There is nothing more beautiful than everyday people coming together to offer voluntary services to one another. The fact that we view work as purely contractual and not as human interaction, is a shortcoming of ours, and luckily, Humans is fixing. Humans, the all in one platform for finding service you may need, is connecting humans to help out other humans find any job that exists. The company is helping out service providers from all walks of life, and is even giving back with their charity program.
AlleyWatch chats with founder Vlad Dobrynin about the company and how it plans to separate itself in a growing industry.
Tell us about the product or service.
Humans.net is the new one-stop-shop that makes it easy to find exactly what you need. Through our powerful search engine, transparent instant messaging and secure payment system, our members can easily find job opportunities and find help with every task imaginable.
How is it different?
One of our key features that sets us apart from other platforms is we let our users control their experiences on Humans.net. All of our members choose who they work with, when and the price—there is no middleman. Thanks to our transparent instant messaging feature, members feel like they know who they are hiring, since they play a large role in reaching out to other members, discussing work terms and negotiating contracts.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re making a splash in the gig economy, which is growing exponentially and expanding to new age groups, professions and locations.
Worldwide, 30 to 45 percent of working-age people are unemployed, inactive in the workforce or only work part time, according to a 2015 report by McKinsey Global Institute. Online sharing platforms offer a viable option for bolstering job markets and are projected to add $2.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2025. Despite their potential, sharing platforms are limited in scope in the US market.
With the rise of the gig economy, sharing platforms are expected to surge in popularity in the coming years. Humans.net offers a new kind of platform—one where everything is possible and one that caters to people of all skill types and experience levels, and to people looking for help with every task imaginable. As one of the first and most comprehensive platforms in the US, we are positioned for rapid growth across the nation.
What is the business model?
We’re invested in our users’ success—in fact, we don’t earn any money until they do. Our fees are straightforward and transparent: there are no charges for signing up, creating a profile or using our site to search for and connect with others. For service providers, we only charge commission fees for completed contracts—the fees are based on the total amount of money a provider has earned on Humans.net. The more you earn, the less
commission you pay. For clients, we charge nothing—you only pay what you and the provider agree upon in a contract.
At Humans.net, we are committed to creating a world where people come together to help one another. An important part of this vision is giving back to the community through charity. To that end, we reserve one percent of all collected fees for charities that are working hard to improve the lives of everyday people.
What inspired the business?
When we began our journey to build Humans.net, our goal was to create a platform that allows people to use their skills to help others—an open community where people from all cultures, religions and walks of life can come together, communicate with one another and help each other reach their full potential.
At Humans.net, our members are not just “users”—we are all humans. We built our platform around the specific needs, skills and humanity of our members. First and foremost, we are an open community—a diverse network of individuals who respect, value and celebrate one another. We encourage all our members to showcase who they really are when finding and providing help.
How do you plan on competing with existing offerings that are similar that have been in the marketplace for a while?
Sharing platforms in the US market tend to be limited in scope, with platforms like Upwork focused exclusively on freelancers and online providers, while others such as TaskRabbit and Handy are geared towards low-skilled providers who can help with everyday chores. We want to change this—we were designed as an open platform for everyone and for everything.
The fact that we don’t have a middleman controlling the experiences of our users is a standout feature that sets us apart from competitors. Humans.net offers its users freedom and flexibility—whether it be with their time, the work they do or the places they live. That’s the beauty of the gig economy for both providers and clients, and this is where Humans.net shines. Our providers know what services they can provide better than anyone else and our clients know what they need help with better than anyone else—so why would we try and control the process for them?
Additionally, our platform features powerful tools that translate to a fast, simple and safe experience for all our users. Through our powerful search engine, transparent instant messaging and secure payment system, members can easily find exactly what they’re looking for. We welcome everyone—from people with practical or unique skills, to people needing help with any and every task, we have everything in one place.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
In the next six months we’ll be expanding our services across the nation, with the goal of hitting every major city across the country and securing a network of 200,000 by the end of the year. Right now, anyone in the country can sign up, but we’re concentrating on building both our client and provider base in several key markets. Additionally, we’ll be looking to grow our member base, which is already over 30,000 strong and increasing every day.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. Everyone wants to make everything so complicated. Throw away everything that makes life complicated. And do this every day.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Mark Zuckerberg. There are strong parallels between our concept and Facebook and collaboration could have transformative potential. I understand that everyone says this. But in our case it is the truth. And it does not matter that Mark does not live in NYC—we are all people of the world.
Why did you launch in New York?
At Humans.net, we consider ourselves a global network—we have developers from all over the world and members with diverse backgrounds and cultures. Our vision has always been to expand to all corners of the globe, and with this in mind, New York City was the perfect place for us to launch; it is the ultimate melting pot of different cultures, religions and ethnicities. The sheer volume of people living in the city make it a place where anything is possible, which is something members can find on our platform: everything humanly possible.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Burger and Lobster. It’s next door to our office. We spent a lot of time there. Delicious lobster rolls. It’s cozy for lunch when it is not overcrowded.