Newcomers, oldcomers, and PeoplePerHour fans around the world, this is a big day for our community. A year-long journey to completely rebuild our site comes to an end today. And with that, a new journey begins.
In a previous post, I wrote about how it all began. I won’t repeat that here. In this post, what I’d like to do is share with you some of the macro drivers that called for these changes to happen and how they take us one big step closer to our mission.
Our mission has been (and still is) big and bold. We believe it more today than ever before: to help people the world over—from startup entrepreneurs, to professional freelancers, graduates, retirees and anyone in-between—live their dreams of working independently. This means working for themselves, and little by little, building up their own successful business one hour at a time. It goes as much for our Buyers as it does for our Sellers. They differ in utility, but share the same desires and end goal.
With this new version of PeoplePerHour, we also relaunched our Blog to share some of these stories with our community. Nothing tells the PPH mission better than the people who rely on the site each day. We’d love to hear yours too! Just send it to us at stories [at] peopleperhour.com
Before going any further, I’d like to express my gratitude to all those who came together to make this happen. From our investors who pushed us to step up and aim higher, to our vibrant community that got us here in the first place, you’ve been relentless in offering us feedback and we thank you. Your insights have made this relaunch what it is. To our friends and family, who we haven’t seen much of in the run up to this, we thank you for being so incredibly patient.
But most of all, I want to thank and congratulate the PPH Team—members of the community included—for their untethered commitment. The heart and stamina they’ve displayed in this journey is humbling. Saying that they worked hard would be a gross understatement. Team PPH moved mountains. Period.
We set out to create the dream experience; to deliver the best product in this bubbling space of online working, which, by the way, we believe is only in its infancy. We believe we are at the onset of a movement, the making of a new economy that will be as big as the social media revolution. And we believe that PPH will be in the driver’s seat. We now have the best product in the market by a mile, a vibrant raving community, and a great team. It would take an Act of God to stop us.
The big picture: why now, why this, why does it matter?
Online working has gone through a huge evolution in the years since we started. With its roots in niche skills and verticals that were traditionally accustomed to freelance work (like IT and Journalism) traditionally associated with offshore work for a cost saving, working online is now finding its way into the mainstream economy. And it is unlocking a vast and diverse talent pool along the way. From stay at home moms, students, retirees and anything in-between, the 5 to 9 Economy is emerging.
The best businesses are the ones that make use of unused capacity. Airbnb didn’t create the second bedroom. They just created a market for it. Etsy didn’t create artists and artisans, they just gave them a venue to showcase their wares.
As the PPH stories will tell you, what set PPH apart from the beginning, was that it became a breeding ground for a diverse, local quality talent pool—people turning to moonlighting as a way out of financial trouble or boredom, people needed a new dream and challenge. Eventually they leave their jobs and work full time via PPH, building up a successful business one hour at a time.
What we launched today doubles down on that unique selling point of PPH. PeoplePerHour is not about offshoring or the race to the bottom. As previously displayed in our PPH economy and now the infographic on our homepage, the average rate on PPH is a stark contrast to some of the other players in the space, set at $34 and £22 per hour. Small businesses on the Buy side come to PPH to get quality and diversity, delivered fast and reliably.
With Hourlies, this becomes a whole lot easier, both for Buyers and Sellers. For many reasons, but this one in particular: by bringing down the unit of economics to as little as one hour, we allow people on both sides to start small, move fast and build up from there. The best way of building trust is to just start, try with something where you won’t lose much time or cost. A reflection of how the offline world works. While others are looking to build complex tools for work management, we look to simplicity.
The internet is about empowerment. And simplicity is the catalyst. Much like Twitter helped create ‘citizen journalist’ and democratised media. Much like Tumbler unleashed peoples’ voices, allowing millions who would otherwise never write or be inclined to—me inclusive—to share their views with the world. SoundCloud is now doing it for people who otherwise wouldn’t create music to grow into musicians with a following. YouTube has done it for video.
The next big thing in that movement is democratization of labour. Allowing anyone and everyone to just as easily as posting on Tumblr or tweeting on Twitter to post and earn fast, on the go, over their lunch break, in the evening, or in-between changing diapers.
Before even launching we’ve seen over 1000 Hourlies posted with some incredible variety, from people who can do an Avatar for you like this to someone to help you register trademark in an hour to someone offering travel tips to their home city in an hour to someone who can teach you how to use Twitter in an hour, or Photoshop in 4 hours … the diversity and creativity is just endless.
This will be a new economy and I predict it will become bigger than what we know today as the “9 to 5” job within ten years.
Making the transition as smooth as possible
We know these are big changes to the site, and we know they might be painful for some. Please be patient. These are big changes for all of us. To help make the transition smooth, we have done the following:
Under “How it Works” on the top navigation from the homepage (upper right), you will find some collateral that will help you. Please take a few moments to read this.
- How it Works narrative with screenshots for Buyers and Sellers
- Translation of key parts of old site to new for Buyers and Sellers
Our support team is on 24-hour duty to ensure the transition is as smooth possible. All emails are addressed in the same day so if we are experiencing high volume of calls please email support [at] peopleperhour.com
We also enhanced our feedback system so that you can give us feedback and report issues on each page you visit. Please utilise it. No doubt there will be things we need to fix or improve. We value your input.
Here’s to a new beginning, a new PeoplePerHour, and making everyone’s dream come true.