Internet start-ups are a dime a dozen, even in Australia, but there's something about Airtasker that has really caught our attention.
Described as being like eBay for odd jobs, Airtasker offers users an online marketplace that pairs people who have jobs with people who have spare time and the desire to earn some extra money. Tasks are listed by the "Tasker", with a detailed description about what is required, and "Runners" bid on the opportunity to complete the task. The Tasker can then choose the lowest bidder or the person with the best reputation on the site, depending on what they feel is more important to the task.
Beyond this initial connection, Airtasker serves as a private communications platform for Taskers and Runners, allowing them to communicate about the fine details of a job without the need to share more private information. To best serve this purpose, the Airtasker team has developed an iPhone app, with an Android app in the pipeline.
In the video above, we spoke to Airtasker founder and CEO Tim Fung about how the site works, how it protects its users and how he anticipates people will make the best use of the site. Off-camera, we spoke about how the US site TaskRabbit inspired the Airtasker concept. Fung explained that while they looked closely at how TaskRabbit worked, they improved on that formula by making Airtasker a more open marketplace, and that sites like Airbnb — an online alternative to hotel accommodation — served as a more direct inspiration.