But whether on laptop, mobile or tablet, all microwork has its critics, who contend it does little to help people develop new skills, and that the wages paid are exploitative. Leila Janah disagrees.
"This work is inherently skill building," Janah tells me. "Our workers are learning English language skills. They are learning how to use the internet, and how to present themselves professionally online. And I would argue that those things are the primary drivers of professional success in the next century."
Others contend that microwork is not a sustainable source of income for workers.
"It's certainly a great thing for anyone to bring in additional revenue,” says Jeremy Hockenstein, founder of an organisation called Digital Divide Data. “But if it's just temporary, or a small amount of income, the question is how can we, together, find ways the micro work can have a more significant impact on people's lives, rather than just for a period of months or a year or two."
His organisation also uses computing to help alleviate poverty, offering a workforce that can digitise content for publishers, libraries and businesses.
"We've tried to focus on a more intensive experience for perhaps a few number of people, so that it will have a lifetime impact," he says. "We have a four year program for our employees. They work for us for four years, and then they also get a scholarship to go to university."
The whole goal, Hockenstein says, is not for workers to complete small individual tasks, but to instead learn how to manage entire projects and work as a team. Skills, he argues, that can help insure the workers have skills that they can use when they move on from the company. And, he says, it pays off. In Cambodia, he says, Digital Divide Data graduates typically earn five times to normal wage.
Even Toni Eliasz of the World Bank admits that "the jury is still out" when it comes to ultimate sustainability of microwork. "But," he says, current projects suggest it “has the potential to provide supplementary income and raise living standards in countries where the average incomes is much lower than in the United States."
It is this factor that continues to motivate Aadhar Bhalinge, and his idea for a Smart Rickshaw Network in Mumbai. He is now pushing ahead with his idea and is currently talking with an angel investor about the plan.
"I hope that one day I can turn my dream into a reality," Bhalinge says. "It will not only benefit rickshaw drivers and clients, but will help the city to become a better place."