Digital Nomads

Jay: Ex Million-Mile Commuter Turned Digital Nomad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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