Kalido: The Vision (Part One)

A good vision should always involve plants and a sunrise.

Building Kalido is an incredibly fulfilling experience. But sometimes we’re so caught up in our work, we forget to explain why we’re doing it. So, for anyone who’s interested in why we created Kalido, we wanted to share our whole vision. To start with, Kalido connects individuals to:

  • Increase employment
  • Facilitate meaningful connections
  • Build stronger communities
  • Encourage entrepreneurship
  • Level the work playing field
  • Make the value of your network clear
  • Prepare for a post-work world

Part One of this article covers how we want to help increase employment, facilitate meaningful connections, and build stronger communities.

Increase employment

The seeds of opportunity are everywhere.

Our number one goal is to help increase employment by making more connections between people with skills, and those who need them, in a way that acknowledges the way the modern workforce is evolving.

Today, employment is challenging, no matter what perspective you look at it from:

These are problems that better matching can really make a dent in: according to the McKinsey Global Institute, job matching platforms could add 2.7 trillion US dollars to global GDP and increase employment by 72 million full-time-equivalent positions. Additionally, up to 540 million individuals could benefit from online talent platforms by 2025. The report places the value to global GDP of new, faster, better, and less formal matches at 1.43 trillion US dollars.

And because the number of global freelancers is growing rapidly, the problem of talent matching will only get bigger. By 2020, freelancers will make up 50% of the US workforce. In Australia, one third of the workforce (4 million people) engages in freelance work, with most having entered this market in the last few years, and nearly 60% of those do so by choice. There are nearly 15 million freelancers in India today, second only to the US, with approximately 53 million, and followed by the EU, with nearly 10 million.

Kalido’s aim is to help everyone find the right matches as quickly as possible, so that: freelancers find new clients; almost-entrepreneurs find the courage to leap from jobs they dislike to work they love; full-time workers find positions that truly suit them; employers find talented employees; and fewer people are left without employment opportunities.

More broadly, we want to help people everywhere to build more and deeper relationships to drive better business and healthier lives, which leads us to the next part of our vision.

Facilitate meaningful connections

Imagine this flower is an employment opportunity.

Marketplaces for freelancers, car-sharers and home-sharers create fantastic opportunities for millions of people to sell stuff, space (like your home or your car) and skills. But over time, they often force people into becoming commodities, like “drivers”, or “hosts”, or “$5/hr SEO experts”, defined primarily by a rating (often given by raters who are often neither objective nor qualified).

On Kalido, everyone is an individual. Who you are, who you know, where you are, and of course, what you can provide (or who you want to meet) matters. The best matches have relationships (like shared contacts) on the line. Preserving those relationships matters, so we’re all more likely to be nicer in our interactions with such matches. Even Kalido matches with strangers are designed to showcase individuals as complete human beings, to make it easier to relate to them, and to actively discourage thinking of matches as interchangeable.

Research suggests that strong social connections are the key to a long and healthy life, and Kalido aims to help you build and reinforce those connections. We built Kalido for an economy where what you do matters because it’s you doing it. Where people can build fulfilling, long-term relationships that lead to better business for everyone. Where you can negotiate rates based on value, instead of fixating on the fact that somewhere in the world, someone can do that thing for $1 less. And where you get to spend more of your life working with people you like, instead of feeding an engine of interchangeability that so often creates unhappy service providers and unhappy customers.

Build stronger communities

Be like elephants. Build a strong community.

Kalido is also designed to help you get the most from your community. In this age of global outsourcing, we know that if you’re looking for a graphic designer, or any number of other professionals who can work remotely, you can find someone to do it at an attractive price in another country. But there’s also a good chance there’s someone near you that can also do the work you need. And people nearby have qualities that are difficult to replicate across vast distances:

  • It’s easier to build a direct relationship through in-person conversations, especially in the early stages of business.
  • If you both live and work in the same area, personal reputations matter more, making people more likely to treat each other respectfully. That often leads to customers who are more tolerant and prompt with payments, and suppliers who deliver higher quality work on time.
  • If you like someone’s work, and have met them in person, there is a much higher chance that you will recommend them to someone else than if you’ve only worked together remotely.
  • If a service provider builds a personal relationship with you, which is always easier in person, they are more likely to know when you have future work, and more likely to be able to bring in the people they know who do adjacent things to work together (like a makeup artist bringing a wardrobe supplier to a photo shoot), which creates happier and healthier working environments for everyone.
  • And finally, even if someone nearby is more expensive upfront, savings often materialise down the line through better communication and shared cultural understandings.

None of this is to say that Kalido doesn’t support global work. But even the way we do that is different. With Kalido, if you’ve designed a website for a customer in another country, you’ll almost certainly have exchanged contact details at some point. And since you’re now in each other’s phone books, if you’re the web designer, when someone who knows that customer searches for a web designer, you’ll show up as a match. And your previous customer will be highlighted as a shared contact, allowing you to leverage the value of personal connections to build your business across borders.

Finally, we want to take those moments when you are alone, but surrounded by people, and turn them into opportunities to connect. Poverty isolates, restricting access to funds, knowledge, and facilities. And wealth is no less isolating, encouraging automatic deliveries, impersonal service delivery, and walled communities — diminishing engagement within communities. By creating a single platform to exchange services, from babysitting to racehorse training, and encouraging in-person meetings, we want to encourage more interactions between people at every income level. By doing so, we hope to create a virtuous cycle where people invest in each other, creating healthier communities, stronger entrepreneurs, and more investors.

Next: Part Two, which explores how we want to encourage entrepreneurship; level the playing field; make the value of your network clear; and prepare for a post-work world.