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Elance/Odesk Merger

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Michele B Member Since: May 19, 2013
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Michele B Member Since: May 19, 2013
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“We don’t have to merge. We chose to,” said Gary Swart, chief executive of oDesk. “It’s a matter of scale and synergies — we don’t need two escrow systems, we don’t need two hourly billing systems.” Holy cannoli! Might this mean Odesk is coming out of the dark ages and actually incorporating an escrow system to PROTECT FREELANCERS who take on fixed price jobs? Miracles never cease. I'll believe it when I see it. Interestingly, I have my doubts whether it would even end up being helpful to contractors, given the history of HelpDesk response. I can picture Elance's escrow system being implemented here. 1) Contractor gets screwed by a client 2) Hopeful contractor files a help ticket, confident the escrow system will back him up 3) HelpDesk takes days to respond, if they do at all. And then require ridiculous amounts of unobtainable evidence, notarized documentation from foreign dignitaries, and the DNA profile of your first born child as proof of work completed. Then they sit back and wait for the contractor to give up and suck up the loss. Time will tell.
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Kyle F Member Since: Nov 17, 2011
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Things that I fear will happen: 1) ODesk will start charging the Freelancers (Elance's model) in stead of clients. 2) Low-quality, slave-wage seeking ODesk clients will bleed over into Elance. 3) Decrease in competition will cause both ODesk and Elance to focus more on the bottom line, than on client / contractor satisfaction. 4) Elance support will become as utterly useless as ODesk's. Things I hope for: 1) ODesk will implement a Milestone Payment system similar to Elance. 2) Quality of ODesk clients will increase - stricter rules on clients / gigs. 3) ODesk support becomes not-useless.
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Michele B Member Since: May 19, 2013
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The whole merging "to offer better services to all our clients" is flat silly. Business is business. Do you see Target merging with Wal Mart to "serve customers better". Do you see McDonalds merging with Burger King to offer a better french fry to the fast food eating public? No, you do not. And here's why. They are both money making businesses and there are plenty of customers to be had. If you're better than your competition, you'll make more money. If you're not, you won't. To be competitive, you must be BETTER than your competition. You innovate better services, better prices, and better processes and you get more clients than your competitor. That's just how it works. The goal of any business is to MAKE MONEY. Unless there is more money to be made by merging, there is no sense in doing it. Merging won't result in an increase in the number of folks looking for freelancers. If you stipulate that bit, where might this additional money be made? On the backs of freelancers. That's where. So I think it is a fair projection that Odesk will implement a system similar to Elance's where you can pay to play. I would have loved to have been a little fly on the wall when these discussions were taking place. I suspect, Kyle, that the "things you fear" list are more likely to come to pass than the "things for which you hope" list. But I'm a bit of a cynic. Another word for that: a realist.
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Heather H Member Since: May 9, 2011
5 of 5
I like Elance for how they run things there, and the higher rates you earn for your work. I also like that you have to be professional to really be able to land jobs. Of which I do well on that platform. I like oDesk in that is is easier to get clients, and though it may be harder to find good clients, I do more work here than there. They both have good and bad points, and I think the merger is happeneding because people left oDesk due to all the crap they put everyone through in the last 12 calander months. What does it mean in the end? No clue, I just hope they dont move to merge contractor profiles for people who have accounts on both platforms. While it may be good for some, personally, I do a different niche of work completly over there than I do here.
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