The Next Workforce

A startup veteran, Roger Dickey has moved on from his last success—selling a gaming company to Zynga and founding the game Mafia Wars with 100 million users—to become the founder and CEO of Gigster, a five-year-old company that allows enterprise clients to tap into an elite pool of independent developers for building and maintaining their […]

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Tell us about Gigster and how the idea came to you.

We started Gigster about five years ago. Every executive is interested in digital transformation, but they don’t necessarily have the resources they need to make it happen. We wanted to solve three problems with how companies worked with outsourced software developers:

One was around user experience for outsourcing. My background is consumer internet, and I wanted to take a consumerization angle with the problem—to have a team with full product management, development, and design. Basically, a ready-to-go team for our clients to build whatever they need. We wanted it to be as easy as pushing a button, the same way that Uber transformed the taxi experience.

Number two was talent. The best software developers in the world don’t want to work for agencies. They don’t want to sit behind a desk and do client projects and not have their own freedom to explore. We found that some of the best freelancers in the world were actually the most talented people. They were always tinkering, always learning new technologies. We found that by building a model that creates the best place to work for independent talent, we attract the right people.

Number three was a vision of automation. In software development, there’s a ton of duplicated work. You could rebuild 99% of what is found on the internet with a small, finite set of components. Search boxes, landing pages, profile pages–we see a lot of repeated patterns. We’ve always believed that if a centralized group was doing all of the software development in the world, they could find a way to economies of scale. So, we set out to build technology that allows us to scale across projects—and not just in software development, but in project management, design quality assurance—everything through the lifecycle. We build tools and use data to optimize how that happens.

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