In this post we chat to the people behind the new micro job platform Pickle which launches in April 2015. Need a quick task doing at home or elsewhere, or maybe you have a service or skill that can match a task that is on the app. Then you can get paid handsomely for helping your fellow human beings out. Read on to find out how it all works.
Can you tell us a bit about Pickle and how you can make money by using your app
Pickle is a new mobile app that allows users to find and post any job or task they need doing and lets potential ‘fixers’ accept these jobs, negotiate a price, and receive payment through the app.
Jobs posted can be as simple as asking for a fixer to pick up a pint of milk from the shop, or as specialist as requesting a plumber fix the boiler.
Pickle’s mission is to make life easier for everyone.
Can you tell us about the history of the company and how you have got to where you are now?
The company was created in 2014 when, as a full-time mother, I recognised the need for an application that could assist with helping to find more hours in a busy day to get things done. Realising the potential of combining a GPS system with an advertisement board of short-term job opportunities, Pickle was developed.
What made you decide there was a market for this sort of service?
Largely through personal experience… Whether looking for someone with more experience to complete a task I wasn’t able to, or wanting a quick fix for a job I didn’t have the time or energy to do, I became increasingly convinced that there is often a need for an extra set of hands. I knew I wasn’t the only one with this problem and was sure that others could benefit hugely from something that is designed to make life easier.
What safety guards do you have in place to protect both the person who wants work doing and the bidder?
We have many different forms of verification to help with the safety concerns.
Pickle features an integrated rating system that allows users and fixers alike to evaluate each other on job completion, based on their experiences of working together. These ratings are public to all viewers and help to boost customer or fixer profiles and credibility based on factors such as expertise, honesty or reliability.
In addition, Pickle offers a verification system that users are able to upgrade to for a minimal fee. A blue-ticked badge on a profile confirms that users have undergone the verification process.
Finally, in order to make and receive payments, all users must register through Pickle’s payment partner, Stripe. In doing so, they agree to a background check which confirms each user’s identity using his / her bank account details.
How will you be handling disputes? At what point will you get involved?
We have stayed on top of disputes and constantly monitor for inappropriate postings to ensure that a trend does not start. We receive notifications whenever a job is posted so that we are able to verify the job and confirm that it is a suitable and appropriate for Pickle. Should we identify any issues, we remove the post and contact the user immediately to discuss or explain the problem.
Customers and fixers have the opportunity to report each other once a job has been completed. When this happens, the Pickle team investigates the issues and finds a resolution that satisfies both parties. We also have a support team that can be reached at any time to respond to urgent issues.
We are dedicated to guaranteeing that there are no problems left unheard or unresolved in order to ensure that all of our users and fixers are happy with their Pickle experience.
Can you tell us a bit about your background before setting up Pickle?
Before founding Pickle, I was a freelance artist and designer. My portfolio spans projects as diverse as packaging design for a worldwide drinks company and oil commissions for private clients. With experience as a freelancer, I have a deep understanding of the benefits an app such as Pickle can provide in terms of finding opportunities to further or supplement a career or income.
How do you plan to increase engagement with your service at the start?
We are currently reaching the end of our soft-launch period and so far have primarily been focused on publicising the app, its features and its benefits to fixers and customers in order to garner interest, encourage sign-up and illustrate the potential opportunities the app holds for our target audiences.
We have been monitoring and visiting different forums, such as The Money Shed, to reach out to those who are looking for flexible work and to initiate discussions around the Pickle Launch, highlighting our proposition. Jobsites have also proven a useful tool for recruiting and encouraging sign up of fixers.
A few university newsletters will be featuring Pickle in the coming weeks to raise awareness among students who are looking for that same flexibility to combine earning an income with busy study and social schedules.
We are also prominent on social media and have begun running competitions and giveaways which we will continue to run through the app itself in the run up to our official launch in April. These giveaways will provide an incentive to users to download and start using the app and thereby gain an understanding of how it works and how easy it is to use.
Pickle has also recently appointed a PR agency which will be responsible for getting our messages out to key media and consumer audiences through a strategic PR and social media launch campaign.
Have there been any surprises along the way that maybe you didn’t expect when it came to building a service like this?
I was surprised at how male-dominated the technology industry actually is. Although I had some idea of this coming into the market, it was not something that I looked at as an obstacle and have embarked upon my startup journey determined and resolute. I believe that my headstrong approach has helped Pickle receive the recognition it deserves.
How are you planning on advertising the Pickle service when it’s launched?
We plan to continue engaging users via the channels we have been using thus far. We believe that if we want our users to be loyal to us, we need to be loyal to them and that involves making ourselves available 24-7. There is no barrier between company and customer with Pickle; we are one team working together to make life easier for everyone.
Beyond customer and fixer outreach, we will be running impactful PR and social media campaigns alongside our giveaways to attract new users into our community. Our aim is to always be front of mind; whether in a press article, a photo advert, on a forum, or even a Twitter conversation. We will be working hard in the coming months to continually raise awareness of the Pickle app.