Venkatesh Rao, "The Art of Gig" (Ribbonfarm, 2022)


Venkatesh Rao is a writer and consultant based in Los Angeles. The bulk of his consulting practice comprises 1:1 work with senior executives as a conversational sparring partner, to stress test and improve the rigor and quality of their ongoing thinking about their evolving challenges.

The Art of Gig is a two-volume guide to the modern gig economy, with particular emphasis on independent consulting. It is intended to serve as a philosophical companion for a life of free agency and help you develop a sensibility of work attuned to both the poetry and practicalities of life beyond paychecks. The essays included in these volumes were originally published over two years in a weekly email newsletter. They have been carefully updated, sequenced, and structured for this compilation. This first volume, Foundations, comprises thirty-two essays that aim to help you develop a solid grasp of the fundamentals of surviving and thriving in the gig economy. Topics include: getting oriented, bootstrapping, managing perceptions, mental fitness, and sparring with executives.

The second volume, Superstructures, covers themes that become salient once strong foundations are in place.

You can find Venkatesh at, on Twitter @vgr, and on Substack at

Joseph Fridman is a researcher, science communicator, media producer, and educational organizer. You can follow him on Twitter @joseph_fridman, or reach him at his website.

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