Startup Resources

Looking For Web Design Ideas? Here’s Where To Start

March 4, 2014 by

You’re a web development newbie, and you’re looking to build a new website or redesign an existing one. Your first task is choosing a design direction; in particular, picking out some web design ideas either to inspire you as you learn how to build your own site, or to hand off to a web designer for guidance. That is easier said than done, though. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of sites where you can find some great web design inspiration, no matter your industry or budgeted web design costs. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Featuritis: How To Diagnose Your Product Now

March 3, 2014 by

We designed the product, mapped the logic, and hired a development studio. By February of the following year, we had the prototype for Channelkit and started meeting investors. Then we got a wake-up call. We decided not to hold on to the over-complicated product we’d developed, but instead to reach out to our potential users and figure out what they actually needed. And if you are serious about the success of your startup, I recommend you do the same. Here are the steps we took over the course of several months to course-correct—which we hope can also serve as your roadmap to avoid needing course-correction in the first place. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

How Range Master Took Its Retail Store Online

February 26, 2014 by

In 2008, sales for tactical gear store Range Master were good, but not incredible. Located in a storefront in San Luis Obispo, CA, cash flow came almost exclusively from in-store customers—and Collin Perry wanted more. For several years, e-commerce transactions had steadily become a bigger and bigger part of the retail industry’s overall sales. As the sales and marketing director, Perry recognized that Range Master, his father’s store, was missing out on that trend. Knowing he needed expert help, he decided to enlist online talent to take his brick-and-mortar store online. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire the Right Freelance Graphic Designer

February 26, 2014 by

Your company’s visual brand—its logo, website, marketing materials and overall visual presence—is what your customers or clients will mentally associate your business with. It’s often the first impression you’ll give, so it’s crucial that you make a good one! This makes hiring the right freelance graphic designer an all-important task. Making the right choice now will benefit your business and save you both time and money in the long run. Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to ensure you are choosing the perfect designer from the start. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How High-Tech Startups Can Use Remote Developers

February 25, 2014 by

Many high-tech entrepreneurs think of online staffing as a bootstrapping technique—something used only in the early days of the startup, when headcounts are low and funding is tight, to get a first prototype built. I know I used to think that way. But now, I'm convinced that online workplaces represent something much more: an essential tool in an entrepreneur's arsenal. Online staffing is akin to elastic computing or crowdfunding—it’s a resource that doesn’t just make things more efficient, but also adds a fundamental new capability to the modern company. Take our startup, Diffbot, as an example. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Choosing The Best Mobile App Development Technology

February 24, 2014 by

There are many different reasons to create an app: maybe you see a need for a business app, maybe you just have a great idea. In his series of posts for the oDesk blog, AppInstruct CEO Nic Wright has addressed the most common questions about getting your app off the ground. In this post, he considers some of the technology choices involved. With mobile, for example, you have to decide what type of app works best for you: native, hybrid or web. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Tech Beyond London: Dom Bracher’s Startup Story

February 10, 2014 by

Entrepreneurs aren't afraid to break away from tradition, and British freelancer-turned-business-owner Dom Bracher's early career path demonstrates just that. Not interested in moving from his rural hometown in southwest England to London, he chose to stay put. Now he runs a thriving mobile app marketing business and, in this interview, shares his oDesk advice for freelancers and business owners. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Multilingual Online Marketing: Market to Europe in 10 Steps

February 7, 2014 by

If you've considering marketing to Europe, you're probably wondering how you can actually make it happen—on budget and on time. At, we do so through oDesk, using the platform to provide service in anywhere up to nine different languages. Here’s how I recommend breaking down multilingual online marketing campaigns into digestible steps and how we use oDesk to do it. Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

Jay: Ex Million-Mile Commuter Turned Digital Nomad

February 4, 2014 by

In 2011, tired of recycled air, bland food, drab office interiors and too much time away from family, entrepreneur Jay Shapiro made the decision to sell his digital advertising agency and found Infinite Monkeys, a DIY mobile apps tools site—that he built as an entirely location-independent business, relying on support from a virtual team. Taking advantage of his newfound freedom to work wherever he wants, Jay and his family began touring the world. They also took their “home” with them, in the form of a custom-built “Eco-Roamer,” a 33-foot camper van fashioned entirely out of sustainable materials. Jay designed the camper to serve as both a second home and mobile headquarters for his blossoming virtual business. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

How to Hire an Awesome Developer on oDesk: Part I

January 23, 2014 by

I've been using oDesk for almost two years now—hiring for various types of profiles and skills, from multiple locations around the world—and it's been filled with a lot of ups and a few downs. When I was new to oDesk, I didn’t really know how to properly evaluate freelancers. What's more, it's always difficult to evaluate a skill you don’t have yourself. As a result, my turnover rate was pretty high. After a lot of trial and error, I fixed my process. I can now say confidently that most of the freelancers I'm hiring are awesome, and I believe they enjoy collaborating with me. After all, hiring the right people and managing them well are skills that only become more important when hiring online. So how can you have the same result? Check out the steps below for guidance on how to hire an awesome developer on oDesk. Today I'll go through the first three tips, and stay tuned tomorrow for the next three. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

How to Sell: Finding the Right Approach for Your Business

January 17, 2014 by

Now more than ever, companies need to understand the nuances of how and why people buy products or services. Is an as-simple-as-possible buying process the best way to convert prospects? Or do they need a full consultation with an expert before making a decision? In his recent Linkedin column, oDesk CEO Gary Swart advises businesses to answer these fundamental questions before creating a sales plan. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Making the Leap From Freelancers to Digital Agency

January 16, 2014 by

How can a few entrepreneurial friends—each doing their own thing—take a leap and launch a digital agency together? Making such a big change is a lot easier when you already have paying clients and a full pipeline of leads. When it came to getting Matchnode, our Chicago-based digital marketing agency, off the ground, we already had both—thanks in large part to oDesk. Learn how Matchnode evolved from an idea among friends to a viable business. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Online Work Revolution: Are You Ready?

January 9, 2014 by

A rapidly growing number of businesses are turning to online work, where they can hire the best talent for any project—efficiently building and managing teams that span the US and even the globe. Whether you’re in engineering, sales, marketing, operations, or customer support, many of your peers and competitors are already leveraging online work. To make sure you stay ahead of the curve, check out oDesk's new white paper, "The Online Work Revolution," which is full of practical examples about creating and managing a remote workforce. It invites you to take inventory of your existing efforts to see if any of the "types of work being done online" apply to your company, in which case you could see significant benefits from trying online work. You can also read about how leading companies reap the benefits of online work, and learn how to implement online work at your company. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Book Review – “Remote: Office Not Required”

January 7, 2014 by

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's recent book "Remote: Office Not Required" delves into some of the underlying philosophies about remote work that shape the culture of their company, 37Signals. More of a collection of loosely connected, blog-like articles than a definitive management tome, the book largely covers content that will be familiar territory for this blog’s readership. That being said, the authors speak from hard-won experience and there are plenty of practical takeaways that make the book worth a read for even seasoned remote workers and managers. Read Full Article

All Things Upwork

We Hear You: A Letter to Freelancers About Yesterday’s News

December 19, 2013 by

After announcing our exciting plan to merge our company with Elance, I was overwhelmed and humbled by thousands of emails. A number of you asked about potential changes to oDesk. Let me be clear: oDesk is constantly evolving and innovating to empower our customers—both our freelancers and our clients. Three freelancer worries from your emails stood out to me and I want to address them immediately so you don’t need to be concerned. Read Full Article