Free Agent Nation

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Free Agent Nation Book Review
by Mike Banks Valentine

Have you ever written a personal note to a respected and
successful author? Not that I wish that fate on those precious
few who top the best seller lists, but I just wrote to Dan Pink.


Wonderful book! I'm doing a review and will distribute
it as widely as my role allows. I'm curious
though, why do you quote the reviews from the NY Times,
CNN, the "Global Executive Section" of The Economist and when the book is about you and I?

Maybe those reviewers saw themselves in a fantasy painted
Pink? Those folks still work for the big dogs of business
and I doubt very much that those in the board rooms of
global corporations are quite as cheered by your ideas
as the reviewers who work for them.

I am impressed and cheered though, by your work and wish
you continued success. With regrets that it profits Warner
Books more than Pink, Inc.

Mike Banks Valentine

It's my personal belief that Free Agent Nation should be owned
by Pink, Inc. I also believe that if Daniel H. Pink were to
include a review by Mike Banks Valentine of WebSite101 on his
web site , that it would do little
for his credibility or his book sales.

I toot a big horn on the front page of my web site too because
when visitors see a quote from Entrepreneur Magazine on my home
page, they may take a little longer to click away from my site.

Once I've got them though, I rely on the testimonials from small
ezine owners to prompt subscriptions to my newsletter, further
down the page. And small is what Pink thinks the future holds
for the new workplace.

This book is about independent freelancers merrily toiling away
in their underwear in a home workspace, as Pink states, in HOHO,
or "His Office/Her Office". He seems to delight in creating new
terms to define what is increasingly common for self-employed
professionals -- independence.

Here're some Pinkisms, emphasized in chapter-end "boxes":

"Nanocorp. A microbusiness that remains "ruthlessly small" --
as both a personal preference and a competitive strategy."

"Digital Marxism. With inexpensive computers, wireless handheld
devices, and ubiquitous low-cost connections to the internet,
workers can now own the means of production."

"Corporate Yenta. An entity that matches independent workers
with firms or projects that need their short term help."

The first few pages introduce the thesis that we're becoming
a Free Agent Nation where the old idea of the "Organization Man"
is giving way to the concept of "e-lancers" holding meetings
at Starbucks coffee houses and home schooling their kids.

He sweeps up the dust of our tired old ideas as he continues
to show us how the "industrial economy separated work and
family." While ... "The free agent economy is rejoining them."
He illustrates change by reporting that "My size fits me" has
now replaced "One size fits all" of not only work but education
as well.

Pink is well known for his prognostications on the future for
Fast Company Magazine and leaps right out there with a few
shocking ideas indicating massive changes in the economy by
suggesting entrepreneurs will sell shares in themselves to put
the "I" back in IPO's with F.A.N. (Free Agent Nation) bonds.
Financial instruments that emphasize talent and creativity over
the more common mass of corporate safety and financial bulk.

He wraps up by suggesting that women will replace the "Old Boy
Network" and rule the landscape of a new economy because they
are better suited to community and sharing rather than the old
male "conquer and topple" model of business success. Maybe it's
the only way men can be seen as equals, when we have to out-
think women rather than bully and threaten them.

Now I'm not sure he's got it all right, but damn! The next
few years will be nothing if not exciting as they unfold to
expose the flower of this budding new world as seen by Pink!

Buy the book
Free Agent Nation
WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet
Ezine emphasizing small business online
e-tutorial online at:
By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web!

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July 29, 2001