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

Digital Nomads

How I Used oDesk to Quit My Day Job

February 20, 2014 by

In 2011, Lise Carter wasn't happy in her day job. She didn't feel like she was progressing, and felt really bored and restless. She started freelance writing on the side, and her efforts took off; within a year, she quit her day job to focus on her freelance business. How did she do it? In this guest post, she shares her story and advice. 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

The Way We Work

My 5 Top Freelancing Freedoms (That Can Be Yours, Too)

February 5, 2014 by

I have found that working for myself has given me so much freedom and flexibility to live the life that I want to live, while at the same time helping others bring their business dreams to life. What could possibly be better than working for yourself, being there for your loved ones, and creating a life you are passionate about? There’s nothing more freeing than that and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 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

Digital Nomads

Bernard: A Digital Nomad in Southeast Asia

February 4, 2014 by

Sights and sounds that many of us will never experience are just another stop on the road for Bernard Vukas—from the towers of Ottoman mosques in Turkey, to the spicy aromas of rice and curry shops in Thailand, to the sounds of crashing waves just outside his workspace in the Philippines. Bernard is a Digital Nomad—and this lifestyle is growing in popularity. A Microsoft Office & Office 365 software developer originally from Croatia, Bernard has reinvented how he lives and works, pursuing a lifestyle of adventure and travel. 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

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

For Productivity, Stop Crushing It & Be the Tortoise

January 10, 2014 by

Here we all are at the beginning of 2014 with shiny new backpacks full of resolutions, goals, plans, and projects. What thought process and workflow will you use to meet your goals? What if you started hitching your creative pursuits to the habit of consistency not flashes of brilliance? What if you invested only fifteen minutes a day, six days a week, regardless of how you felt? What if you gave yourself permission to be the humble tortoise, not the glamorous hare? The industrious ant, not the swashbuckling grasshopper. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: Freelancer Stan Smith on the Demand for Niche Skills

December 11, 2013 by

Stanley Smith worked for 34+ years as an algorithm engineer and business consultant, but he craved more work in algorithms and struggled to find local projects for such a specialized area of expertise. So he decided to look beyond local projects and work on oDesk, where he found that there was a huge demand for his skill set. After discovering the high demand for niche expertise on online platforms, Stanley now advises others with specialized skills to also try freelancing as a way to develop their skills in the area that they most enjoy. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Govind Davis on Motivating Remote Teams

December 4, 2013 by

The co-founder and CEO of MCF Technology Solutions—a specialized systems integrator that designs, develops, and implements cloud-based platform solutions—Govind Davis has built an almost entirely virtual company. Aside from three local employees, his staff of approximately 60 people works remotely from around the world. Here, he shares five of his best pieces of advice on how to continuously cultivate and motivate remote teams. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

PreScouter CEO: Building A Great Remote Team On oDesk

December 3, 2013 by

What does it take to build a great remote team? Within two years, our Illinois-based startup, PreScouter, has pulled together a team of 50 freelancers from around the world—all recruited and managed through the oDesk platform. PreScouter’s mission is to expose the world to inventions that would otherwise be lost; we don’t just introduce technology to our clients, we use it to fuel our own business growth. How? Using the best practices we’ve learned to find the right professionals and keep them engaged. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Leadership In A Virtual World: An Interview With Bernard Wilson

November 15, 2013 by

Located in Australia’s sparsely populated Northwest Territory, Darwin is better known for underground mines and tourist traps than for a bustling tech scene. But that hasn’t stopped Bernard Wilson. He’s capitalized on the power of remote work and cloud computing to forge his dream company, Primetime Entertainment. In the process, Wilson has learned valuable lessons on leadership and the importance of remote team relationships. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Leading From a Distance: The Art of Remote Management

November 5, 2013 by

The traditional management playbook would argue that supervisors need to be based in-office. But two established organizations think otherwise. Both Teach for America and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are empowering their managers to work out of the office. They’re giving them the tools, training and flexibility to lead their teams remotely—and reaping benefits both corporately and through individual employee job satisfaction. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: Joshua Warren’s Journey From oDesk Freelancer to Thriving Client

October 23, 2013 by

With experience both as an oDesk freelancer and client, Joshua Warren has a unique perspective on online work. While working as a web development freelancer on oDesk, he gradually increased his rate from $15/hour to $95/hour. Yet he was still getting an overwhelming number of web development project requests, so he started hiring oDesk freelancers to help. Now Joshua is at the helm of a booming web development business, Creatuity, that currently employs 23 people, 13 of which are remote and deliver all work online. While growing his company, he honed his own best practices for hiring and managing online talent. Below are five of our favorite oDesk success strategies from Joshua. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

The Way You Work: SMB Owner Marjorie Asturias Shares Her oDesk Success Tips

October 10, 2013 by

By using online freelancers as the foundation of her business, Marjorie Asturias has grown her social media marketing company while working the way she wants. “We are a virtual company," she said. "I had an office a couple of years ago...until I remembered part of the reason I started this business was because I hated going into an office!” While growing her own virtual business, she has developed her own strategies to best attract, hire and manage her online workforce. Here are six of our favorite oDesk success tips and tricks from Marjorie. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Pitching Remote Work: Making Your Case For Telecommuting

October 9, 2013 by

Digital marketing pro Ryan Gibson had just been offered the perfect job with travel app Asia Rooms. But there was a catch, and it was a big one: he’d have to either relocate from his home in Leeds, England to the island nation of Singapore or commute 90 miles (round-trip) to Manchester. Instead of turning the offer down, however, Gibson pitched a different idea: remote work. Read Full Article