Appolis, Inc.

Mobile Smartphone Technology Increases American Micro Worker Trend

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By Travis Smith, CTO Appolis

Where are the jobs!  You see rising unemployment on TV, radio, and every newspaper across the country.  Americans and our government are very concerned about turning around unemployment trends, which ultimately will drive our economic recovery.  What can we as a country do to create more jobs?  I often ask myself this question.

In my view, a major trend in employment will develop which I call “micro working”.  It’s like eBay on steroids, but instead of selling new and used stuff, services are being sold or donated.  Take an example that is real today:  “GigWalk”.  GigWalk takes iPhone users with an application and offers them small jobs such as surveying commercial businesses for companies like Microsoft (Bing).  Once the results are validated, payment is made via PayPal.  It is not uncommon to see $7.00 offered for a GigWalker to take and submit images of a store.  The investment:  an Apple iPhone and your time.

As of the writing of this, there are over 40,000 active jobs available to anyone who can accomplish these tasks.  Many of the people working these jobs have done 3,000 or more.  The more jobs you do, the more Street Cred you gain.  At $7.00 per job, that’s $21,000 in income!

In 2001, I read a book that was written by Daniel Pink called “Free Agent Nation”.  This book was probably ahead of its time.  In it, Pink describes a revolution in how people are employed.  Going from the static employment model to a more dynamic model of “free agents” was in his view a major trend in how people work.  I believe that the proliferation of mobile smartphone technology will be the tipping point of this trend for two major reasons:

  1. People can participate all the time without sitting behind a computer.  Jobs that require feet on the street are really only manageable with (and now enabled by) always connected mobile devices.
  2. Today’s smartphones are essentially mini-computers that can take images and scan barcodes or QR codes.  Therefore, the validation process is immediately available to instantly validate the work was performed.

Another example of this technology is CrowdSourcing and LiveOps.  Both are real examples of the trend for the Micro Worker.  With these new approaches to labor, there are unbelievable savings in costs, reductions in energy consumption, and best of all, new opportunities to earn income in order to stimulate our American economy!

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