Building a social network for the home

April 14 / 133

Photo: The Fairshare team: From top row (left-right): Matt Lawry, Sam Russell, Dean Pilioussis, Jules Malseed-Harris, Oliver May. Bottom row (left-right): Kav Singh, Alex McLeod, Doug Hendrie.
Photo: The Fairshare team: From top row (left-right): Matt Lawry, Sam Russell, Dean Pilioussis, Jules Malseed-Harris, Oliver May. Bottom row (left-right): Kav Singh, Alex McLeod, Doug Hendrie.

University alumni and students have collaborated on a new smartphone app for iOS and Android that helps make share-housing a success.

Fairshare, cofounded by Jules Malseed-Harris and Oliver May, is an app that lets people living together to organise household tasks, split shared expenses and easily communicate with one another. 

CEO and Cofounder Jules Malseed-Harris, a Melbourne alumnus and former Commerce tutor said the app is like a private social network for the home.

“It helps you organise and manage the communal tasks of cooking, cleaning and shopping,” he said.

Fairshare users are able to earn points for doing various tasks around the house and record different house expenses.

“The app keeps track of all the house finances surrounding rent, bills and shopping. It has a house feed where all of that information flows through to and allows people to have a private social network with their housemates”, he said. 

The team is able to track the success of their app based on the number of users, which has been growing very quickly as they approach 10,000 registered users. 

Bachelor of Science student Alex McLeod balances his studies with his role of Chief Technology Officer at Fairshare. 

“For me, a great deal of the technical skills required to create the app were learnt in my studies here at the University,” Mr McLeod said.

“If there was one thing I would want to convey, it’s that people should definitely consider studying software engineering, computing or anything like that, because the opportunities are huge.

“It’s a great industry to be in, and there’s a massive shortage of people doing it.”

Although launched in February this year, the idea for Fairshare developed over several years. 

While completing an Economics and Management degree in 2004, Mr Malseed-Harris moved into a house with fellow Melbourne students. After a few years of living together, the housemates found chores difficult to manage. They decided to try and make a system that would solve share-housing issues and help make tasks such as cleaning or making dinner enjoyable activities.

“We tinkered with a points based system for tasks, doing it on a paper based arrangement between 2006 to 2013,” Mr Malseed-Harris said.

“As some people have observed, there’s a lot of basic first year microeconomics ideas within the app, in terms of incentive structures and transparency. 

It’s ultimately about aligning those individual incentives with the overall household, which is something I studied and taught here in Melbourne.”

For more information on the app, go to: www.getfairshare.com or download the app directly from the App Store or the Google Play Store.  

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