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Hitesh Choudhary / Creative Commons

Michael Solomon has attracted glowing portraits in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Bloomberg for his clientele of tech worker superstars, outsized computing talent that has produced or worked on some of the best-known programs in the world. Like the agents who represent athletes and actors, Solomon negotiates their terms of free-lance employment, which for the top-draw people — right now machine learning and artificial intelligence specialists — can command up to $1,000 an hour. Solomon takes 15% off the top.

But he says his New York firm, 10X Management, has 4,000 potential clients on a waiting list: Years after the invention of the term gig worker, Silicon Valley, he says, still isn't comfortable enough with the idea of hiring free-lancers. Many still prefer full-time workers. "We have to build up the demand side," Solomon tells Axios.

Why it's important: Technology companies are screaming for talent, and spend much time stealing each other's best workers. According to Solomon, they need — like other sectors of the economy — to get more used to gig workers, people who will be loyal and sign a confidentiality agreement, but want more freedom, in particular to move on when the job is done.

How it works: Solomon says his clients are extremely talented at what they do, but "aren't necessarily good at the business side." They need someone to negotiate their pay and other conditions of employment. On average, he says his clients earn $175 to $250 an hour, and, taken over a year, work around 30 hours a week.

An up-and-coming hot profession in terms of pay: specialists in virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

57 mins ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.