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TinyProj connects developers, designers, etc. with paid, short-term projects. (kylewritescode.com)
246 points by jmonegro on Sept 15, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 76 comments

I've noticed this need as well, and launched something similar: http://gun.io

It's free for Open Source, and a 10% fee for non-Free projects. Winner-take-all!

Hopefully we'll both work to create a culture which helps independent developers help each other. Good luck! Email me if you're interested in collaboration.

This space is interesting. A friend and I have been doing a weekend project in the same space: http://casualcontracting.com. Similar idea, but listing a project is free and it's invite-only for developers.

We'd definitely be interested in talking with you guys as well. Email is in my profile.

Agreed. My friend and I also did FindAHacker.com, which looked to serve side projects and co-founding opportunities. Down to talk to you all also!

That could be a good alternative to the sites that are flooded with low-quality development firms from places with a low cost of living.

I think I just met you last night at the Square event, where you pitched this idea briefly. (I introduced Blogic). Hope to hear from you!

I love it. kyle at forrst.com - totally open to chatting/collab.

That would be awesome. The more collaboration in this space, rather than the competition, is what will make it amazing for those looking for work or hackers/designers/etc.

How is this different than the ten thousand established freelance sites it's competing with? Everything from guru to odesk to rentacoder to scriptlance already does what this does, as well as handling payment and rating developers.

The Freelance game has plenty of problems, but frankly a shortage of places to post jobs is not one of them.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, though I'm focusing specifically on short-term work. It's also a set it and forget it scenario for the talent -- they just get stuff delivered. At the end of the day, it's an experiment and something interesting to work on that could benefit my day job, Forrst, pretty substantially.

> I'm focusing specifically on short-term work

Exactly my point. So are those ten thousand bottom scraper sites I mention.

What I'm asking is how you intend to stop the same people who post their "Groupon Clone: $500 budget" nonsense on those 'lance sites off your list?

And how you're planning to stop the 100-500 "sir, we are professional A++++++++ software firm. we review your project and are ready to start immediately" responses that will be auto-spammed to every job on your list?

Those are actually good problems to solve, and a site that solved them would be a great win for the small fraction of freelance work that's actually conducted above board by talented developers and non-flaky clients. But a quick spin through what you've presented here makes it seem like your quick & dirty approach will actually amplify those problems.

Both great questions.

On the project side, I hand approve every post. Spam/recruiter junk/etc. gets deleted and the email address blacklisted.

For the talent side, yes, you're right; there's a good potential for A++++++++ firm nonsense.

The quick and dirty approach is probably not accurately reflecting the work I've put in/will be putting in behind the scenes, through methods we've developed at Forrst for dealing with reputation, throttling one's ability to mass-contact project owners, anonymizing email on both sides with a one-click "this is spam" function, and so forth.

Ultimately, I agree -- they're great (and hard) problems to solve, and I'm eager to do so.

> On the project side, I hand approve every post. Spam/recruiter junk/etc. gets deleted and the email address blacklisted.

Do you have a plan for scaling that up? ("I'm gonna hire more warm bodies" is an acceptable answer, imo.)

Heh, honestly that's probably what I'll do. We (Forrst) can certainly share the load if/when it becomes necessary.

What thoughts are you having for automating that process? it seems to me if that if you can scale it up you win!

Project approval will likely just be a matter of human scale. It takes < 1 min to figure out if it's going to be approved or not. I do have a bunch of automation around stuff like "this isn't quite ready to go out because of X/Y/Z, click here to edit it" and so forth.

Talent side is more interesting. I'm leveraging Forrst's reputation engine to do some behind the scenes ranking of users, at least for the users who have Forrst accounts. Have sketched out some other ideas, but first want to see how the first email fares.

Kyle, huge fan, and we've talked via Skype in the past, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'm curious...why not create this as part of Forrst instead of as a separate venture? It seems like you could get some reach, while also adding value to the people paying a monthly supporter fee.

I think this service looks great, but I'm bummed that it was integrated as a supporter benefit.

Edit: I see now that it is a benefit to Forrst members, but in the opposite way I had predicted. Any plans to allow the trading of acorns for job posts? Sometimes it's nice to have backup on projects :)

We can't really release the kind of quick, experimental MVP projects that I'm such a fan of on Forrst since we've got 40k people who will notice a lack of polish and so forth. I wanted to vet this idea quickly without the overhead of expectations from the community. That's not to say this won't be rolled back in somehow. That's a good idea about Acorns, I'll put some thought into it :) And no worries -- totally appreciate the question's directness.

That makes a lot of sense Kyle, appreciate the candor.

I'm pretty excited about this. If you submit a project, mention HN and I'll give you 50% off the first one.

Really neat interface. Also thanks for making developer/designer/copywriter checkboxes instead of radio.

Update: I just received an email with URL to edit my profile without having to create/remember password. Very neat but one problem: It's http. You really should make that https, especially when you start dealing with paying customers.

Heh, I literally just received my SSL certs a few minutes ago. Hang tight.

Thanks very much. It might be my favorite one yet :)

You're welcome. It's the same on the project side, so should be interesting to see how the targeting works out.

I signed up. Loved the simplicity of it all. I also love how I can just sit back and watch what comes through passively without having to go search through stuff. No idea if I'll actually take any projects, but I'm definitely a fan of the interface.

Hi. I added a project.

Few points:

  * Are Incremental Days Necessary(1-21)? 1,2,3,7,14,31 maybe? Also, up to 1 month?

  * The 1000 character limit thing was a pain.
Good luck on your project. Lets see if you are able to find someone for our project.

Thanks for the feedback! I actually had the first item written down, and the more I mull it over the more it makes sense.

