I just discovered the work and writing of Dror Poleg. Initially trained as an economic historian and media theorist, Dror went on to work in advertising, tech, and real estate private equity, among probably a bunch of other things. Today he mostly writes. He’s the author of Rethinking Real Estate: A Roadmap To Technology’s Impact on the World’s Largest Asset Class. I haven’t read it (yet), but I did just subscribe to his weekly newsletter. Here are a couple of excerpts from a recent post called, “Rise of the 10X Class.”
In 2020, things are very different. Charli D’Amelio, a TikTok star that 99% of you have likely never heard of, makes $48,000 per post. By uploading one short video every day, the 16-year-old D’Amelio can earn 20 times more than the world’s most successful singer earned in 1801. Charli is scalable in a way that was possible only for a tiny group of TV, film, and pop stars 20 years ago, and was not possible at all in Elizabeth Billington’s time.
The internet makes it possible for many knowledge employees to work from anywhere. The earning potential of (many of) the most productive employees is no longer capped by geography. As a result, we will see the emergence of a new class of people earning salaries that are an order of magnitude higher than what we saw in previous decades.
Note that I am not talking about the emergence of a handful of highly-paid superstars in the vein of Hollywood’s Brad Pitt or Tom Hanks. I am talking about micro-stars in the vein of TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio: a whole new layer of professionals than earn incomes that are a level below the biggest earners on in their field, but still much higher than what the average employee (or singer, or dancer) could earn in the pre-internet era.
I call this new layer of professionals the 10X Class.