecen sus propios horarios. Según Pink, ya hay cerca de treinta y tres millones de agentes libres u hombres y mujeres en «desorganización» en Estados Unidos, más de una cuarta parte del total de la fuer ...more
Paul Deveaux
Mar 11, 2011 Paul Deveaux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Good historical and cultural background to the changing landscape of work. Interesting to read the book now and see what predictions came true and which ones we are still waiting for. Definitely not the book to read if you need to kick start yourself into self employment. It is very much a background work bordering on academic. For more hands on guidance I would recommend Pam Slim's Escape from Cubicle Nation, Chris Guillebeau's The $100 Startup, or Jon Acuff's Quitter. Those three are more cur
...more
Jamie Christensen
Oct 25, 2012 Jamie Christensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Interesting book and amazingly still relevant, probably even more so than when the author wrote it in 2001. I usually think it's interesting to see how predictions have changed when a book is older -- this is a pretty timeless one. His theories on more people choosing to work independently rather than for large corporations is even more relevant after coming through the financial crisis. Sadly, I wish some of his predictions on small business taxes, healthcare and other social policies had come ...more
Penny
Oct 10, 2009 Penny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This might be the book that really started us on the path to getting an LLC going. A friend of mine lent me a copy of this book. Although I didn't have time to read much of it Gary just loved it. He put post-it notes on page after page.

Although it may paint the picture of being you own boss as a bit too rosy, it does give you some good ideas about what's going to be involved in leaving the world of being an employee.
Finlay
Aug 05, 2014 Finlay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of values in here that resonate with me. The book is quite dry, and seems a little dated (2001) -- it would be interesting to see newer numbers to see how these trends progressed, especially in light of services like AWS and Stripe that make it easier than ever to independently serve your stuff to the world. Feels like a bit of a companion to The Cluetrain Manifesto.
Aaron
May 02, 2008 Aaron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Pink's first book is his densest--he's honed his writing a great deal in his two books since. The first half is good, but the second half really starts to drag and is kind of dated. Eight years of the Bush administration and corporation-friendly policies have probably set back some of the predictions made in this book by a decade or so.
Anthony Cheng
Nov 27, 2013 Anthony Cheng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely fantastic book that hasn't aged well in some spots (it was written in 2001), 'Free Agent Nation' still feels of-the-moment. Whether by choice or by force, a bigger and bigger chunk of the American workforce is becoming independent. The W-2s are being replaced by 1099s. This book spins out the ramifications of that change on the personal and societal level. Recommended.
Max Ong Zong Bao
Mar 21, 2014 Max Ong Zong Bao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Work at your own terms, at your own size, at your own choice of locations from Starbucks to the public library and earn a good living out of it. The basis of a free agent that is conceived in this book
Jarkko Laine
Sep 17, 2008 Jarkko Laine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the ideas and research. Some chapters were a bit boring, and the book could have been shorter. But because of the importance of the topic, I feel this is a must read for anyone not satisfied with being a corporate man or woman.
SVEN
Aug 03, 2016 SVEN rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing at an aggregated level what is happening increasingly with personal acquaintances helps open the eyes for risk management 2.0.
James Strocel
Apr 10, 2015 James Strocel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this book was written in 2001, it carries important truths about the new social contract of employment
Nathanael
An interesting read. Starts out with well-reasoned hypotheses, but moves to fantastical speculation by the end of the book.
Natasha
Dec 02, 2013 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Less of a "how-to" guide than a sociological research study, but very relevant and helpful nonetheless.
Bernard Rodriguez
Mar 30, 2010 Bernard Rodriguez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: skimmed
Interesting data presented. Some of the same ideas can be explored and be seen applied in Pink's Johnny Bunko" manga, which is a 20 minute read and worth checking out.
Fullfaun
Aug 29, 2013 Fullfaun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a dry read for me, More Scientific ... like a thesis paper than anything helpful on how to BE a free agent.
Ryan
Jun 07, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfectly describes my career aspirations and helped provide the necessary courage needed to start my own company.
Elizabeth
hard cover with dustjacket
somewhat marked up dustjacket but otherwise in excellent condition

re women's working status
Emma Jones
Mar 30, 2010 Emma Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the book that inspired me to start Enterprise Nation! Dan Pink spotted that free agency was taking off and he charts its development with panache.
Kristian Norling
Aug 11, 2012 Kristian Norling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressed that the author described and predicted free agency so well in 2002. This book is still valid and a good read.
Aaron Glett
Mar 08, 2013 Aaron Glett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book on the benefits and pros and cons of the future contract economy and what needs to happen to enable it to work more smoothly.
Julia Bouie
Have always loved Daniel Pink's take on things. We run an outsourced model and it definitely has it's challenges but it guess it comes down to the ethics of the business partner.
Greg Linster
Nov 06, 2012 Greg Linster rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering that this book was published in 2002, I think Pink wrote it with prescient optimism. I hope he is right about the future of work in America.
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
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