A few weeks back I met James Alexander, co-founder of Zopa, the peer to peer lending service, and now CEO of Green Thing. He shared some fascinating research he conducted for Zopa to identify a new under-served market of people; freeformers.
There's a new generation of people who crave the independence and freedom promoted during the 80s. But unlike the yuppies of that era, their focus is not simply to make more money but to have more control and freedom to do what they enjoy. And they're choosing positive experiences over just buying stuff.
This freeformer attitude includes an antipathy towards the conventional job as shown in recent stats:
One in five working people in the UK are planning to start their own business in 2005, according to one report, and almost half have gone as far as writing a business plan and having it reviewed by a professional adviser. In 2004, around half a million individuals started their own businesses. And the number one reason cited by 93% of new and would-be entrepreneurs was gaining the freedom to adopt their own approach to work.
Read the fascinating article they created about freeformers featuring interviews with Yo Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe, The Barefoot Doctor, Charles Leadbeater and others.