I use many freelancer platforms to get stuff done at my startup – eLance, Fiverr, and Zirtual are my faves.
We wouldn’t be as far as we are in terms of product, customers, and overall progress without having these things in our toolkit. So thank you (all of those companies :) for that!
Here’s the rub:
- There is no integration between the platforms
- There is no integration with the tools I use to communicate with our in house team
- The workflow management tools on these platforms aren’t nearly as good as what I can get from the Trellos, Asanas, and Slacks of the world
- The freelancer platforms forbade users to communicate outside of their platforms (which I get – they don’t want people cutting them out of the loop on revenue)
All of that makes for a huge biz dev (or M&A) opportunity for any or all of the nextgen ‘get work done’ platforms like Trello, Knotable, Slack, Evernote, and others I’ve neglected to mention.
Benefit to the SaaS platforms I mentioned is clear: huge numbers of new users.
Benefit to the freelancer programs: tools that let customers and the labor move faster. Higher velocity = more hiring of their freelancers = more revenue.
I also think there is kind of a cool network effects business opportunity if one could become the service layer between the freelancer platforms and the ‘get work done’ platforms.
What do you think?