TechCrunch reports on our millionth task

MobileWorks finished its 1 millionth task this month, and TechCrunch has the story:

MobileWorks set out with a different approach (and a social mission) — to pay workers fair wages and create a collaborative online work environment in which microwork would become less anonymous and more like a self-organizing virtual office. The startup believes that this approach can lower the cost of obtaining quality work or results, pay fewer workers more and, in so doing, enable non-enterprise (i.e. smaller companies) to tap into the benefits of crowdsourcing.

The company announced today that its workers have collectively completed one million commercial tasks since launch. What’s more, companies have effectively outsourced five continuous years of work in the last year by hiring its cloud-based crowd, which the team believes is a testament to how much businesses can accomplish by collaborating with a virtual labor pool.

MobileWorks automatically identifies its brainiest members and calls on them to manage the rest of the crowd, with the top one percent of the workforce being able to review everybody’s performance, train workers, hire and fire, and review answers. It’s potentially dangerous, but it also has a lot of advantages. The brainier members of the crowd don’t feel like they’re bored or being held down, others get a sense of the opportunity for upward mobility. What’s more, the crowd is just much more likely to be content and produce good work if it’s policing and monitoring itself, instead of feeling like Big Brother is watching. And that’s good for business.

There are a lot of underprivileged, underemployed workers out there in developing parts of the world who can be trained to be effective workers within MobileWorks’ framework — which, in turn, can help lift them up.

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