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.”