Yet another year has begun and our 9th year since the founding of PeoplePerHour. I hope that all of you are well and have had a great start to 2016 after a well-deserved break.
2015 was a year of continued growth for our community. We now have close to 70,000 curated active Sellers on the site, which is up 38% from last year, and 113,000 active Buyers (who awarded a job or bought an Hourlie) which is up 44% from last year.
As you will no doubt have noticed, we’ve carried on investing in the development and improvement of our platform with significant new introductions. Some of our 2015 highlights included:
- Making it much simpler and easier for Buyers to contact Sellers directly via their profile and start a job, this led to a significant increase in private jobs. Read here
- Revamping profiles all together! Read here
- Introducing a time-tracker tool to make hourly billing easier and more accurate. Read here
- Introducing Seller availability in Hourlies so that Sellers who are unavailable don’t get penalised if a Buyer contacts them and doesn’t get a response. Read here
- Introducing Payoneer as a new payment method which has now been adopted by 3811 Sellers. Read here
- Continued improvements on the matching of jobs to Sellers, we set up a data science team to do it in a much more scientific way that takes out the guesswork.
- We’ve made the local discovery of Sellers easier by introducing search by location. Read here
- Improvements to payments by introducing Auto-Pay which allows Buyers to pay for regular work effortlessly. Read here
We’ve also had some big new chapters, that will overspill and dominate a big part of 2016. These include the launch of our Enterprise solution for larger businesses, a complete revamp of our data science following the addition of Dr Lyras to our team as Chief Data Scientist, and increased marketing investment to bring more jobs to our community.
This week we’ve just launched our first ever PeoplePerHour TV Advert
It’s a big milestone, and a big investment to grow both brand awareness and traffic to the site. You can watch the ad HERE. We have faith that this will bring more work opportunities to our community as it will reach over 30 million people in the UK which remains our core market. Please do share it with friends and colleagues to increase the buzz!
Other milestones of 2015 have been the launch of our Economic Research centre. We now harness our data (anonymously of course) combined with qualitative surveys we hold in partnership with other members of the sharing economy, to bring more insight to our community. The sharing economy is picking up steam and collectively, as stakeholders, being on top of the latest trends and insights is paramount in staying ahead of the game.
Another big change in 2015 which I’m most proud of is the growth of our Team and geographic presence. In early 2015 our first team member in the US – Ariele- joined us based out of New York, and since then has held numerous meetups and panels on the ground as well as webinars on hot topics that interest our community. We later hired Laura, our first team member based out of Berlin who is tasked with a similar agenda for central Europe and the UK. We’ve had our first Data Scientist join to lay a better foundation on anything algorithmic and data driven, our first Marketing Director, numerous new members to the Engineering, Product and Support teams. Meet the team here.
We’ve had some great hits in the press throughout the year culminating to yet another appearance on BBC news at the end of the year – you can view it here. Other notable pieces were Wired, Economist and Forbes plus many more which you can view on our Press page here.
On the support side, we’ve revamped our entire Support section with a much improved bank of FAQs for a faster answer retrieval. We’ve continued to resolve over 95% of queries within 24 hours despite growth in volume and we aim to improve that further as we invest more in team growth and newer, better tools.
Our baby brand ‘SuperTasker’ saw some key changes in 2015 too. We introduced many more tasks in our catalogue, revised prices, improved the UI by introducing much-asked-for features such as open messaging, Facebook sign in, and we are about to introduce a completely fresh UI. Whilst still small in comparison to PPH, we have faith that SuperTasker does a great job for certain very specific use-cases, in particular getting small tasks done super fast, without having to search for talent and/or compare bids and select. For some quick tasks such as image edits, resizing, 1-hour web fixes, blog posts/edits, the bidding system can be an overkill which is why we introduced SuperTasker as an alternative solution. Check it out here and send us your feedback!
Thankfully it wasn’t all just work. We managed to have some fun along the way. We held a fabulous team dinner in Athens where the bulk of our team resides, a Christmas party in Athens and one in London where numerous loyal, long-standing PPHers joined us. It’s really refreshing to see memorable faces of people who’ve been avid PPH members for years come and join us to tell their stories in person. We plan to hold many more events such as these regularly in 2016 and beyond.
Key goals for 2016 are to make our TV ads a success to grow the community aggressively, continue improving the platform to make it easier and faster for Buyers to connect with Sellers, develop more ‘in stream’ tools to allow for better workflow management, keep growing the team, and keep having fun in the process!
Lastly, I’d like to thank you all for being loyal PPHers and for your continued support throughout the years. Without YOU, PPH would not be possible. I thank you on behalf of everyone at PPH for your continued feedback, for being vocal and for caring. Together we have been able to make PPH a success, we beat the odds that doom so many startups, putting us in the 10% minority who’ve survived and built a self-sustainable growing business; and a business with a real purpose.
I am a big believer that businesses with a real purpose do better in the longer term than even some of the most explosive, cool & sexy ones that get all the media attention. Fads come and go; a real purpose remains. We are proud to be serving that purpose every day – of allowing people to live their dream of financial independence; allowing both Buyers & Sellers alike to start their own businesses and be in control of their own destiny.
As I always tell my team, that’s what gets me out of bed every morning, 8 years into the journey. Knowing that we make the world a little better each day, impacting hundreds of thousands of PPHers like you, all over the world, every single day.
Have a great 2016, and as always we are open to your thoughts and feedback.