All Things Upwork
February 14, 2013 by Alexia Nielsen

We all know the Internet is driving disruption in just about every industry, but one of the biggest trends is the shift towards on-demand access, changing how we access what we want. The first generation of online marketplaces (like Amazon) brought fast, direct access to all types of consumer goods, including books, appliances, and electronics. But these early marketplaces mostly address mass-market, physical goods. Could this model apply to services as well?

In the old days, you could only hire people who would commute to your office every day, you had to call ahead for a car service, and you were limited to choosing from a pre-selected display of artisan goods at a local store. A new generation of online platforms is reimagining the marketplace model by providing on-demand, frictionless access to these types of services. We can now directly access talented workers, luxury drivers, and handmade products with the click of a button.

Last week, thought leaders from oDesk, Uber and Etsy gathered in Sydney, Australia, to discuss how their businesses are stripping away friction and providing people with direct access to what they want: staffing, transportation, and craftsmanship, respectively.

The engaging panel generated some great live tweets—we’ve selected a few of our favorites below. You can see the entire #ondemandaccess Twitter stream here.

For a related discussion of ‘direct access,’ check out Gary’s recent blog post reflecting on this year’s DLD conference.

What are your thoughts about on-demand access? What services or goods do you access directly? We’d love to hear your perspective in the comments section below!

Alexia Nielsen

Social Media Marketing Manager

Alexia Nielsen is the social media marketing manager at Upwork, overseeing social media engagement initiatives. Prior to Upwork, Alexia managed online and social media marketing for advertising startup Crowd Science and spent six years in various marketing and production roles in the video game industry. Alexia holds a B.A. with honors in Communication and an M.A. in Media Studies, both from Stanford University.