Things Get Micro

  • Previously we wrote about different initiatives which fit perfectly into the trend of micro-business, like Wonga‘s instant mini-loans and VeggieTrader, the marketplace for backyard farmers. Trendwatching.com refers to the closely related trend of ‘sellsuming’:

    “A recession-induced need for cash, and an ever-growing infrastructure enabling individuals to act as (part-time) entrepreneurs, are fueling concepts that help ordinary consumers make money instead of just spending it.”

    On one hand, the technology revolution caused the emergence of borderless digital networks and globalisation, which led to the rise of giant conglomerations and brands. Big, bigger, biggest. Think of Bertelsmann for instance. On the other hand, Internet made it possible for individuals to start their own micro-businesses. VeggieTrader is an interesting example, making use of the opportunities of modern global-minded networks to let people sell and buy vegetables grown in their backyards. Very local at the same time.

    ShortTask is another great micro-business example. This initiative aims to connect qualified workers with companies in need of such short-term help.

    “ShortTask is based on the idea that there are still many online jobs that cannot be fully replaced by technology. Whether it’s researching detailed information, transcribing audio or video recordings, identifying objects in photographs or videos, (…) some jobs are just better done by humans. (…) ShortTask has built a community of seekers (companies or individuals who need various tasks accomplished without hiring in-house staff) and solvers (workers who can complete these jobs virtually).”

    Have a look on the ShortTask website to get an overview of what it’s all about. I’m curious if people can manage to do these ‘short tasks’ for a living in the future.