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Joshua Schachter, best known for creating social bookmarking site Delicious, started Tasty Labs in November 2010 with a vague mission statement: “We’re putting the useful back in social software.” On Friday, Tasty Labs announced its first product to the public: Jig.com.
Jig is meant to be “a marketplace for things people need,” wrote Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson (a Tasty Labs investor) in a blog post Friday morning. In an earlier post on Jig’s own blog, Co-Founder Nick Nguyen wrote:
“Our Jig is a website, one that helps you with your needs — by making it easy to share them with people who can help solve them. We built Jig to make it easy to describe what you need with just a few words.”
Essentially, Jig allows people to post questions about anything they need — there are no categories yet, just one big stream — and allow anyone out there to answer them. At the top of the page is a prompt that starts with “I need” followed by a text box that allows you to write a descriptive title, your location, and a few details. Jig has one section for answered questions (more than one person can answer, and each reply can be voted up by clicking “I agree” or “Thank”) and a second section for unanswered questions.
As I’m writing this, some of the questions on the answered page are titled “I need a new show to watch,” “I need a place to buy silk suspenders in Berkeley,” and “I need to find a new loving home for my MacBook air.”
Craigslist strikes me as the initial comparison here, but Jig is different because it has better messaging features and provides each user with a profile. But it’s not exactly clear what edge Jig has on the offerings from companies either the Q&A space, such as Ask.com, Answers.com and Quora, or the peer-to-peer task management space such as TaskRabbit and Zaarly. According to SEC filings, Tasty Labs has raised $3 million in venture capital to date, so the company may still be cooking things up to further develop the Jig idea.