My friends and I created this diagram describing the 4 types of technology creators. I think this can help us understand today’s technology ecosystem better.
The x axis represents the projects types. Implementation & reliability focus on implementing and maintaining proven processes. Research & development focus on experimenting with stuff that haven't been done before.
The y axis represents the organization types. Vertical organizations have a core idea (usually represented by strategic maps on enterprises) that is followed by a pyramidal hierarchy that makes sure the core idea get's implemented (e.g. Boss - manager - employee, or Lead - senior - junior developer). In Horizontal organizations individuals groups into projects they find valuable, there is no hierarchy so everyone act independently contributing to an idea, value or objective they share.
Combining this two axis leads to 4 types of professionals as result.
Freelancers work on horizontal environments, when they get contracts from companies they don't tell the company what to do or vice versa, they negotiate and in the best case scenario they create win-win situations. Usually they don't innovate because they are too busy supplying the demands. They know how to implement reliably solutions for their clients.
Avant-garde are independent individual working on horizontal environments. They research & develop solutions for their own needs. They are not the most common but this is where a big part of the new technology comes from.
Valve, the creators of Steam, Dota 2 and other games are a well known avant-garde company. - Pic by Kotaku
Enterprise creators work on Vertical environments, they implement reliable solutions based on their company needs. These are the most common jobs and probably the safest place to work as a technology creator.
Non tech related companies often need an IT team to implement reliable systems - Pic by liaison.com
Startup creators work on vertical environment looking to research & develop technology that solves a market need. This is probably the type of creators that has been growing the most in numbers lately.
Marketing, coding and graphic design are the top skills required in startups - Pic by startupbootcamp.com
Some jobs can fit perfectly in one category while others can be kind of a mix. Personally, I tried both 4 and felt more comfortable with avant-garde, but at each their own. I hope you find it useful, thanks for reading!