Former NZ commando builds app to help his grandma, seeks to fill gap in small-jobs space not filled by big boys

Desmond MacPherson, in former army mode
What do you do to help your nana find a job? You build an app, and hopefully teach your nana and her friends about how to tap into the digital space for work. Once you have garnered sufficient support, you fill the gap in the job matching market not met by the big boys in the job market such as Seek or Trade Me.

This is just what former NZ Commando Desmond MacPherson has done. He has just launched the app Qwik Coin and in the early days, the app has had over 200 downloads. It is currently only available on iTunes NZ. The android version is to launched soon, he says.

MacPherson says: “I would like to think the app could fill the gap that Seek and TradeMe leave out for the small  job market. There's nothing out there at this stage that can help someone at the last minute for a 1 day or even a 1 hour task and that's the niche that Qwik Coin fits into.” Macpherson is currently a security advisor for Papua New Guinea.

Ordinary jobs, temporary, quick jobs

He says Qwik Coin will help ordinary Kiwis earn money and find temporary jobs that other people may not have the time or the skills to do. “It will help anyone who needs a job or task done to easily connect with someone nearby who has the right skills to do it. I believe it will enable thousands of Kiwis earn a little extra cash, or get a fair trade for their talents."

“It’s perfect for students, travellers, and retired people who have plenty of skills to offer but are looking for odd jobs and temporary work that is nearby and makes the most of their expertise,” he says.

“Likewise, for small businesses or micro-freelancers who need help with the occasional task or project, they will be able to easily find expert help within their area to get the job done.”

Qwik Coin is free to download, monitored, and free to use. It contains an easy-to-read map that clearly marks the location of jobs within the area, and allows users to create a profile and rate others on their performance.

Good app,  bad app

MacPherson says a good app is original, simple, fast and helpful. It also must have a sleek layout or design. “From my experience, I think bad apps generally have too many features, they lack innovation or original ideas and they don't have enough updates to keep the app fresh and bug free.”

He used a company called Hyperlink Infosystem to develop his app. “They were really efficient and reasonably priced compared to a lot of other app developers.”

Because the app is not available in Android yet, MacPherson’s grandmother, Kardi Graham, who was the source of inspiration for the app, can’t use the app.

Graham says she has struggled to find a job despite having 30 years of bar managing experience under her belt, but is hopeful her grandson’s app will help her and friends find new avenues for work.

“Most people don’t want to hire me because of my age I think. It is disheartening when you go to places and get turned down only to see them advertising the job again later that week, and some have told me they are looking for someone younger,” says Graham, who is 63 and lives in Foxton, in the Manawatu-Wanganui region, in the west coast of the lower North Island.

“I was really moved by Des doing this for me, it’s awesome. My friends are all going to get onto it too - Des is going to teach us how to use it - and hopefully we can find some jobs.”

Qwik Coin is free to download, monitored, and free to use. It contains an easy-to-read map that clearly marks the location of jobs within the area, and allows users to create a profile and rate others on their performance.

Login is available via Facebook. Users are able to message each other within the app in order to get more information about advertised tasks and skills.​