Geek Sessions - Cheaper, Better, Stronger, Faster


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Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, spoke at the Geek Sessions Event in San Francisco on February 24.

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  • Geek Sessions - Cheaper, Better, Stronger, Faster

    1. 2. <ul><li>oDesk is the marketplace for online workteams with the best business model for both buyers and providers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For buyers: Guaranteed work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every hour billed is an hour worked </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For providers: Guaranteed payment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every hour worked is an hour paid </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>24 Employees, 43 remote oDesk consultants </li></ul><ul><li>HQ in Menlo Park, CA </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by Benchmark, Sigma, Globespan, & DAG raised $29MM to date ($16MM in the bank) </li></ul><ul><li>Started in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Where are we today? </li></ul><ul><li>Over 200,000 tested and rated knowledge workers representing hundreds of technical disciplines & skills </li></ul><ul><li>Both individual freelancers and development companies from 150+ countries </li></ul><ul><li>Buyers post both Fixed Price Jobs and Time-Based assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Buyers pay by the successful job or for verified hours worked </li></ul><ul><li>Avg. time to hire is < 4 days; Avg. # candidates per job is > 18 </li></ul>Over $60MM in gross services delivered What Is oDesk?
    2. 3. <ul><li>Doing more with less </li></ul><ul><li>Smaller teams getting more done in less time with less money </li></ul><ul><li>Development to infrastructure demanding more efficiency across the board </li></ul><ul><li>Using modern frameworks, automation, sane capacity planning, and solid analytics to do more with less. Way more </li></ul>Objectives
    3. 4. Tools
    4. 6. <ul><li>Cost of nearly all of the software development tools </li></ul><ul><li>we use at oDesk </li></ul>“ Free or better”
    5. 7.
    6. 8. Annual cost of Google Apps
    7. 9. Process
    8. 10. <ul><li>Hierarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Friction </li></ul><ul><li>Bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>Inflexibility </li></ul><ul><li>IT-driven technology / Lack of user control </li></ul><ul><li>Top down </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized </li></ul><ul><li>Teams are in one building / one time zone </li></ul><ul><li>Silos and boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Need to know </li></ul><ul><li>Information systems are structured and dictated </li></ul><ul><li>Taxonomies </li></ul><ul><li>Overly complex </li></ul><ul><li>Closed/ proprietary standards </li></ul><ul><li>Scheduled </li></ul><ul><li>Long time-to-market cycles </li></ul>What is different today? <ul><li>Flat Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of Organization Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Agility </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>User-driven technology </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom up </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed </li></ul><ul><li>Teams are global </li></ul><ul><li>Fuzzy boundaries, open borders </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Information systems are emergent </li></ul><ul><li>Folksonomies </li></ul><ul><li>Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Open </li></ul><ul><li>On Demand </li></ul><ul><li>Short time-to-market cycles </li></ul>Enterprise 1.0 Start-up 2.0
    9. 12. Cost to acquire an oDesk buyer in 2006
    10. 14. <ul><li>Harvest demand before creating demand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search – SEO and SEM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMM (blogging, Twitter, Facebook) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make your product easy to buy </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage your customers/users to get the word out </li></ul><ul><li>Share whenever you can - e.g., oConomy, blog, speak at events ;-) </li></ul>Cost to acquire an oDesk buyer today … … and the volume is up 7X
    11. 15. People
    12. 17. <ul><li>Hourly cost of Bay Area-based CSR </li></ul>
    13. 19. Hourly cost of Philippines-based CSR
    14. 20.
    15. 21. <ul><li>Annual all-in cost of oDesk’s 43 FTE remote team </li></ul>See
    16. 22. Hire the right people the right way <ul><li>Right skills? </li></ul><ul><li>Employees vs. contractors? </li></ul><ul><li>Full-time vs. part-time? </li></ul><ul><li>Local vs. remote? </li></ul>
    17. 23. “ oDesk is a great way to make it feel like an employee who is across an ocean is working inside your local office” - oDesk Buyer Guaranteed work; Guaranteed payment
    18. 24. Average Hourly Rates by Job Category Sys Admins Developers Designers Consultants ( blue ) Proj. Mgrs ( green ) QA Testers Tech Writers Data Entry Pros
    19. 25. Average Hourly Rates (US) Sys Admins Developers Designers Consultants Proj. Mgrs QA Testers Tech Writers Data Entry Pros
    20. 27. <ul><li>Opportunity cost of doing the wrong things </li></ul><ul><li>Test and learn vs. boil the ocean </li></ul><ul><li>Ruthlessly cut what’s not working </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage the “extended enterprise” </li></ul>
    21. 28. <ul><li>Questions - [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledgement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slides inspired by Guy Kawasaki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See https:// </li></ul></ul>