The gig economy is transforming society. Not only are the services provided by gig economy companies making people’s lives better and more efficient, but millions of people are now able to work on their own schedule, be their own boss, and have access to many more sources of income.
But like any transformation, it comes with some bumps along the way. For the gig economy, this has mostly been around the relationship between the gig workers and the gig companies. While gig workers have new freedom and flexibility like never before, they also feel used and ignored.
So far the majority of the response has been to demand a reclassification of workers from independent contractors to part-time or full-time employees. In some instances this makes sense and can be mutually beneficial to both parties. Many gig companies only hire part-time or full-time employees. But this also takes away one of the very promises the gig economy created, the freedom to be your own boss and work your own hours.
That’s why I am excited to announce a new app called The Gig Saloon!
The motivation for The Gig Saloon is to create a platform where gig economy workers can go to find new jobs, stay up to date on gigs, and share their experience. It puts the power into the hands of the worker, while still keeping the benefits of freedom and flexibility.
Find new gigs
The easiest way to keep flexibility, yet maximize income is to have optionality. The more options you have, the more bargaining power you have and the easier it is to choose the an option that benefits you the most at any given time.
The Gig Saloon makes finding new gigs and applying for them easier and faster than ever before. You can filter gigs by location, requirements met, roles you’re interested in, and type of gig. Whenever you feel like you’ve found something you’re interested in, simply apply from the app and have your information pre-filled in the application form.
Stay up to date
Another important part of maximizing income is knowing what gig to work and when. Because the pay for each gig varies greatly depending on current demand, it can get overwhelming trying to keep track of many different gigs. That’s why with The Gig Saloon you can keep track of all of your current gigs and register to receive their specific notifications.
News articles are also a great way to stay current with what’s happening around the gig economy. The Gig Saloon shows gig economy specific news articles for you so you know what’s the latest without having to leave the app.
Share your experience
Finally, the most powerful thing gig workers can do is exchange information with each other. Although there are many forums out there already that have brought gig workers together, most notably Facebook Groups and Reddit, they remain fragmented. Some forums are private and need an invite to get in, which blocks any potentially interested workers from access. And some have lots of great content but because the platforms weren’t built specifically for gig workers, lots of information gets lost or is irrelevant quickly.
In The Gig Saloon, workers will have one place to find any and all information shared by others. For now, it’s simply two lists, Latest and Most Popular. As more and more people contribute content the app will get better and better at surfacing the information you care about most.
Where does it go from here
At this point, I hope I’ve convinced you enough to give The Gig Saloon a try. But I also want to show you where it goes from here. Right now, the app addresses a number of different pain points for gig workers but there is still so much more to be done.
One of the features that will be built in the near-term is the ability to review gigs you’ve worked. One annoying problem is that it’s really hard to gauge what the actual earnings will be from any given gig. Sure, companies publish this information on their websites (and for the ones that do, we include that in the app now) but let’s be honest, those are usually best-case scenarios that don’t apply to the majority of workers and are there for the benefit of the companies in order to attract new workers promising unrealistic rates. Adding in reviews of gigs, including your average pay rate for that gig, will help shine a light on what you can actually expect to earn from any given gig. And just like how workers are constantly being reviewed on a 5 star basis, what about reviewing the companies? What would you give Uber on a scale of 1–5 stars as place to work? Lyft? DoorDash? etc. Gig workers should have this information in an easily to understand format and that’s what gig reviews will bring.
Another feature that I am really excited about is better filtering of content. There are millions of posts, tweets, images, articles, etc. out there that can help gig workers. But right now, they are on many different sites/apps and are really hard to find (especially if you don’t know what to ask!). By using machine learning, we can come up with a smarter tagging system that automatically tags content with relevant topics. That means you will no longer have to do the manual process of searching for the information you need. Instead the relevant information that you care about will come to you.
It’s about time more power was put in the hands of the gig workers and that’s exactly what The Gig Saloon aims to do.
Interested in giving it a try? Download the app on iOS or Android now!
I am excited to share that I am working on a new project. For the last year or so I have been trying to figure out what is next for me. In the meantime, that’s meant helping startups build their products and get them to market. I will continue to do that for awhile, but I always knew I would eventually start one of my own again. I am not calling this project a company yet, as I am still testing the waters with the idea, but I do have high hopes.
The idea for the project stems from my own frustrations and problems that I have had with buying and selling used goods. For a long time, I just accepted the frustrations as inevitable. But the more I began to think about it, the more I realized the barriers that exist could be surpassed with a new way of thinking using current technology. So that’s what I am working on.
I wish I could share more about it at this point but for now that’s all I am going to say. I am looking for beta testers and early adopters to try the product out and help shape what it could become. So if that sounds like you, go here to signup. And please share it with others!
P.S. I am also looking for help with design and development. So if you are a designer or engineer and you’re interested in helping build trust between people and solving the problems of buying and selling used goods, reach out to me here: [email protected]!
It’s great to finally share the paper I co-authored with Leah Rosenzweig about creating open source tools for running conjoint experiments in developing country contexts. It was just published in The Political Methodologist blog yesterday.
You can read the paper online here and check out the open source tools here and here. It will also be included in The Political Methodologist’s next print edition.
As someone who believes in life long learning, I think it’s essential that we challenge ourselves from time to time. It keeps things interesting and new opportunities arise when we do new things.
That’s why I have decided to start blogging everyday. I will continue to write longer pieces and will keep them separate as essays but I want to challenge myself to write and publish everyday. Whether that’d be an insight, observation, or something fun, I am going to push myself to put something out there.