Why Most Non Static Location Service Jobs Will Be Freelance Soon
- Posted by Leigh Drogen
- on July 6th, 2012
BestBuy is going under eventually, there’s no way around it, done. So is GeekSquad, which BestBuy purchased. GeekSquad was killed by the Apple Genius bar and the paradigm shift from desktops to laptops, and then laptops to tablets. Who calls GeekSquad to fix their tablet? When does a tablet ever need fixing?
And if you ever did, there’s the Apple Genius bar.
But Howard Lindzon said something interesting today, that someone should build the new GeekSquad. He’s right, there will always be a place for people who come to your house or small business office and fix your electronics and help you set them up properly. Apple Geniuses don’t come to you unfortunately.
But what I want to highlight is the monumental shift in how a company like that would be built today versus how it was built 10 years ago, and how this example is playing out across the economy. Put simply, most non static location service jobs will be freelance soon.
There are several examples of this taking place across the economy, and entrepreneurs building huge companies. Look at TaskRabbit, which puts an army of freelance people at your fingertips to go do, well, anything for you whenever you want if the price is right. There is Cherry, which provides a simple but awesome mobile app which gets someone to come to your house, office, or wherever and wash your car, you never even have to see them. There is an app, I can’t remember its name, where you can easily hire someone to come do basic research for you at your office, or off site, for a day, week, or a few hours. There’s an app for finding a dog walker. It goes on and on.
Here’s what I’m getting at. Over the next decade you will see verticalized pools of freelance labor form, for just about everything that isn’t tied down to a physical location and long term schedule. And even for those, you never know. Why build an army of people who wash cars, put them on the payroll, and handle the logistics, when I can crowdsource the freelance labor, not have them on the payroll, not deal with the logistics, and just take a cut for being the intermediary.
Ah, but what about quality? Simple, these applications have built good community ratings systems to the point where you can more accurately find better freelance labor than you would taking your chance with the GeekSquad guy sent to you randomly who isn’t incented to do a good job, it’s not his name on the line, it’s his company’s.
So yes, someone should build GeekSquad 2.0, but don’t build it the Economy 1.0 way, build it the collaborative consumption way. This is where our economy is going, and this is what a good portion of our labor force is going to look like soon, giving consumers access to specialized labor on demand, and giving labor access to work if they feel like doing it.
Some ideas for companies you could build right now, most with very simple mobile apps. And yes, there is Angie’s List, but that company is horrible, it’s the Craigslist of freelance labor:
- Qualified masseuses (the clean kind, get your mind out of the gutter)
- Window repair
- Personal trainer
- House cleaning
- Mechanic (just to take a look for 30 minutes)
What other ones can you think of?
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Leigh Drogen is the founder and chief investment officer of Surfview Capital, LLC, a New York based investment management firm employing an intermediate term long/short momentum strategy. More »
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