About 6 years ago I had an idea for a gig work app focused on tourism. The idea is rooted in the fact that physically demanding jobs are becoming largely automated or optimized. While automation and quality-of-life improvements in the workforce are great, they also greatly reduce the required personnel needed to operate businesses while still maximizing returns. It’s a problem on a macro scale, and it’s felt in the modern job market constantly.
Gig work has become a powerful ally. Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Uber, Lift, Glovo, and others offer a “work at your own pace” system and have solidified the Employment as a Service (EaaS) business model, especially among the younger generation. Gig platforms are largely successful for their balanced, consistent in-flow of high-churn engagements, both from job seekers and job providers alike. Short-term engagements, limited commitments, from a reliable platform, consistently providing options for opportunities — everyone seems to win.
Wandur focuses on a niche market, segmenting the gig economy in a creative way that addresses a high-demand market. While the business model, fundamentally, has been proven time and again, the specific vertical has yet to be breached. This is not to say Wandur is some kind of unique business the likes the world has never seen, but I believe the style of business Wandur is attempting to create needs to become a norm. Platforms should exist that focus on a specific function, service, or trade – much like Doordash focuses on dropping things off at your house for you, only more narrow.
Online classes have provided on-demand learning, digital courier services have provided food and goods delivered on-demand to anyone (in the service area), democratized livery services take people from point A to point B, and project platforms provide a steady stream of sales for service providers in all areas of digital trade (translators, developers, designers, copywriters… the list goes on and on). These platforms, as a collective, are paving the way to allow disenfranchised laborers the options to find a means to make ends meet, without competing for physical-placement jobs in factories, offices, shops, or warehouses. Frankly, I believe we’re on the cusp of a generalized shift wherein digitally-based jobs and gig platforms provide more income and more jobs to the economy than “real world” work.
Perhaps that’s a good thing.
I believe there’s room for all types of labor, for all styles of desires. If you have access to a tourism center, live in a metropolitan area, own a bicycle, or a car, have a talent for creating crafts, content, or websites… there should be avenues online for you to find work without dedicating your physical body to a centralized place of business. There’s truly no need to deny that as a viable option for people at scale, the internet has shown us that, and the pandemic largely proved that.
This isn’t to discount the people who work in food service or those that manufacture physical goods or work in the medical field. There are countless fields that will long-require people to be physically present, at a central place of business, to contribute to a job. That’s not even a debate. The expansion of providing everyone with an opportunity either offline or online, reliably, in an array of styles and flavors is what needs to be thought about more, formalized, and scaled to a level that creates a healthy and empowering environment regardless of interface for exchange.
For me, it’s tourism.