The Uber of X: Entrepreneurship In The Gig Economy
As mobile app developers, we’ve noticed a trend, and have a feeling you’ve noticed it too- the growing number of mobile applications being developed that describe themselves as “the Uber of X.” While we’re sure Uber is quite flattered by this, it speaks to more than just the massive brand recognition of the ride sharing company - it’s a key insight into the future of our society as a whole. But how can you, as an entrepreneur, harness this trend? How can you ensure that your app rides the wave of success, instead of drowning in it?
You’ve likely heard the term “gig economy” to describe the growing number of companies that rely on contract workers to fuel their success. These companies - the father of which is Uber, but which also include AirBnb, Favor, Lyft, Turo, Taskrabbit and many more - are growing in number seemingly every day, and demonstrating success to the point that larger companies like Johnson & Johnson and Papa John's are adopting some aspects for their own management.
As an entrepreneur, it’s a given that if you aren’t starting up a gig economy company, you’re making use of one to build what you are founding. Here’s what you need to know to succeed in our brave new world:
The World Is Mobile First
Let’s get this off the table first and foremost - it’s no longer enough to just have a website. An increasing number of people expect to be able to operate entirely through their smartphones, either through mobile-friendly websites or apps. So many people are searching through mobile that Google is changing their search algorithm - which, historically, has always served as the universal push for companies to update.
If you’re asking for payment through mobile interactions (and chances are, you want to), investing in a mobile app will increase your sales, as it’s viewed as more secure from the user’s perspective - as long as it’s a high quality app. The reason I chose to say invest, instead of purchase, is that your app will be as valuable as a storefront. Have an equal amount of care in its creation and management, and you’ll profit handsomely, but go with the cheapest possible option, and you’ll drive customers away.
Understand The Tools
When you’re building your company, make sure you take a stock of the tools that are now available to you through the gig economy. There are now many services that will allow you to buy exactly the amount of help you need, instead of hiring someone as an employee and hoping that your company grows enough to support them. Whether it’s using Fiverr for graphics, or a program like CitySprint to delivery printed paperwork, it’s likely that if you search hard enough, there’s an app for that. Whatever “that” is. Don’t try to immerse yourself in the gig economy if you’re unable to harness its true power.
Additionally, if you’re creating a gig-economy app, this exercise will help you see where your company is redundant - and how it can improve to become a truly threatening competitor of what is already on the market.
Know That Competition Will Be Stiff - But Victory All The More Sweet
The gig economy, and the influx of many apps that are the Uber for their respective industries (or aspire to be) means two key things:
The app startup space is incredibly crowded
It’s easier than ever for entrepreneurs to start companies, as less of them have 9-5 jobs that restrict them considerably.
What does this mean for you? In short, regardless of the industry you’re entering, it will be more crowded than ever before, as more people with entrepreneurial aspirations are able to follow their dreams. But that also means that a higher percentage of those startups are low quality, or half realized but neglected, as their founders struggle with time management problems they did not anticipate stemming from their gig-economy “day jobs.” If you’re able to invest quality time and resources into your app, it will rise to the top faster than ever before.
The gig economy is changing entrepreneurship as a whole. Are you ready? Get in touch with us at Code Brew today for a free evaluation, and discover what it will take for your startup to achieve success.February 6, 2017