It’s Time to Show Proof of Value at Work — Here’s How

Amanda Claypool
14 min readJan 9, 2024
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Last month, Spotify’s CEO put to words what every executive in America has been thinking for months now: work around work has got to go.

What does this mean exactly?

Revenue isn’t the primary path to profitability, especially for B2C companies that rely on hefty investment in new user acquisition. Many companies like Spotify, Uber, and Airbnb are facilitating a service — they aren’t actually selling anything. Their value is in the platforms they’ve created. In exchange, they act more like digital toll collectors in the modern economy.

Companies like this provide value, but they may not actually have inherent value, much to the chagrin of shareholders and other corporate champions. Beyond the lines of code buttressing their platforms, these companies don’t own any assets or have any intellectual property to buoy their balance sheets.

Just look at Airbnb. What was originally intended to be used to rent out spare rooms in your home has become an unregulated cottage industry of pseudo-hotels and vacation homes. Between the high rates and absurd cleaning fees, more and more people are ditching the platform for traditional hotels.

This matters because almost every tech entrepreneur is now modeling their company off of the Ubers and Airbnbs of the world (or at the very least, their pitch decks). Unprofitable companies with little to no intrinsic value are proliferating, while Silicon Valley VCs take bets, hoping one or two miraculously succeed.

The tech industry has been massively disruptive in every facet of our lives. It’s now about to disrupt the way we work. Whatever tech leaders do, other businesses will be forced to follow. If tech leaders opt for efficiency as a path to profitability — rather than revenue generation — then that is how businesses are going to operate moving forward.

This shift is happening just as automation and artificial intelligence is slowly beginning to eliminate jobs and displace white collar workers. In the near term, your ability to maintain a job isn’t going to depend on how hard you work. It’ll be predicated on how efficient you are at getting your job done and the overall value you provide to your employer.

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Amanda Claypool

I’m a writer & strategy consultant musing about the future of the world as it’s unfolding. Stay ahead of the curve: https://amandaclaypool.ck.page/reading-list