Mobility

Mobile computing will transform temp workforces over the next 10 years, says Gigwalk's CEO

Mobility is going to transform how temporary and part-time employees work -- the same way that desktop computing and the internet have empowered office staff, predicts David Hale of Gigwalk.

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Image: Gigwalk

The productivity of office workers, said David Hale, CEO of Gigwalk, has evolved over the past several decades from desktop computing to internet connectivity.

"The same transformation is yet to occur for part-time and temporary work," he added, saying that mobile technology will be the catalyst. "Over the next five to 10 years, smartphones will have the same impact on the productivity of part-time and temporary labor that desktop and laptop computers have had on productivity of office workers over the past 20-30 years."

Also in an email Q&A with TechRepublic in January 2015, Hale argued with "agile data" is a more useful term than big data. He described it as "getting the right info in the hands of the right people at the right time, so that they can take action."

Located in San Francisco, Gigwalk provides a local-oriented visibility software platform for retail execution and field workers, including crowdsourced independent contractors.

TechRepublic: Based on your 20 of experience in enterprise software, what is Gigwalk doing that has not been done before?

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Gigwalk CEO David Hale
Image courtesy of Gigwalk
David Hale: Over the past 20-30 years, productivity of "knowledge workers" has been transformed through the use of desktop computing technology, and then through connecting this computing power to local and wide area networks (a.k.a. the internet). The same transformation is yet to occur for part-time and temporary work. Part-time and temporary workers are only just starting to use mobile smartphone technology for planning, scheduling, and completing their work. You see some of this transformation with services like Lyft and Uber. Over the next five to 10 years, smartphones will have the same impact on the productivity of part-time and temporary labor that desktop and laptop computers have had on productivity of office workers over the past 20-30 years. Gigwalk is at the forefront of transforming work through mobile technology.

TechRepublic: Based on your experience in your space, what do see happening in enterprise SaaS / software in 2015?

David Hale: Continued focus on mobile. Big data used to be the catch phrase, but "agile" data is much more useful — getting the right info in the hands of the right people at the right time, so that they can take action. Gigwalk leverages mobile to provide real-time data to our customers so that they can improve their business.

TechRepublic: What is the founding idea behind Gigwalk? How do you define your role as CEO?

David Hale: Gigwalk was founded as a marketplace for work — a means to post jobs in a one-to-many format, a form of geo-specific crowdsourcing. We have evolved now to offer solutions for our customers that include crowdsourcing and the underlying platform that can be used to manage very large, distributed workforces.

As CEO, I'm focused on continuing to build a strong team across all disciplines — engineering, product, sales, and marketing — and scaling our business to ensure we maintain our leadership position and continue to advance our software platform to support our customers' needs.

TechRepublic: What kind of traction and results are you seeing since the launch of Gigwalk Enterprise in Oct. 2014?

David Hale: We have customers in several categories that have evolved from using us for crowdsourcing to using our platform to manage their own workforce, including one with 40,000 reps in the field across North America. Gigwalk Enterprise has been well received and is a compelling extension to our mobile crowdsourcing solution, helping our customers manage their own workforce to improve retail execution, while still having access to our large network of Gigwalkers for additional reach where and when needed.

TechRepublic: What can you share about the performance of Gigwalk Enterprise during the 2014 holiday season? What insights did you gain?

David Hale: Even though the holiday season is key to many brands, most of our customers are consumer packaged goods brands that have year-round concerns about how their product is represented in-store and on the shelf. Gigwalk Enterprise helps brands ensure revenue is maximized throughout the year, whether it is during the holidays or during key events like the Super Bowl or Back-to-School.

TechRepublic: Let's say I am a specialty coffee roaster (since I love coffee) with a retail strategy as part of my business model. How could I use your Enterprise and Crowdsourcing solutions to my benefit as a smaller company?

David Hale: Most of our customers are large CPG manufacturers, but we are building out solutions for SMBs. One example of how you could use our Crowdsourcing solution would be to have Gigwalkers collect data and photos for your competitive set to better understand pricing and promotion strategies by retail channel.

TechRepublic: I noticed the Halverson Group case study. How would Gigwalk's solutions empower a consulting firm?

David Hale: Consulting firms can use Gigwalk for engagements where they need to gather field data and intelligence fast. Gigwalk delivers the largest network of mobile-enabled independent contractors, so our reach is broad (across all 50 States and Canada) and Gigwalkers work fast (typically accept a Gig within 1 hour of posting and 43% of tasks are completed within the first 24 hours). This is the magic of mobile crowdsourcing. Consulting firms can quickly reach any location in the country and receive documented and verified data in real-time!

TechRepublic: 650,000 Gigwalkers is a pretty big number. How did you firm grow such a large workforce of independent contractors?

David Hale: We get a lot of local press because of how Gigwalkers use the application to supplement their income. A year ago we were featured on the Nightly News with Diane Sawyer, and 50,000 people downloaded our app in a 30-minute window!

TechRepublic: What is the next big step for Gigwalk? Do you have any plans to develop and market the workforce metrics capability of your technology?

David Hale: One of the cool things about our business is that it generates huge amounts of data — data about our customers' products, data about sales and marketing execution, and also data about the people doing the work. We definitely intend to leverage this data in ways that can help our customers.

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About Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is a contributing writer for TechRepublic. He covers the tech trends, solutions, risks, and research that IT leaders need to know about, from startups to the enterprise. Technology is creating a new world, and he loves to report on it.

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