How often have you been walking around with your iPhone tweeting something hilarious or texting buds and thought, hey, I wish I could be making money right now?
Gigwalk, a self-described “mobile work marketplace” a little over a year old, can make your dreams come true.
Gigwalk’s revenue stream is based on linking businesses with micro-contractors. Armed with an iPhone, anyone can snap a few shots of menu pages or shelf configurations and make a few bucks. Many “gigs” require only a few moments of time and limited human interaction, so it’s perfect for a morning commute or coffee run.
Gigwalk was founded by Ariel Seidman and Matt Crampton, two Yahoo ex-pats, along with developer David Watanabe. The app launched in May of last year.
The response has been huge, with coverage in Forbes, CNN, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The company claims 190,000 gigs have been successfully completed across the entire nation. Gigwalk’s expansive workforce numbers over 140,000.
The idea is certainly innovative. Clients include New York-based MenuPages.com, a site which aggregates menu information for thousands of restaurants across the country. To keep the site current, MenuPages needed physical human beings to look at physical restaurant menus, a pretty demanding job for any one person or group of people. Crowdsourcing this task makes a lot of sense.
The gamefication element of the app is also innovative. It costs nothing to join Gigwalk, and you can do as many or as few as you like. The money made from an individual gig is somewhat paltry, usually between $2 and $10 (with some gigs weighing in at a whopping $30). The thrill of the chase, or the satisfaction knowing you made a few bucks on the way to work, gets people to accept the small payment.
Andrew Schut runs a tumblr providing Gigwalking tips and has made a few thousand dollars with the app. The community he founded has lots to say about Gigwalking in hotels, restaurants, and parking lots. They even give out specific strategies, like the “please approach,” where you ask the business to snap some pictures, and the “sorry approach,” where you apologize for taking pictures after you are found out.
The small returns make it pretty tough to be a full-time Gigwalker and many might find the hassle not worth the few bucks. And the Android version is still in beta testing, so only iPhone users can Gigwalk right now.
Even still, it’s comforting to know you can do something actually productive with the iPhone. Not only can you make friends or pins, you can make real money.