If the Collaborative Economy is defined as the economic and social systems that enable shared access to goods, services, data and talent, then Barcelona startup Swapsee is perhaps the best real-life example of the Mesh in action.
Swapsee is a young startup based in Barcelona that aims to change the way people work together. Conceptually inspired by a shift towards new collaborative models brought on by the global economic crisis, Swapsee’s goal is to help people collaborate by providing a platform that connects talent with those that need it both online and within the local community. Swapsee belongs to the growing trend that is known as the ‘Sharing economy’, or the network of organizations, businesses, institutions, and NGO’s that are creating value through relationship-inspired collaboration rather than a transactional exchange.
On a fundamental level Swapsee is an online marketplace for finding talent, what differentiates them from other job platforms is that they are focused on connecting talent and work opportunities in the local Barcelona community as well as online. Members can post conventional job offers, both long-term and for freelance gigs, projects in need of collaborators, and exchange offers in which the interested party offers their services and skills in exchange for other services they need – hence the name ‘Swapsee’.
While it’s easy to find outsourcing opportunities for virtually any job these days Swapsee believes there’s much more value in being able to access high quality, community-endorsed professionals in your own city because it allows a much greater degree of trust. That is why Swapsee is invitation-only. It’s a ‘curated’ community where the members choose who they want on the platform based on the simple question “I need a talented X, who would you recommend?”
The ultimate goal, a few years down the line, is for members to consider their part in the community as one of the defining traits of their professional identity. Just as today people identify themselves as being members of certain communities and sectors, like the startup scene or the art world, Swapsee aims to become an umbrella-platform for talented people everywhere. To achieve this they are building a strong offline presence in the form of events, workshops, parties, and partnerships with other companies in the area to create added value for Swapsee members.
Today, Swapsee has nearly 2,000 members, all of which are talented experts in their respective discipline or field. A lot of people tend to dismiss networking and self-promotion, but the truth is the best way to impress a prospective client is to show them what you can do, and presenting a workshop is a great channel to achieve this. Statistics don’t lie, the number one form of advertising is through word of mouth recommendation. Once a month, Swapsee invites a member of the community to share their expertise on a subject in the form of a short presentation/training workshop. These are highly practical and their objective is to provide other community members with actionable information that they can then use for their own projects.
Recently, Swapsee has partnered with EatWith, to create the opportunity for members to break bread, network, showcase your work, share experiences & contacts all in an informal setting.
If you’re not on Swapsee yet, it’s time to get started and join the sharing economy in Barcelona.