This is Blessing Ijoma, the CEO of Hourspent. Today is a big day for us. We embarked on a 6-month journey to completely revamp Hourspent so that you can have a clear view of what we stand for. This milestone was completed today. Guess what? A new journey has started. This has brought us one step closer to our mission which is to create economic opportunities for people and businesses across the world, breaking boundaries without limits.
I'd like to share with you some of the macro drivers that influenced these changes and how they took us one big step closer to our mission.
Most businesses shut down within the space of one to two years. What could have gone wrong? We found out that some startups have:
1. Products that are solving no problem.
2. Products targeting a saturated market with no unique approach.
3. Products that require huge capital but they couldn't access such capital
4. Products only solving the owner's problem.
5. Lack of ability to execute despite having a good product and funding.
6. Economic crisis and unforeseen circumstances.
My team and I believed by helping entrepreneurs build step by step, hour by hour at a time with diverse talents, we are changing the status quo and at the same time building an economic value at scale. We also believe in human potentials and their ability to create an impact on startups irrespective of their location.
Before going any further, I'd like to express my gratitude to all those who came together to make this happen. From our mentors who pushed us to step up and aim higher, to the 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 our upgrade 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 Hourspent Team, members of the community included for their untethered commitment. The heart and stamina they've displayed in this journey are humbling. Saying that they worked hard would be a gross understatement. Team Hourspent moved mountains. Period.
We set out to create the dream experience; to deliver the best product in this gig/freelance economy; a bubbling space where distributed teams are epic and we are adding a resilience flavor to it! 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 Hourspent 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?
Teamwork has gone through a huge evolution over the years has its roots in niche skills and verticals that were traditionally accustomed to working onsite and tied on desks. The future of work came on board with freelance work (like IT and Journalism) associated with offshore work for a cost-saving. Working remotely as a distributed team instead of been an independent freelancer is 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 new Economy is emerging and it's going to win because it enables startups to work smarter and solve problems efficiently.
The internet is about empowerment and simplicity is the catalyst. Much like Twitter helped create 'citizen journalism' and democratized media. Much like Quora unleashed people's voices, allowing millions who would otherwise never write or be inclined to be 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 best businesses are the ones that make use of what people already have. Airbnb didn't create the second bedroom neither did Uber buy a fleet of cars. They just created a market for it. Etsy didn't create artists and artisans; they just gave them a venue to showcase their wares.
The next big movement is the democratization of labor. Allowing anyone to work with talents miles away from her/him and grow. And making it as easy as posting on Quora or tweeting on Twitter, on the go, over their lunch break, in the evening, or in-between changing diapers.
As Hourspent's stories will tell you, what set Hourspent apart from the beginning, was that it became a breeding ground for a diverse, distributed talent pool with resilience spirit people building startups of their dreams from anywhere. Eventually, talents leave their jobs and work remotely via Hourspent as distributed teams, building up successful startups and fortune 500 companies one hour at a time.
Before this, freelancers on Hourspent voiced their opinion; they made several requests to have the bidding feature scrapped. That was the beginning of our restructuring. We made several attempts to bring every one of them on board but we couldn't. We picked the top 2% among them and grouped them into teams based on individual location, skillset, availability and resilient spirit.
Over 100 complex projects have been completed by these incredible talents within the space of three months, from teams building both iOS and Android app, designing pitch presentations to helping startups find their product-market fit. Their diversity and creativity are just endless.
I predict this fast-rising gig economy to be bigger than what we know today as the "9 to 5” job within the next ten years.
Making the transition as smooth as possible
We know these are big changes made, 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:
We've written a helpful guide. You can find it right at the top of the homepage, you will find some questions and answers that will help you. Please take a few moments to read them.
Our support team is on a 24-hour duty to ensure the transition is as smooth possible. All emails are addressed on the same day so if we are experiencing a high volume of calls please email support [at] hourspent.com. For partnership opportunities, send an email to partnerships[at]hourspent.com
On this new version of Hourspent, we relaunched our Blog page to share some of these stories with our community and an Insight page to share some real business case studies, epic startup failures and successes, hiring and some inspirations to help entrepreneurs navigate the real business world. We also redesigned our logo! go check it out. Nothing tells the Hourspent story better than the people who rely on us each day. Do you have a story on how you've been going strong with or on Hourspent? We'd love to hear your story! Just send it to us at info [at] hourspent.com.
We also enhanced our contact page so that you can submit your feedback and report issues easily. Please utilize it. No doubt there will be things we need to fix or improve. We value your input.
I welcome you all to a new year, a new beginning and a new Hourspent, dedicated to making every business dream and talents come true.