[Baypiggies] Elance, Guru, Contract Work etc.

Glen Jarvis glen at glenjarvis.com
Mon Dec 27 21:22:49 CET 2010

To drudge up an old thread, I had some experience today that re-emphasizes
this same point over and over.

I posted a job on Elance for a web page redesign. It's a single page, but I
want a very distinct look and feel that I described. I need someone with
talent as I have no graphical talent at all and I want an expert to give me
a look and feel.

I have invited many people, regardless of price, to bid on this -- I simply
took a glance at the portfolios, and if there were sufficient examples, I
sent an invite. However, when I saw things below $20/hour, I was very
skeptical and scrutinized the portfolio a bit more. There could be genuine
talent for that price, but too often too cheap of a price made me skeptical
of talent.

I have been inundated with "We'll give you as many revisions as you want for
free" type of messages. I am a programmer and can do a good deal of the
backend stuff myself. What I want is someone with an artistic vision that
could help me produce a look-and-feel that I can't myself. And, that
requires talent (talent that I don't have). No matter or revisions are going
to replace that.

My job was already set at $100+/hour. And, I would happily pay that to get
what I want (although it is a small job). This is not an unusual stance.

At the end of the day, people across the world know that quality costs.
Again, we're reminded that in sites like this, it's not always the cheapest
price that gets the bid. This is true for Graphic Designers and Programmers.



On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 11:49 AM, Glen Jarvis <glen at glenjarvis.com> wrote:

> Although there's a lot of merit in what you say, it's not universal to
> sites like this. I found people who paid a lot more because they knew I
> lived within the silicon valley area and there's a perception of a lot
> higher quality.
> So, yes, some times -- maybe even most of the time -- you'll find customers
> like this. But, it's not always the case and it'd be silly to exclude the
> possibility of finding those clients.
> My Madrid customer is a perfect example. And, he originally came from
> Elance until we built up a working relationship and work outside of Elance.
> Cheers,
> Glen
> El Nov 1, 2010, a las 10:29 AM, Roderick Llewellyn <
> roderick at sanfransystems.com> escribió:
> > I avoid sites like these like the plague. This is priceline.com for
> programmers, where the advantage is totally with the one offering the job.
> You're competing with the entire world for these jobs, so the whole game is
> to drive down your compensation to the lowest possible level on the planet.
> Do you really want to be paid the going wage in Bangalore? No problem if
> that reflects your cost of living (i.e., you live in Bangalore). But since
> this is BayPiggies, you probably live in the Bay Area. So you're paying the
> highest cost of living after Manhattan, and getting paid the lowest wages on
> Earth. That's a problem! Your client cares not that you live in the Bay
> Area.
> >
> > I agree with the caveat against fixed-price bids. These are VERY
> dangerous in programming. It's one thing to ask a construction contractor
> for a fixed-price bid on building a deck. There are not many unknowns there.
> In programming, once you have negotiated a fixed price, the client has a
> huge incentive to make endless change orders. Naturally you can refuse to
> take them, asking for an hourly rate on each one. But since a fixed-price
> bid usually means you get paid little or nothing until the job is done, if
> client is unsatisfied with your negotiating stance, he will probably not pay
> you at all. And generally forget the courts; they are so complicated, take
> so long, and are so advantageous to the side with more money and patience
> that any contract you sign is almost meaningless anyway. I have major
> experience here I assure you! So be wary of any contract longer than a month
> or two which won't pay you until completion. Of course, you could always
> arrange to meet under a bridge, you bringing your software, client bringing
> his money, and both taking no more than three armed guards.... I'm sure
> you've seen that movie too!
> >
> > If you take tiny jobs, like write an ascii-to-integer converter kind of
> thing, you will spend far more time looking for work, negotiating, phone
> calls, etc., than you will spend actually doing work. Since you will often
> not be willing to take the Bangalore-level wage that will be offered, you
> will not get or take most jobs. Look instead for longer-term contracts. Try
> to find something where you have unusual skills or abilities. If the job is
> to download a LAMP suite and get it running, writing 100 lines of glue code
> in the process, you're competing against every kid on the planet, because
> almost everybody can do that. It's not really even software engineering. If
> on the other hand you know how to optimize MySQL queries better than Joe the
> Plumber... oops I meant Programmer, you have a better chance.
> >
> > My two cents!  - Rod L.
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