The workplace is undergoing tremendous change. Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more workers choosing schedule and location flexibility over a traditional 9–5 job. Many others are choosing to keep their job security and freelance on the side. Regardless, the workplace has never been more diverse. It’s an exciting time, with lots of change and disruption on the horizon.
One running theme that is set to change is the fierce competition between workers in the sharing economy. The attitude right now is that freelancers in the same field need to fight tooth and nail for clients, or else those clients will be stolen by another freelancer. Collaboration between freelancers is a somewhat foreign concept right now but should become the norm in the future. Freelancers need to realize that forging relationships with other freelancers [within and outside their field] is hugely advantageous for all parties.
The same goes for freelance work platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr. The competition between similar platforms is intense, as each struggles to get as many subscribers and users as possible. It’s entirely possible for different platforms to coexist [as they are currently doing], but the benefits would be incredible if they actually tried to feed off each other.
Tearing Down the Competition Model
It’s important for the common competition model to be torn down. Competition is always going to exist. However, striving to collaborate more [instead of constantly competing] will yield better outcomes in the long run.
For freelancers, competition often starts because one freelancer feels threatened by another. Will they steal their clients? Do they need to prove their superiority to hold onto clients? This kind of thinking is counterproductive. Instead of looking for reasons to worry about another worker’s success, freelancers should be more introspective, and figure out their own problem areas [for example, a bad pricing strategy or a poorly designed website], and work out how they can improve. Thus, instead of the other worker becoming a threatening presence, they are a motivating force driving the freelancer to succeed.
The similarities between the abovementioned situation and freelance job platforms are obvious. Sites such as Upwork and Fiverr are constantly in competition for users. It’s almost a given that this kind of behavior will exist. But things need to change in order for the sharing economy to truly thrive. Platforms are also doing themselves a disservice by limiting what they display on their sites. For example, an apartment rental or home-sharing site typically won’t have links to related experiences on TripAdvisor.
Collaborating, Not Just Coexisting
Collaboration works—it’s that simple. Freelancers can benefit from developing relationships with other freelancers in many ways.
Firstly, having others in the same field means that the freelancer has a huge pool of knowledge to draw from. No one should ever stop learning, and other freelancers are a great resource to keep informed.
Secondly, being on great terms with other freelancers can help with an overload of work. Freelancers sometimes have to turn down clients because they don’t have enough time. Instead of turning down the client and perhaps losing their business forever, a freelancer can refer them to another freelancer in the same field. This helps out another freelancer and keeps the client happy. If freelancers merely coexisted instead of collaborating, this wouldn’t be possible.
Freelancing platforms can make this shift in mindset, too. By working with other platforms instead of just competing, and by linking to each other, they can connect other freelancers to each other. This encourages collaboration and will work to their advantage because freelancers who weren’t on their platform before could become more familiar with it.
The Sharing Economy’s Main Theme
Collaboration over competition is primed to become the main theme in the sharing economy.
Competition has been the main motivator so far, and while it works, it isn’t as beneficial as collaboration. Collaboration between freelancers and freelancing platforms encourages the sharing of knowledge, expertise, and even clients.
By collaborating, freelancers and freelancing platforms can broaden their scope, grow, and develop in a positive way. They can motivate each other to improve their services and wow their clients and users, instead of focusing all their energy on doing better than their ‘opponent.’
About Will Lee
Will Lee is the CEO of Blue Whale and Verlocal. His mission is to convert individuals to one-person business owners and fully maximize their full potential. Through his mission, he aspires to create a human-centered industry where humans can continue to develop and better themselves through self-discovery.
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Hyperledger Sawtooth: Performance Problem and the way to solve it
The Hyperledger global initiative within the Open Source movement, bringing together hundreds of technology giants [for example, Huawei, Intel, and Samsung], startups [Blockstream, Lykke, Consensys] and solutions [Netki, Factom, bloq], has become a real push for the entire blockchain industry in forming not only a strong community but also a completely different perception of technology through the prism of innovations in business.
Hyperledger can be called a global collaboration organized by the Linux Foundation. In turn, the uncommercial Linux development consortium, the Linux Foundation, creates sustainable ecosystems around open source projects to develop technologies and implement them in businesses.
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation supports communities and innovative projects through financial and intellectual resources, making ambitious and successful contributions to creating technologies for widespread use.
The consortium launched Hyperledger in December 2015 and in February of the following year, it became known about the first participants of the initiative.
