Next time your friend's Aunty Gladys asks if that software the nice man from India installed on her PC is legitimate, you might just get paid for helping her out.
That's the aim of Singaporean startup Fynd, which bills itself as a way to “use your technical expertise to earn extra income.”
The site's schtick is to match folks in need of IT support – either individuals or very small businesses – with nearby techies who'll drop in to fix things up. The service says its techies can tackle jobs like “removal of virus in laptop/desktops, speed up the performance of slow computers, installation or re-installation of operating system, backup of data, setup email clients, configure WiFi connection or troubleshoot smartphone issues … [and] repair of phone or laptop's cracked screen.
“Geeks”, as Fynd insists on calling its operatives, are interviewed before being loosed on the world and can tap into Fynd's community of fellow techies-for-hire if they feel like levelling up.
Fynd's rates are “$80 to $150 per job” of which 80% of the goes to the geek. “Each job will usually won't take more than 2-3 hours, “ the service guesstimates, “so it will be about $20-$100 per hour, depending on how fast you can get the job done.”
Fynd isn't suggesting it's going to be anyone's career. Nor is it trying to tackle business computing. Which is just as well: Aunty Gladys or a small businesses might tolerate a loosely-affiliated and unaccountable stranger messing with their computers. Larger organisations – we hope - understand the madness of such an arrangement.
For now, Fynd is a Singapore-only affair. But with Uber and its ilk inspiring copycats in many fields, it may be the first of many.
Channel players can probably console themselves with the knowledge that franchised tech support outfits like Nerds On Site – whose operatives drive red VW beetles and smile a lot – haven't set the world on fire.
On the other hand, that's probably what the world's cabbies were telling each other a year or two ago. ®