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Gigwalk: Mobilizing an Entire Workforce By Via App

Need to earn a few extra bucks? Why not do it on your way to the office?

Today’s increas­ing­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed – and younger – work­force is look­ing for employ­ment, and it wants work that it can fit around it already busy lifestyle. Enter Gig­walk, the app that calls itself a ‘mobile work mar­ket­place’ and as well as it’s mem­bers, Gig­walk may also be worth watch­ing if you’re look­ing for social media jobs.

Ana­lysts pre­dict that by 2014, 47% of US work­ers will be under the age of 35 all of whom will be smart, tech savvy, increas­ing­ly vir­tu­al and look­ing for ever more inter­est­ing ways to make mon­ey. As the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of baby-boomers refuse to budge from their high­er lev­el posi­tions, these young peo­ple are find­ing it increas­ing­ly dif­fi­cult to get a foot on the lad­der. So what do they do? They turn to their smart­phone and look for work online, that’s what.

The idea obvi­ous­ly has mer­it as the $1.7 mil­lion in start-up cap­i­tal hand­ed over to the Gig­walk team will attest. The mon­ey has come from from Grey­lock Dis­cov­ery Fund man­aged by LinkedIn co-founder Reed Hoff­man and Har­ri­son Met­al which was found­ed by Michael Dear­ing, a for­mer senior VP of eBay.

Fol­low­ing in the Foot­steps of Elance. But Not Quite.

Of course free­lanc­ing sites are not new. Elance, Odesk and Peo­plePer­Hour have been doing it for a long time, and doing it well. The dif­fer­ence with Gig­walk is that by using the app, you can be accept­ed for a job or ‘gig’, turn it around and get paid all with­in a few min­utes. Yes, you heard right. In a few minutes.

On its web­site Gig­walk states that it is a leader in deliv­er­ing a mobile work­force by con­nect­ing employ­ers who have small field projects that need com­plet­ing, with free­lancers who can com­plete the job fast, and do it well. The com­pa­ny could also pro­vide plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties for any­one look­ing for jobs in social media.

So far Gig­walk boasts a work­force of around 140,000 who have com­plet­ed around 190,000 ‘gigs’ from pho­tog­ra­phy and app test­ing, to retail audits and data collection.

A Sim­ple Premise

Inspi­ra­tion for the app came when Ariel Sei­d­man, a for­mer direc­tor of Yahoo’s mobile search, saw how map­ping com­pa­nies were pay­ing huge sums of mon­ey to con­trac­tors to go out and under­take field work – often small jobs that would take a few min­utes to com­plete. He hit upon the idea of mobi­liz­ing iPhone users who are already in these locales, to com­plete such tasks for a frac­tion of the price.

Rates for these mini tasks range from around $5 for a snap of a chalk­board menu for a restau­rant review site to $30 to test a new app. It’s pock­et change, but it’s pock­et change you can earn on your way to the gym or the gro­cery store. And pock­et change adds up.

Using Clever Tech­nol­o­gy to Tai­lor the Gigs

Gig­walk uses iPhone GPS loca­tions and address­es to fil­ter the gigs that are suit­able for gig­walk­ers. Once a user accepts the chal­lenge, they usu­al­ly have a few days to car­ry it out, and fol­low­ing approval they’ll get paid straight into a Pay­Pal account.

Com­pa­nies use the ser­vice by spec­i­fy­ing which jobs they’d like com­plet­ing by gig­walk­ers and pay­ing Gig­walk upfront, a per­cent­age of which goes straight into the Gig­walk cof­fers. The rest goes to the peo­ple on the ground – the gigwalkers.

Although the com­pa­ny admits that get­ting peo­ple moti­vat­ed enough to take on gigs that are typ­i­cal­ly worth between $5 — $15 has been a chal­lenge, but Fried­man and his fel­low ex-Yahoo-ers Matt Cramp­ton and David Watan­abe, believe that this will change as gig­walk­ers start fit­ting gigs into their ordi­nary routine.

It can work out well if you’re will­ing to give it a try. Like Andrew Schut, the company’s high­est-gross­ing gig­walk­er. Andrew’s earned $2,173 since March by plan­ning his gigs care­ful­ly and mak­ing sure he can com­plete at least a cou­ple when he goes for a walk or vis­its clients.

“It’s giv­en me the moti­va­tion to see parts of the city I did­n’t know about,” he said. “The beau­ty of it is you do it when you have time, and if you have time.”

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