The main Hyperledger’s focus is to improve the reliability and performance of the blockchain through comprehensive cooperation with the platform participants, whose number is already over 250.
It is worth noting that for many projects Hyperledger has become the starting point for the development of their own business apps: many solutions have been created on the basis of the platform, ranging from smart contracts to complex multi-stage innovations.
One of the advantages of using Hyperledger is the interaction between its participants since third-party developers can make their own changes to the already created platforms, thus modifying the services and providing new opportunities to end users.
Hyperledger expands its global business and improves its internal processes, developing also the technologies of the Internet of things, logistics, industry, etc.
Platform participants have access to five main frameworks, on the basis of which blockchain solutions can be created, depending on the goals set by the projects’ creators.
This framework appeared in 2014 and works in conjunction with Ethereum Virtual Machine [EVM]. Solutions based on Hyperledger Burrow allow enterprises to use smart contracts to optimize their business processes.
Initiated by the IBM tech giant, the Hyperledger Fabric framework is the foundation for developing complex, scalable applications for corporations.
Businesses can use smart contracts and many other components. Feature of Hyperledger Fabric can be called a high level of performance, off-chain channels, as well as integration with corporate access control systems.
Hyperledger Iroha is designed for easy implementation into a project. This framework is suitable for many businesses, as it is distinguished by a rather light construction and focus on mobile platforms.
In addition, by analogy with the Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha has a well-developed access control system.
The framework is used for decentralized identification. Hyperledger Indy provides reusable services for creating and using independent digital identifiers.
Hyperledger Sawtooth deserves special attention since this framework is quite popular. Operating on the new consensus algorithm, Proof of Elapsed Time [PoET], which stands out from the rest with minimal use of resources, the Hyperledger Sawtooth is considered by the community as one of the most promising.
This solution’s developer, Intel, is confident that Hyperledger Sawtooth is ideal for businesses whose requirements exceed the capabilities of the available public blockchains.
The PoET algorithm provides highly efficient consensus achievement without a serious resources’ cost even in an environment where contractors don’t know each other and they have no reason to trust other participants.
The Sawtooth blockchain platform is designed to counteract denial of service attacks that become more likely in a public blockchain environment or in an environment in which unknown parties can interact.
The reason for the popularity of this framework can also be called the ability to integrate with hardware security solutions, “reliable execution environments”, among which are scalable Intel Xeon E processor from Intel.
At the same time, in Hyperledger Sawtooth were found flaws. In the GitHub user profile eugene-babichenko, the problem that the developer was able to solve was described in detail.
It is important to note that the network built on Hyperledger Sawtooth consists of 30 nodes located in different regions [from Europe and the USA to Singapore] and at three different cloud providers.
Having contacted the developer, it was possible to find out that while the node was experiencing problems with the network connection and could not access the minimum number of peers, the blockchain node, in turn, began to consume an increasing amount of RAM.
As a result, the system crashed in about a day, operating on a server with 1 GB of RAM.
The blockchain developer, after careful monitoring, determined that the component that caused the crash was a Sawtooth validator.
It is responsible for connecting all the other components of the blockchain node [transaction processors, APIs, consensus modules], and also manages network connections and data storage.
The vulnerability was discovered in the inner essence of Sawtooth, which is designed to manage some of the computing and networking staff.
The study revealed that the system was overloaded due to saving instances when trying to reconnect to peers. Since each instance has its own waiting time [which was originally used only to block calls], it was decided to clear the futures’ collections based on this timeout.
The developer of the 482.solutions company, using the example of this vulnerability, warns his colleagues about the need to be attentive with the use of RAM in their apps.
Moreover, Eugene noted that the use of open source products can be really useful in cases where your tool behaves strangely and requires immediate corrections.
In the case of the problem described above, 482.solutions just forked Sawtooth core, fixed it, tested the fix and sent this change to the upstream repository.
The blockchain technology is undoubtedly capable of transforming the most well-known business approaches. The Hyperledger platform, in turn, is an indispensable engine of this progress, since it focuses on the development of blockchain solutions for enterprises.
At the same time, you should not lose sight of the fact that Hyperledger is not a magical place that will solve all the corporation’s problems with a few clicks.
To work with frameworks, you need a strong team that owns all the knowledge in the field of blockchain technologies and businesses digitalization. It is also necessary to pay attention to the previous experience of developers.
For example, the 482.solutions company, whose member fixed the problem in Hyperledger Sawtooth, previously contributed to OpenZeppelin and Ethereum, and also provides services to develop a Remme solution.
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