Ina Fried

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Gigwalk Expands Beyond Organizing Odd Jobs

Gigwalk, a service that lets people find and perform odd jobs using their iPhones, is finding more permanent work.

The Bay Area start-up has already signed up a number of big-name firms, including Microsoft, that saw the service as a way to get workers to perform large numbers of small tasks. In roughly a year, Gigwalk says, 130,000 people have done more than 180,000 jobs across all 50 states.

Now the company is expanding its software to allow businesses to better communicate with mobile workers, whether they are found through the iPhone or its own employees.

Its latest software allows workers to ask questions and lets companies check in on employees, while also serving up new tools for entering data. Gigwalk’s business model remains the same — charging a double-digit percentage fee for the value of the work parceled out through its service.

With its recent moves, CEO Ariel Seidman said, Gigwalk is moving even further into the enterprise space, further distinguishing it from services like TaskRabbit and Zaarly, which are aimed more at individuals and small business.

“You are seeing some separation here,” Seidman said in an interview.

Gigwalk remains a tiny company of just 14 workers, though it is in the process of moving from its spot in Mountain View to a new spot in San Francisco.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik