A new skill-sharing platform has launched out of beta in the UK today.
Developed by Mark Ward, founder of Australian Vermouth brand Regal Rogue, PIGEON helps unlock the potential of domestic talent to change the way people learn and share.
Its technology connects people from all walks of life to learn new skills or share their passion and get paid in the process.
Live 1-2-1 video chats enable ‘Sharers’ to pass on unique knowledge and expertise from a range of passions, hobbies and interests. ‘Learners’ can perfect existing skills or discover new ones, asking as many questions as they’d like and receiving personalised feedback and demonstrations through video chats.
Users can join for £4.99 per month or Pay as you Chat, while Sharers can set their own hourly rate starting at £12 an hour, which is roughly 12% above the London living wage.
The platform will initially focus on food and drink skills at launch and broaden the skills offering as the community chooses into skills like handcrafts, DIY, languages, home fitness and well-being.
Ward was born and raised in Brighton and has pulled together a local team to showcase the talent in the Brighton technology community from DabApps as development partner, addmustard leading digital marketing and FUGU for PR.
“I grew up watching my mum run her own businesses, all centred around caring for other people and being part of a community, and my father who has mastered his passion of handcrafts and woodwork,” said Ward.
“Sometimes my mum was running meals to elderly people for her domestic care agency, other times she was blowing up balloons on the weekends for parties. To this day, she continues to share with others.
“Meanwhile, I’ve spent 20 years working in the hospitality industry, founding Regal Rogue in 2011. Throughout this time, I’ve been contacted by friends and family to walk them through recipes or discuss party ideas. Supporting each other and sharing is human nature.
“We all have people we turn to for their tips and advice within our friend and family networks. So why not unlock that potential and allow people to monetise their homegrown talents?”
The company says its platform benefits from changes in public behaviour over the past two years: people are now more comfortable with video calls, and happier to open up their homes and the realities of their lives virtually to colleagues and acquaintances.
At the same time, many are looking to become financially self-sufficient as a consequence of being put on furlough, losing their jobs or reclaiming a better work-life balance. The current rising cost of living is also encouraging people to look for new ways to top up their income.
Ward added: “With PIGEON, there’s no need to upskill, there’s no uniform or equipment to buy. You can share at home from your kitchen, at a time that suits you. It’s a generational ritual to share expertise in a family and so many people have this intrinsic knowledge, having spent a lifetime nurturing their passions and hobbies.
“There’s monetary value in that and our platform lets people harness it. PIGEON is for everyone – no matter your age or background. We believe everyone has a talent worthy of sharing – even if you don’t know it yet.”
He says he is not specifically interested in numbers of followers or perceived influence: “The most influential person in your life might have zero Instagram followers. My 98-year-old grandma taught me so much and was the most influential person in my life and she wasn’t on social media.”