Avbl hosts freelancer profiles and organizes their availability to usher in a new era of skill search.
Picture this: you’re heading home on the subway after a long day at work, and suddenly a great idea pops into your head. Thoughts about this never-been-done-before platform flood through your mind and you can feel your synapses firing like crazy. As you frantically jot down the idea in iNotes, it dawns on you that if you spin this correctly, you could just very well be the next Elon Musk or David Karp. Looking at the big picture, it also dawns on you that you certainly do not have any graphic design skills or the wherewithal to build the code for this earth-shattering app.
One of the biggest roadblocks to starting a new project or completing one in flux is having a comprehensive set of skills to get the work done. Luckily, freelancers have begun to disrupt the traditional work model and have the flexibility to provide valuable expertise when needed. Freelance work is becoming the new normal, and by 2020, freelancers are predicted to make up a whopping 40% of the entire US workforce. With this influx of independent workers, the landscape is surprisingly devoid of platforms or services that not only help freelancers organize their schedules, but also make it easier for companies and peers to find them.
Avbl is aiming to change all of that.
Short for “available,” the platform hopes to make it easier for people of various disciplines to collaborate with each other. Members are prompted to create their own profile pages, and can list their skills, upload profile pictures, and show off samples of their work.
“The [freelance] industry has always sought an organized system, but it hadn’t been articulated just yet,” founder Ryan Hooks explains to PSFK.
Hooks has been on the freelance bandwagon for seven years, having lent his design expertise to over 80 different companies including Ogilvy, UNICEF, and FX Networks. The idea for Avbl had been simmering in Hooks’ thoughts for a while, and one fateful meeting at a Brooklyn coffee shop led him to developer Olex Ponomarenko. After a few beers, a partnership was born and Avbl hit the ground running.
The feature that sets Avbl apart is the calendar system, where users block off dates when they’re busy so that prospective clients or future collaborators know when they’re available. This not only helps to organize freelancers’ schedules, but creates a seamless process that effortlessly brings together artists and programmers, photographers and engineers, and more.
“We’re like a personal assistant that helps creatives of all sorts connect,” says Hooks. “Skill search by date doesn’t really exist anywhere yet, and we want to invite people of all different disciplines to find each other.”
“I think it really was Airbnb that made my life more enjoyable, and I wanted to bring those aspects to the freelance community,” says Hooks. “We are not apartments, but we do have skills, firm handshakes, and the desire to create things with meaning.”
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