Loomio
July 12th, 2019 18:46

Seed-fund PlatformX (platform coop hybrid)?

Jeff Regino
Jeff Regino Public Seen by 211

Hello everyone!

Based on a recent discussion in another Loomio group (Funding the Commons Transition), @graham2 has expressed openness in supporting PlatformX, the world's first-and-only online jobs platform of its kind.

Are other Platform 6 members also willing to support and provide seed funding for PlatformX?

If successful, I envision this seed funding for PlatformX will eventually jumpstart Platform 6's common/funding pool.

Funding ask: £8,000 to £10,000 (£100-£125/Platform6 member; assuming 80 members)
Return: 20% interest (I'm happy to offer venture capital-like returns to Platform 6 specifically to help further coop development)...

...plus I'll add Platform 6 as a Founding Supporter to our website's Hall of Gratitude page.

If some of you would be willing to donate or invest individually (£300-£2000 or more), please let me know. We'll add you as Founding Supporter to our Hall of Gratitude page too.

Details here: https://www.onlinejobsplus.com/bfb-platformx/#1p6pos (please share this!)

We have volunteer advisors from UK, Canada, US, Belgium/Thailand.

Should our collaboration here be successful, I'd be happy to include Platform 6 in my presentation at the Platform Coop Conference in New York this coming November!

Thanks for reading!

Jeff Regino

Jeff Regino August 2nd, 2019 17:53

Update: As I've expected many years ago... things have gotten much worse:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/331700 "Upwork to Charge Freelancers to Bid on Jobs, Further Squeezing Those Who Rely on the 'Gig Economy'

We've desperately needed an ethical alternative for many years now! And that's the goal of PlatformX!

Please share and support if you're keen and able! Thank you!

Graham

Graham August 3rd, 2019 10:09

What's interesting in this article for me is the apparent dominance of a single platform - Upwork - in the market. There are other players, but it seems, if the piece is to be believed, that they offer a fraction of the opportunities available on this platform. Why is that? What makes Upwork so attractive to the people looking for gig workers?

Graham

Graham August 3rd, 2019 10:17

In other news, I'm starting to do a little bit of work to help projects like this gain more visibility through the Platform 6 website and linked social media activity. I'd like to hope that you'll be an early adopter @Jeff . Initially I think it will provide a page for your project on our site, and I'm hoping - if I can get my head round how to do it, that I can get it so that people can 'join' your project as supporters in some way (still working on the details of that). Let me know what might work well from your perspective. Also, not sure if it's of interest at all, but we operate as a host on Open Collective, enabling projects like yours to set up a collective, with Platform 6 as host, and use that to enable supporters to give a little money to the project and enable you to manage those funds without needing a bank account or a legal entity. Our OC page is at https://opencollective.com/platform6-coop

Jeff Regino

Jeff Regino August 4th, 2019 07:52

The article focused on Upwork, but generally it is indeed dominant.

It's attractive because it's been around a long time. It offers many jobs, clients and workers. More importantly, there is a lack of worthy and ethical alternatives. It's currently part of an oligopoly.

That's why I'm moving forward with PlatformX.

Jeff Regino

Jeff Regino August 4th, 2019 07:59

I have recently sent you an email thru Loomio. Have you seen it yet?

I've seen this page thanks to Leo S.:
https://platform6.coop/cooperative-crowdfunding-monitor

The page could start simple and have a comment section where interested supporters can pledge, comment, or ask questions

I've seen Open Collective before. From initial observation, it seems to be focused on open source projects only. If that's the case, PlatformX will not be eligible, but I've considered making PlatformX's code open source in the future.

Graham

Graham August 4th, 2019 14:13

The fact that it\s been around a long time is probably a contributory factor to this, but I'd guess that it is a/the dominant player in the space because, like any successful marketplace, it has succeeded in bringing together buyers and sellers in the numbers needed to make it work well for both. Many big platforms have achieved this, either through being the first or early entrants to the market, and/or by throwing very large amounts of capital at the problem.

Graham

Graham August 4th, 2019 14:32

Thanks for reminding me about the email, to which I've now responded. And thanks for your thoughts about the project page. I've got a week away from the office coming up, so I might find some time to start actually building this out.

As for Open Collective, it does feature a lot of open source software projects, but it's not exclusively about open source or even about tech. Lots of groups are using the platform simply as a means to grow their crowd during the early stages of the life of a project. It offers a very simple and straightforward way to enable supporters to contribute a bit of money to the project, either as a regular donation or a one-off payment, and for the project to manage that money and pay out for expenses transparently, without needing a bank account or a legal entity. We chose it mainly for this reason, thinking that many emergent co-operative projects will have such a need.

Jeff Regino

Jeff Regino August 6th, 2019 10:12

You're right. It was an early entrant with large capital

Jeff Regino

Jeff Regino August 6th, 2019 10:17

In that case, it's quite similar to crowdfunding platforms and apps like Patreon. I'm going to reply to your email and check more details on how Open Collective works. Thanks, enjoy your vacation!