Darren thanks for your comment and questions.
So on question 1 regarding bad reports on elance software projects. I am sure there are many valid bad reports. However:
- There are 167,000 providers on elance.com. India ranks number 1 for most number of providers followed by United States then Pakistan. Logically they can’t all be bad!
- Elance includes an excellent and completely transparent feedback and skills rating system. For every provider you can see their experience, tested skills, number of jobs completed, amount earned and most importantly rating from previous employers. i.e You have all the information required to make an informed choice
- Elance includes an Escrow payment system. You pay Elance, they don’t release the money to the provider until you are happy with the work.
Whether your provider is in Ballina or Bangalore the same rules apply. Start with small projects and build relationships. Try out and test different providers. Yes if you pay peanuts you may get monkeys. As always “the measure of your communication is the response you elicit”. So as it is unlikely that you will meet your provider face to face, it is therefore vital that you take the time to scope and specify your requirements in detail so that your and the providers expectations match.
On question 2 on becoming a provider and difficulty with competing with Asian companies. You’ve pressed one of my buttons on this one, so here we go:
- In addition to Asian countries USA, Canada and UK feature in the top ten providers and are successfully competing for business on elance. So why not Ireland?
- We must be realistic. We must be ready to compete, the days of overpriced service providers fleecing Irish businesses are gone. Not that we need reminding, this is a global market. Elance.com is just a microcosm of this global market and more importantly a taste what is to come.
- Gartner report last quarter 2009 predicts that Cloud and related services will grow from $30 billion in 2009 to $150 billion in 2013. Some analysts have upgraded this to $300 billion. Our recovery as Ireland Inc must include a clear strategy to maximise our share in terms of employment and revenue of this new Cloud gold rush.
Please note I do not have shares in Elance! so above is also true for Odesk, Freelancer etc. Please also checkout www.samasource.com, it is a bigger version of what I am trying to achieve with my Elance Ethiopia project. i.e provide work over the internet for small Ethiopian businesses.