Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby, is working on a new web based project called MuckWork. After having envisioned the first online portal allowing indie bands to distribute their CDs, his next concept is to create a workforce for bands to take a load off all the little uncreative tasks they need to deal with as DIY entrepreneurs.
This idea might go beyond a typical street team service. Although not much information has been unleashed to the public, it’s aim is probably to become the mturk for bands. mturk (Mechanical Turk) is a sort of micro-employment platform Amazone launched a couple of years ago to help people get time-consuming tasks out of the way by paying other people to do them.
Althouth its concept has great potential, mTurk hasn’t quite made it due to the mindless and thankless little tasks employers keep on coming up with and the very low pay they offer (imagine getting paid $0.03 to write 30 word comments on articles from some website or get paid $0.10 to compare nutrition data of branded food items on the internet). mturk is also solely based on web-type work whereas Muckwork will most probably also concentrate on offline duties (on his site Derek suggests reading this article on outsourcing to get a vague idea of what he has planned for bands).
We have yet to discover how MuckWork will function exactly, but helping out a creative entity like a band is certainly more encouraging and fulfilling then spending countless hours doing something you care nothing about. When asked to give more details on the concept, here’s what Derek had to say:
Honestly I’m not trying to be mysterious about MuckWork, it’s just that I’ve learned from experience that things NEVER turn out as planned, so I just prefer not to talk about it until it’s launched.
PayPal was only intended to be like Twitter for cellphones.
eBay was an academic experiment in collective valuations.
CD Baby was meant to be like PayPal.
Nothing turns out as planned, so instead I’m just going to lay low, start MuckWork in a very private beta-test, and see how it goes. Maybe it’ll be awful and flop. Maybe it’ll end up completely different from what I thought.
I’m sure he’ll spin this in the right direction.
The website isn’t even in Beta. By going on its homepage you’ll be greeted by a minimalist splash page that reads “MuckWork is a team of assistants that specialize in doing your uncreative dirty work for you, so you can focus on playing, writing, and improving”.
If you wish to be informed of its launch, go to Derek’s website and fill in your email address.