Call it a micro-job website. Call it a way to do the most interesting things for only $5. But for sure, it is a way for hundreds of thousands of people to make a few extra bucks.
I purchased the photo in this blog for $5 from a student attending art school who calls herself “Ellefont.” She does this on Fiverr.com “to make ends meet.” She gets an additional $5 if you order the leaf with multiple backgrounds – which I also did. These are not “Photoshopped” – she cut them out of an actual leaf. How fun! She has sold 50 of them so far.
There are now 740,000 offers on Fiverr.com and growing. Here are some things people will do for $5: Dance and sing words of your choice; Discuss the value of your business idea for 30 minutes; Arrange and photograph your name in Glow Sticks; Pay you a compliment on video; Paint two words on a woman’s lips and send a high resolution photo; Write your dating site profile.
There’s an old story that compares life to putting pieces of earth into a jar. To get the most inside, put the rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand. These micro sites are like sand in our economy. They fill the crevasses between the larger companies, consuming underutilized capacity in small granular pieces. People aim for full time jobs first, then use Fiverr to make ends meet, like Ellefont.
Futurists once thought mega-sized retailers would continue to squeeze out smaller independent shops because they can force down costs with economies of scale. But the web’s ability to connect people for free doesn’t require a middleman and can be set up with very little equipment. This also reduces costs, without sacrificing quality.