The work day of the future may begin like this: you put on your virtual reality goggles while sitting on your couch, you join a group that is organised that same morning and start resolving a shared problem with experts in different industries from all around the world.
This type of work day is not far from reality even today. The new working life is represented in the Ratkaisu 100 competition by Skillhive Next, which is intended as a new type of marketplace for expert services and skills. It is a platform where anyone can buy or sell their expertise and resolve problems together with others using swarm intelligence.
Skillhive Next a new type of marketplace for expert services and skills.
Skillhive Next works like this: the party needing expertise describes their problem. The service lists the people who have the expertise, motivation, price, location and other properties suitable for resolving the problem. The buyer is able to select the individuals to be invited to join the project. For those selling their expertise, Skillhive Next makes it easy for them by automating sales and administrative tasks, such as invoicing. It is sufficient to simply complete the information on their expertise and hourly prices.
“An incredible amount of time is currently being spent on buying expertise,” says Janne Ruohisto, a leader of the team developing Skillhive Next. “Many sell large packages, because the sales costs are so high. However, the customer might need expert help for only a single meeting. Skillhive is a new way to buy practical expertise in very small increments.”
Another new aspect is that Skillhive Next is intended for experts. There is an abundance of electronic marketplaces for buying skills, but a majority of them are directed at blue-collar workers. There is no service for expert work that makes buying easy.
Many of the problems of the digital era require co-operation.
The need for the service has also resulted from the change that has occurred with work. Many of the problems of the digital era require co-operation to be resolved. An individual expert cannot master all areas and co-operation needs to be organised so that it has more flexibility. With Skillhive Next, experts are organised flexibly into “swarms”, which are formed using algorithms, automation and different types of data visualisations.
Different products and services have already been productised on Skillhive Next. The product may be a response to a question, a report, a market or competitor analysis, or even a project or a study. The customer can select the best and most suitable offer. The contract templates are standardised and no separate negotiations are conducted with the service.
“Skillhive Next operates like shopping in a store: everything has a price tag,” says Ruohisto.
The swarm model also allows the swarm to be joined by a learner. Learners do not get paid, but they can improve their knowledge.
As those participating in the service do not know one another in person, Skillhive allows an expert to build reputation capital. The customer provides feedback on every completed project, so those working on the project are motivated to perform well in each one.
For experts, Skillhive Next offers a flexible and easy way to enter the job market. You can work part-time, on the side, as a researcher or when on maternity leave, for example.
Janne Ruohisto believes that in the future everyone will be able to work with what they are interested in and good at: “Our mission is to get people to work more together.”