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Interview: Pablo Quintero, FishGig

Ever wonder whether driving for UberEats will earn you more than riding for Deliveroo or Foodora? Will that change in a few hours? Or tomorrow? With FishGig, a new UNSW-born startup, you can now compare and select which on-demand platform pays you more at any given time.

Blitz chatted to the founder of FishGig to learn more about his startup journey, and fishin’ for a gig.

What’s the story behind the name, FishGig?

I wanted a name that contained the word ‘gig’ in it. Not many people know that fishgig actually means trident, and that worked perfectly because it represents the action of fishing for your next gig. I also specifically wanted a name that could become a verb. I want people to eventually say: “You want to know how much you can earn today? Just FishGig it.”

How did you come up with the idea for FishGig?

After finishing my MBA, I needed money to pay my living expenses and decided to work as a delivery rider with Deliveroo. The day I made that decision I thought ‘Let me check out which platform provides me the best rate for the hours I want to work’, but I couldn’t find an easy way to do that. After some weeks riding, it was very clear that the on-demand economy is highly inefficient for both the workers and the platforms. The workers wasted a lot of time waiting for orders, and the platforms have a very high turnover and spend thousands of dollars to capture and retain workers.

With FishGig, we want to bring efficiency into the on-demand economy by connecting on-demand workers and marketplaces. We help on-demand workers manage and optimise their gigs across platforms, and we also help marketplaces reduce supply churn and turnover.

How do you differentiate FishGig in the sea of strtups?

An important differentiation factor is that we play in the very new on-demand economy, which is expected to grow 33-fold worldwide in the next eight years. Our aim since day one, is to make a global impact with FishGig, and we believe we’re in the perfect scenario to achieve that. Moreover, we have a very unique value proposition within this economy because we are not simply another marketplace that puts together supply and demand.

Have you encountered any difficulties on your journey so far?

The main challenge I’ve come across is trying to find a potential tech co-founder. Unfortunately, it is hard to find phenomenal technical talent in Australia due to the small size of the population spread throughout such a vast block of land.

The lack of resources and money in the early stage was also initially a big issue, but it turned into a positive because it forced me to get things done in a creative and resourceful way.

What lessons have you learned?

I have two bachelors, a PhD, an MBA and eight years of work experience, and I can tell you that the learning experience associated with running a startup is incomparable to anything else. Although it’s very hard to narrow down all of the lessons I’ve learned so far into a list, a highlight is that there are always people (friends, family and even many strangers!) who are willing to help you. So a good takeaway is to always speak up and tell everyone what you’re doing because you never know who might open the next door for you.

You currently provide users with a comparison of delivery based jobs, do you plan on expanding the range of jobs you compare?

Absolutely. We started with delivery based jobs because of my experience riding for Deliveroo. We also believe that you need to get a small niche right before you go for a wider market.

The on-demand economy has two clear supply streams: service providers (Uber drivers, Deliveroo riders etc.) and renters (AirBnb, CarNextDoor etc.). Our short term goal is to provide users with all of the options for earning money when they type in a certain asset like ‘car’ into FishGig. We’d provide them with how they can either rent their asset or provide a service with it.

We are currently expanding into other verticals of the on-demand economy, and soon FishGig will provide access to information about ridesharing, dog sitting, cooking, or renting your car or garage.

Where do you see FishGig in five years from now?

We have a very bold vision for the future of FishGig. However, we’re also aware that that vision will be shaped by the different elements of the market, and we will have to adapt accordingly. I definitely see FishGig as a key player in the on-demand economy worldwide.

Do you have any advice for students looking to found a startup?

Firstly, if you don’t have an idea but feel attracted to the startup ecosystem, reach out to any startup and ask to work there for a few hours a week. It will help you to realise whether or not the startup world is for you.

Secondly, it’s now easier than ever to validate your idea, given the open source learning, free online tools and fast access to people. So, if you already have an idea, just go for it.

And finally, time is your most valuable asset! I believe that the only way to win as an early founder, when you have very limited resources and no capital, is by learning faster than anyone else. So, maximise your time by making sure every effort contributes directly to your end goal.

Have an idea for a startup? Arc’s Innovation initiatives can help you out!

Header Image: Armida Pobre

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About Casey D’Souza

Casey D’Souza
Casey (pronounced Cas-see) likes many things but mainly words, the oxford comma, and long romantic late night walks to her fridge. When she’s not instagramming her food or dreaming of her next globe trotting adventure, she can be found untangling the web of words inside her head, and making it seem like she is going places.

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