FullGap, but why? — A product introduction

Friday, April 5, 2024

When I met Bolaji in 2012, I was the typical graphic design freelancer who had creative flair but struggled with everything else — from timelines to clarity on deliverables and getting to close projects and get paid. Many of my projects only started but never ended. They would die a natural death sometime in the middle after a number of arguments on what was agreed and when, how many revisions were possible, and so on. Bolaji brought in everything that was lacking — structure, organization, documentation, and communication. Now imagine Bolaji, who came to fill a huge gap, but as a product. That is exactly what Bolaji and I, alongside a team of other committed experts are trying to automate, and we are calling it FullGap, pun intended.

While I moved from that freelancer phase to co-founding FourthCanvas (the brand design agency) with Bolaji Fawole, I remained close to the creative community, providing mentorship to hundreds of designers to date, and I observed that the problems I faced earlier in my career did not go anywhere, not with time or technology. While technology made things better, things got worse on the side of complexity. Designers struggled to find the perfect combination of existing productivity tools. Many mixed Trello, Notion, and WhatsApp chats with clients while using Docusign for contracts and Quickbooks for invoices when they are not creating those themselves. And oh, it’s a different ball game when you need to do reminders on balance payments, share account details, follow up severally, and mehn… many of these things remain complicated and it’s costing creative people a lot. Even at the level of an agency, we saw how combining so many products to run our projects could be a lot of work, surely it was worse out there for individual designers, writers, developers, and more. So, we decided to do something about it.

How it works

  1. Creatives (or “creative pros”) set up an account and create their first project once they have an agreement in principle with a potential client.
  2. Within the new project space, they answer a few questions, and a generated invoice and SLA/contract are sent to the client who is also automatically invited to the project space on FullGap. The clients do not need to “set up an account”, they are automatically in.
  3. The client makes payment with a link that accompanies the invoice and it automatically reflects in the creative pro’s FullGap wallet. Execution mode ‘initiated’.
  4. Based on the services and timeline already provided ahead of the contract, a timeline preview is generated, with checklists that can be ticked as the project proceeds. Both the creative pro and client can keep track.
  5. Right within the project space, they are able to chat with the client, discuss progress, and share files. All files shared across projects can be accessed in one place.
  6. They are able to repeat this for many projects and manage it all in one simple dashboard view.

It’s not like Fiverr, but Fiverr gets something right

When you hear freelancers and “digital platforms”, you probably think of a marketplace like Fiverr where clients can meet people to get their work done. FullGap is not that. It’s not a marketplace. However, there is something Fiverr gets right that we are democratizing with FullGap. When a freelancer gets a gig on Fiverr, there is the setup through which the project is managed and tracked by the freelancer and the client. Everything agreed upon is easy to see, and the timeline is tracked. All communication also happens in that one place. It’s how we think every project should be organized, but the problem is that this is only exclusive to projects and clients engaged through Fiverr. In reality, the typical freelancer from this part of the world has Fiverr as only one of many sources for work. We are bringing that organized interface but in a way that the freelancers can decide who they use it to onboard, wherever it is they got the client from. So if you like, you can call it “Fiverr but decentralized”, except that this is not a marketplace!

The time is now

While this problem has been around for a long time, it never seemed to matter enough. Freelancers were apparently earning peanuts, and it was mostly a transitioning phase, from uni to when you finally get “an actual job”. Today we are all back to freelancers, even though we don’t use the term. While some people work 3 jobs, some others combine one job with a couple of other gigs. Some founders are still struggling to accept that reality but young people now work from their home offices and coordinate multiple points of work and impact. They are the businesses and big businesses for that matter. So, when you think of “freelancers” today, you are looking at bigger deals, monthly revenues ranging from 1000 to 1000 USD, and even more. Today, freelancers work from more comfortable spaces but the platforms and tools remain scattered and the problems FullGap is trying to solve mean more to them than ever, and now they are more likely than ever to pay something to watch that problem go away. The gig economy is a beacon of hope for Africa, and it’s time to decentralize it. With more efficient systems, we can help freelancers — who we are helping to evolve into ‘creative pros’ — make the most of it.

Enthusiastic freelancers can join the waitlist 👉 here.
People looking to build with us can show intention 👉
Potential early-stage investors can book a conversation 👉

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