HUP Interview with Part-up Founder Laurens Waling: Part One
Part-up is on a mission: Making sure everyone has access to a diverse career free of bureaucracy. Using their Part-up Platform of Tribes and Part-ups People, Talents and Work collide in a collaborative platform and company that shares ownership, open sources their software and reinvests their profit back into the community. HUP has embraced the Part-up Platform in our mission to connect Big Ideas with Entrepreneurs and Business so we thought it would be awesome to have a chat with one of the driving forces behind Part-up: CEO Laurens Waling
HUP (H) : For the few out there who don’t know you: Who are you?
Laurens Waling (L) : My name is Laurens and I’m 32 years old. I started Part-up because I found myself stuck in an organizational system within which I did not want to work anymore. I don’t believe organizations fully utilize all the talent that is available to them in a very efficient way. I realized that I was far more comfortable and effective in working with teams outside traditional organizational structures -Freelancer Teams, Working with friends, random professionals aligned to a single goal etc The work done always felt REALLY good. Working within teams INSIDE organizational structures with strict rule sets always felt constrained and ‘lackluster’
H: So you preferred a more Agile model of work?
L: Exactly! I was missing the defining principles of Agility that comes naturally when working within a “freelancer” type group model.
H: Would you say that you missed the ‘Spirit’ of Agility as well? What I mean is phrases like ‘Creativity, Whatever Works, Quick to Prototype’ etc?
L: I find most Organizational structures/model to be too ‘risk avoiding’.
They didn’t empower me to be as Entrepreneurial as I wanted to be.
I wanted to make an impact, make the world a little better and I did not have the feeling that within Organizations I could achieve that. I decided then and there to not work for an Organization again for the rest of my life. Luckily I had some friends around me who had the same dream, to create careers without the need for organizations. and so the seeds of Part-up were sown.
H: Like many of us you have trodden the worn path of Freelancer to Founder. I now completely understand your LinkedIn statement: “I’ll never have a job again” and that naturally brings me to ask you the following question: Is that what you’re hoping to achieve with Part-Up ? Helping people to never have a fixed ‘job’ again?
L: 100%! That’s central to our core mission: We want to free up Talents and talented people.
H: HUP believes that Part-up is not just a brilliant idea but also a valid mechanism in achieving that. For the companies currently working with us, and those considering on boarding, how would you evangelize Part Up to them?
L: Currently our public (i.e. website) focus is aimed at Freelancers but we’re just about to launch our model targeted at Organizations. We’re soon to be offering Part-up to Organizations and that’s naturally an entirely different value proposition than our current one. The ultimate goal is a BTC (Businesses to Consumers) Model:
Think LinkedIn for Freelancers with varying degrees of cost from free to premium services.
H: That seems like a natural evolutionary step for Part-up at it currently exists.
L: It’s completely in line with our planned evolution but to get to that stage i.e. an affordable Business to Consumer Model would take quite some time and a lot of investment. So we start off with a Business to Business proposition selling Part-up technology and services to Organizations. That’s gone extremely well for us – in just the past few months we’ve sold the Part-up product to more than 50 organizations in Holland in a variety of sectors from Healthcare to Technology businesses.
H: That’s quite an achievement considering you’re what – a year/ year and a half old?
L: Considering that the Part-up product itself has only been available since September 2015 we’re overjoyed with the reception we’ve received. It breaks down to around 2 companies a week – That’s a rare achievement considering the biggest initial problem for Start Ups is the time to your first sales contract.
H: Is that speed attributable to the network of contacts gained by your track record of building companies or through the influx of freelancers and their connections into Part-Up
L: It’s definitely both. Of course I used my network but a lot of leads and inquires were generated through the Freelancers operating within Part-Up spreading the message to Organizations they work or worked with.
H: So what you are saying is: Part-up helped Part-up to rapidly grow?
L: Yup! (laughter
H: I percieve, and feel free to disagree, Part-up as not only the next generation ‘freelacing’ model compared to older models (exemplified by companies like Odesk and Upwork) but more importantly a more ‘wholesome’ model as well.
Would you agree with that statement?
L: Definitely agree. Part-up first and foremost is a alternative and more improved model of organizing ‘work’. It’s not about jobs for certain people. You put the task needing completion in Part-up and people can just add their Talents to the project/objective/campaign whatever it is. We’re turning the way we look at jobs and people the other way around. No more ‘people in boxes’. It works in a very personal and disruptive way for people who participate in this model -especially in their careers – as they display and product talents. On the team level Teams work far more effectively in our model and most importantly it has a transformative effect on the Organizational level as well.
Above all it’s a new way or organizing on the Society level.
It’s about using every available talent in all sectors as opposed to talents hidden within ‘career boxes’ or locked in Organizations. We think about new forms of Society where we have less formalized organizations and its more about people using smart tools and algorithms like Part-up to get the work done. It’s Agile and empowering.The current talent marketplaces using older models ultimately offer up 1 person for a job (and a slew of applicants denied) whereas Part-up offers up Teams for a job or task.
H: It also solves for me the Value problem inherent in older/current models. For example: In these older models you have Freelancers fighting each other over minimum dollar values. You have zero chance on either side of the equation to see the value, scale or measure of any of the applicants talents – both self described or hidden. Old model common denominator is lowest cost. You seem to be saying the common denominator for Part up is what is the best ‘value i.e. Who is more aligned with the job needed to get done as opposed to who is cheapest.
L: That’s exactly what we are offering here.
We really see it as the Next Generation of Talent Marketplaces
Join us next week for Part 2 where we dive deeper into the Ethical core of Part-up and it’s emphasis on Social Good. We’ll discuss it’s Global Outlook and how the relationship between HUP and Part-up began and has continued to prosper. Please remeber to share the interview using the platform buttons below and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to be the first to read Part Two!