Monday, May 22, 2017

Andreessen-Horowitz-backed 21 Inc Introduced 21.Co Lists

It's not just the financing ($116 mil from A-H, Khosla et al), one of the A16Z partners, Balaji Srinivasan is actually the CEO of this one.
A bit late getting to this (May 1) but here goes. First up, EconoTimes:

Bitcoin startup 21 introduces ’ lists’ to earn money online
21, a San Francisco-based bitcoin startup, has come up with a new feature ‘ Lists’, where individuals can join lists of people with similar skills in order to start receiving targeted, paid microtasks.

Users have to apply to one of the lists and if selected, they will receive a stream of list-specific tasks sent by businesses that can be completed to earn money or fund charities, the blog post stated. In addition to the basic concepts of joining or creating lists to make money online, the company has developed several useful features to make the process of making money from lists even easier.

“As for the “Join lists” feature, it is self-explanatory: will maximize your income by adding you to the lists that fit your skills most directly. Each new list you join or are added to is, then displayed on your profile page,” it added.

21 also announced bitcoin email platform that enables users to send surveys, tasks and requests to specific categories of people or professionals, incentivizing those actions with small bitcoin payments....MORE
Nigeria Today also has the story, putting the "microconsulting" in quotation marks:
21 Inc Launches Lists Allowing Anyone to Earn Bitcoin for ‘Microconsulting’
Possibly because one of the tasks 21.Co promotes as doable on the platform is "mass e-mailing".

For the life of me, the microconsulting sounds less like consulting and more like Amazon's 'Mechanical Turk' operation. From last December:

How Half a Million People are Being Paid Pennies to Train Amazon's Artificial Intelligence (AMZN)
This sounds like a good business to be CEO of.
Training your replacement, AI, for pennies?
Not so much.

From TechRepublic:
Inside Amazon's clickworker platform: How half a million people are being paid pennies to train AI 

Internet platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk let companies break jobs into smaller tasks and offer them to people across the globe. But, do they democratize work or exploit the disempowered?
Each morning when she wakes up, Kristy Milland powers up her home computer in Toronto, logs into Amazon Mechanical Turk, and waits for her computer to ding.

Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), which has been around for over a decade, is an online platform where people can perform small tasks for pay....MORE