An odd comment I know but this is the second time Ive seen "made in NYC" today in the footer of a webpage. Don't know what to make of it. Perhaps I'll add made in Tijuana to mine?

Apparently, Toyota has the slogan "Made in Texas by Texans" for their trucks produced here.

clicking on the corresponding link on forrest yields this site http://nytm.org/made/


Oh I like that idea, just registered sdcrafted.com to do something similar for San Diego.

They send an email every Saturday? That seems somewhat.. not very useful. A site with a list of projects and the number of interested bids and such would work much better.

Captive audience they can push messages to. Also, only need to moderate once a week rather than live. Pretty smart.

Thanks. We'll see how it works out, but yes, that was the intention. I get 6 days to moderate and queue up projects for the next email. Plus, I like the idea of a low/no-effort set up for the talent side -- they get an email they can skim at their leisure, no browsing around and trawling for job listings on a site.

Congrats on this, very smart (you've kept it simple).

Is this a good way to get designers, I wonder? The alternative that seems that it might work better, browsing portfolios and contacting your favourite designers, as written by Andrew: http://andrewseddon.com/post/3402344430/how-to-find-a-design...

Thanks very much. That was indeed the goal.

As to whether this works the way I'm anticipating, only time will tell! I'm predicting, though, that this works as a nice adjunct to directly contacting designers (or anyone else) -- you never know who you're missing, after all. If I've learned one thing from Forrst, it's that for every well-known designer (or developer) out there, there are scores of undiscovered, awesome designers waiting to knock it out of the park on your project.

Im in the mist of starting up a digital agency with friends. We are all creative and or technical people. Our weak point is a lack of strong sales skills to secure sizable business contracts.

I was thinking of creating a site like sales guy/gal meet development/designer team. Maybe this exists already?

Interesting idea. Happy to brainstorm about that - kyle at forrst.com

Cool I sent you an email. Cheers, Ryan

Congrats Kyle and welcome to the world of very small projects.

Maybe we can help each other out :)

And totally. Email me anytime.

Many thanks.

Got my first mail. It's great! Nice job. Only one thing: it will be good that links in the mail open some preview page where you click on "Connect" button. Didn't expect CCing on link click.

I personally like the idea of getting the listings on email. Having the list of jobs online seems more vulnerable for spam. Let's see how it evolves. Thanks

I was about to use it for several projects when I realized I have no idea who I'm going to working with on the projects. Is it 1-on-1 all the time?

Well, your request for work gets sent to all the relevant subscribers (i.e. if you need a developer, to all the developers on the list).

The ones interested make it known and then you can get in contact with them and decide who you wanna work for.

What does TinyProj offer that WeekendHacker doesn't? The latter is free and has six times as many subscribers.

Here's a list for yah from a user perspective having just given TinyProj a glance:

a) TinyProj is focused on exchanging work for dollars, WH leaves it open to barter, finding co-founders, etc.

b) TinyProj has an actual user interface for input vs. WH which asks you to write an email.

c) WH is FREE, TinyProj is $25

Thanks for this. I've certainly got nothing against WH. I actually would rather Tinyproj not venture into the barter/cofounder space - others are doing that well already :)

> six times as many subscribers

For now. As TinyProj and when it taps into the Forrst userbase, you'll be looking at a solid, skillful, and numerous candidates.

FWIW we're about to hit 7k subscribers.

* Setting the expectation up front that these are paid projects

* Longer duration than a weekend's time

* Copywriting/Illustration as well

* Working on integrating with Forrst which should bring in many of the 40k members who're available for work, as well as making use of our reputation engine

How confidential is it? If I submit a project: A) who will get to read about the project? B) will everyone who can see the listing also see my name?

I'm in semi-stealth. I want few people to know what my project is, and nobody to know that it's mine (except the designer).

Anyone can read about it, but you're free to use a pseudonym and generic email address. There is craigslist-style email anonymity, so you get to obscure your identity as long as you'd like to.

It may also help to specify the currency(s) involved...yes we'll all assume it's USD for now.

Good catch.

I like the idea, but I would feel a lot more comfortable about "1,000 rad folks" if the site gives an idea of what kind of these people are. For instance, these are top 250 users in the category on Forrst. Sample profiles would help as well.

You're totally right, and I'm working on that as fast as I can.

I'm interesting in submitting a project but I don't know how much to offer for it. In a "marketplace" you get to see what other people are offering and what's being accepted. I'd like to see this sort of information.

Cool project. I have a similar idea but one that is based on hours, not cash.

I like this idea a lot. I wish you could just view the listings on the site instead of having to wait for a weekly email. That's what I was expecting, and having to wait is just annoying.

It's probable that this will be implemented in the future, depending on other users' feedback.

I registered itppl.com YEARS ago for something similar to this but never got it started. Good job :)

Cool just registered as a developer and should registering a project soon :)

any geographical limitations ? (say I'm in EU, project is in the US, etc ..) I suppose it will have to be dealt separately for each project or ?

This has a lot of potential -- signed up -- good job!

i am confused as to why you just didn't take a screenshot...you actually "shot" your screen...

In any case, signed up :P great idea btw

Bad/inside joke. People are doing that on Forrst a bunch, so it was more of a nod/friendly jab at them.

Thanks btw! :)

It looks better that way anyway.

Because it's a popular way of showcasing one's work on Dribbble - a bigger and more successful Forrst competitor. A way that is also incidentally forbidden on Forrst itself.

Forrst and Dribbble aren't really competitors.

It's more stylish, of course :)

How do you deal with spam?

All projects are approved by a human, and on the talent side fake emails that bounce are automatically removed.

Nice idea. Good luck!


How is this different from elance.com and scriptlance.com?

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