The Importance of Innovation in the New Era of the ‘Gig’ Economy 

An edtech founder opines on what knowledge workers need and what’s really important.    

GUEST COLUMN | by Steven Blohm 

Piano lessons for meatballs. Wedding Singer, anyone?

Now that I have your attention, let me “unpack” this one, if I may. Perhaps it was Robbie Hart’s (Adam Sandler) neighborly gesture to give piano and singing lessons to the elderly woman (played by the late Ellen Albertini Dow) in exchange for tasty meatballs out of the kindness of his heart. Personally, I’ve always thought he should have charged more. After all —he did live in his sister’s basement. 

‘…it will require conversations like this to continue to stress the importance of innovating…’

But what if Robbie Hart had a way to connect with other aspiring pianists and vocalists through the power of the internet? What if he could market himself online as the guy who teaches beginners how to become professional wedding singers? Furthermore, what if he had all of these in one platform that handles his e-commerce needs as well as its marketing, scheduling, and 1-to-1 video streaming? 

There Has to Be A Better Way

As the Founder and CEO of a web-based, all-in-one knowledge-sharing web platform, these are questions I am constantly asking myself and those around me. 

With 68% percent of knowledge workers jumping between different applications up to 10x/hour, significantly derailing their productivity and individuals spending up to an hour a day navigating between a slew of communications apps (which can add up to 32 days of wasted time, per year), I think we can all agree that there has to be a better way.

The Core of What We Crave

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to applaud the profound impact the content creation platforms like Instagram and Youtube have had on our society as a whole. The “democratization” of digital media has fundamentally changed how we as individuals connect with one another. I hold the belief that human connection will always be the core of what we all crave. 

The downside? The business opportunities for their users seem to be reserved for the few who achieved virality or have amassed a large and loyal following. Rather than contemplate if Robbie Hart would have been a rich and famous YouTube star, I think we should also consider how we get Robbie teaching virtual piano and voice lessons 1:1 to anyone in the world at any time of day — and add to his “get out of the basement fund.” 

Jokes aside, we’ve got to make it easier for people who both want to teach and learn. And to do this, it will require conversations like this to continue to stress the importance of innovating in the new era of the “gig” economy.

Steven Blohm is the Founder and CEO of Moali, an all-in-one knowledge-sharing platform built to connect people who have something to share with people who have something to learn. Moali features the ability for teachers to publish their online profiles, schedule lessons with students, conduct interactive video lessons, track payments and upcoming events, as well as promote lessons for new students from a single dashboard.

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