Startup Resources

More Lessons From a Bootstrapping Disaster

April 3, 2014 by

Bootstrapping wisely means asking tough questions and prioritizing activities that are essential to your business development. oDesk VP Matt Cooper describes his early efforts with Soggy Bottom Canoe and Kayak Rental — a venture started with his uncle in the backwoods of Mississippi — as "an unmitigated disaster." But it was an experience with valuable lessons that stuck, which he recently explained in a post for Inc. magazine. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Why We—Uh, I—Freelance

March 4, 2014 by

When it comes to why we freelance—in other words, why freelancing has become a more and more popular choice across the country—I cannot answer for everyone. The fact is, there are many different reasons why people freelance. Some of these reasons include flexibility; work specialization; finding one’s optimal trade-off between money and other non-pecuniary values; even “sticking it to the man.” Deciding to go freelance is a very personal decision (one, I believe, that a freelancer makes almost every day). Therefore, I can only really speak about myself and my own journey into freelancing. So here it goes. Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

The Digital Nomad Revolution

February 10, 2014 by

With the advent of new technology and growing Internet access, a rising percentage of the workforce is embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. They are no longer confined by geographic location or the need for a traditional office space—instead they use the collaboration tools at their fingertips to communicate with their employers from almost any remote corner of the globe. 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

Startup Resources

The Next Silicon Valley is Closer Than You Think

January 13, 2014 by

Researchers found that cities known for supporting “anchor institutions” like large companies and well-funded universities (e.g., Boston, Mass.) employed significantly more technology inventors, but they were not producing a proportionally larger amount of citation-weighted patents. What’s the takeaway of these findings? The best cities for technology innovation have a varied ecosystem, with at least one large institution and many smaller companies. oDesk’s own VP Matt Cooper takes this discussion one step further in his Inc. column, arguing that the rise of online collaboration tools has rendered geographic location all but moot. Read Full Article