A recent Medium article exposes some of the drawbacks inherent in the business model of the TaskRabbit service.
TaskRabbit is very much in the space that my Action Oriented Workflow mines for all possible work interactions but only for the subset of physical labor of a temporary and nature. They are a subset of the much larger space that AOW enables harnessing with both physical and knowledge work (this being the much bigger piece of the pie that WorkNetz will primarily focus on)...that said, one of the key features of the AOW technology is the ability for delegated agents to REJECT work they do not wish to do OR to even simply never get work in their cue at all if they are not electing to receive it.
I saw this as a critical requirement of the system for two reasons:
1) If you give them the ability to reject they retain that sense of ownership, they are indeed their own boss and work on their own schedule as most people want and with Taskrabbits pivot are not denied.
2) Allowing people to reject work allows that work to move with alacrity to those who are available and want to do it, if you've got a global pool of options then this becomes MORE certain the larger your organization and or the larger your pool of possible contractors are.
:I explain why this is critical in my posts on Action Oriented Workflow but the sound bite can be had by flipping through this presentation deck I prepared last year to describe how AOW enable systems will work.
WorkNetz AOW presentation slides
With the implementation of the autonomous work routing of the ADA (Action Delta Assessment) algorithm the determination of who gets a delegated action is done purely by the historical algorithm and those preferred nodes are virtual managers by virtue of the fact that their past performance has made them stars to the system and they still have the ability to re-delegate (reject work) that they get in their queue.
This virtual or dynamic management is the only type of management that should exist I posit, a real time assessment of ability to redelegate work trumps the manual distribution of labor that is done when people are in charge of teams of workers which is rife with opportunity for cronyism to skew results away from what would be ideal for the business. I elaborate on this in the AOW white paper.
AgilEntity in the form of the AOW paradigm which generalizes the solution for any vertical physical labor or knowledge work. I considered describing WorkNetz the company I am working on now to present solutions built on the AOW paradigm as: "taskrabbit for everything" at some point...given this shift in their approach, which makes sense given that in any given geographical region, there is a low density of people who can mobilize, are skilled and willing to perform a specific physical task it is clear why as a target TaskRabbit was aiming too low, they built a rocket that only allowed them to reach for the mountain instead of the moon.
Solving the problem for one type of labor (physical) made sense as there would be no need to tackle the much harder problem of generalizing to all types of work actions irrespective of their nature as physical labor associated or knowledge work associated would be a much more difficult task one that I took on and completed when I completed the implementation of the Action Oriented Workflow technology in AgilEntity in 2005.
I chose to generalize the solution for any type of interaction and let the business decide how it is going to provide incentives to the agents it already has...what I defined as "in sourcing". This is critical as it prevents the attrition problem that is described in the article where once a person is set up with a tasker through the service why would they use the service a second time if they can get the direct contact information for that same tasker from the initial interaction? By enabling any existing business to turn all it's employees into an emancipated workforce of contingent laborers who are employees one can harness that existing workforce optimally to make action execution fluid and 24/7 possible and maintain this advantage even as the company grows from 10 to 10,000 "employees" distributed all over the globe.
WorkNetz AOW presentation slides