Offshore adventures

It is still amazing to me how large the offshore contracting business has become and how easy they have made it for North American businesses to take part. This week Natalie has researched a variety of companies providing services and we’ve settled on using CrowdSpring and oDesk. Nat has launched three different market research projects looking at different aspects of sport fees and one project looking at other potential designs for a new logo. They were all relatively simple to set up. In the case of the three projects, oDesk has a system for putting out project descriptions, collecting bids from interested contractors, mechanisms to interview the contractors and finally negotiate contracts with them.

The rates for these workers are incredible. We are paying at most $4.44 an hour for the market research and it seems to be good quality so far. The logo design work will cost about $300 in total as it uses a competitive bidding / design mechanism (on CrowdSpring) to get the work done. We’ll see what the final results look like but, so far, this little experiment is working out very well.

However, Nat’s comment (paraphrased) after launching all of these was interesting: it may seem cheap but it sure takes a lot of work! Getting all these virtual assistants working on projects takes a bunch of management overhead and is something we need to remember to budget for in our time estimates.

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