Small Business Labs is drawing a strong parallel between the Harvard Business Review’s description of hyperspecialization of jobs (in its article “The Big Idea: The Age of Hyperspecialization”) and the recent evolution of Fiverr into a dynamic online creative talent marketplace. So what exactly is hyperspecialization? This is a trend seen in today’s business world whereby work and projects are being divided up into small tasks that are performed by specialized workers—specifically contractors provided via an online hiring marketplace versus traditional full-time employees. According to the HBR article, this approach to the employer-employee paradigm offers several distinct advantages for today’s small businesses in the areas of speed, quality, and cost, enabling businesses to have access to a wide range of services, even if they can’t afford to hire specialized talent as full-time employees.

While Fiverr used to be a general task marketplace, it has transformed itself into a specialist platform that offers a wide range of creative services, including graphics and design, video and animation, and music and audio services. According to Small Business Labs, Fiverr fits the HBR hyperspecialization model specifically in the three areas mentioned above:

  1. Speed: The way Fiverr is set up makes it very easy for small businesses to quickly find and hire the specialized talent they need. In addition, the system is such that this talent is deployed quickly and finishes projects in a timely manner.
  2. Quality: When procuring talent on this site, small businesses have access to reviews and feedback, minimizing risk by giving them a good sense of the quality of work the person is able to provide. In addition, there is an unspoken competition factor on Fiverr, which means that individual talents have to compete with others on the site to stay in business, driving up the level of quality as well.
  3. Cost: Across the board, it is going to be less expensive for small businesses to connect with contract workers on Fiverr then to bring onboard a full-time employee. While creative services prices are certainly not rock bottom on Fiverr, the costs are still relatively inexpensive compared to traditional sources for this type of work.

Small Business Labs predicts that the hyperspecialization will only grow in the future as part of a larger shift to independent work.


King, Steve. “Fiverr and the Hyperspecialization of Jobs” Small Business Labs. 7/6/15. (7/10/15)

Malone, Thomas W., Robert Laubacher, and Tammy Johns. “The Big Idea: The Age of Hyperspecialization.” Harvard Business Review. July–August 2011. (7/10/15)