When we first announced our investment in what was then called Tasty Labs we provided no indication as to what the team was building. That’s because they were just getting going on a problem that Joshua had been thinking about for quite some time – how to use the web to get help with a need.
What is a need? Merriam Webster defines it as “a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful.” If that strikes you as diffuse that’s a good thing — because needs generally aren’t well defined questions with definitive answers. For those, the web together with search provides a pretty good solution.
Instead in every day life when we approach someone and say “I need …” it tends to be more complicated than a single query. We may not have the time to look through many results and compare them. Or we lack the background to evaluate the information we find. Or we simply want someone else to make a choice for us (preferably among a bunch of alternatives that could all meet our need).
That’s where jig comes in. It is a service for getting help from friends, followers and even strangers in addressing needs. One way to think about jig is as a formalization of the lazy web. The #lazyweb tag has become quite popular on Twitter but as a broad horizontal service Twitter itself lacks many of the specific features that one would like to see around asking for and receiving help.
As for building those features, the jig team is taking a highly iterative approach to building and improving the service. Jig has been live for weeks and anyone who went to the site could sign up and start to participate. Rather than anticipating every possible way people might want to use (or for that matter abuse) the service, the team is studying actual patterns and then working to modify those.
So expect jig to change quite a bit over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, head on over there and post a need or help a friend or stranger with theirs.