I wish them luck, but I just think there are too many variables that getting a large enough sample size would bankrupt them before they approach a workable solution.
::::there are always exceptions::::
Again, I know a half dozen companies off the top of my head that provide the exact same service. Just instead of a website, I have an account rep I can e-mail or call and get even more personalized service. And I can choose if they source developers from China, India, Argentina, Colombia, Ukraine, etc. based on price. Their PMs handle the intake and return a product within a specified time period. What's novel about this?
The problem is that you have to find companies like this, and they tend to be small because the model doesn't scale past a certain point -- once you expand past a few teams, it becomes very difficult to control quality. Customers get upset and refuse to pay, which causes a cash flow problem. The best way to keep your accounts receivable aging down is to do quality work consistently, and the best way to have consistent quality is to keep your scale of control small.
This is not a business model that lends itself to VC well.
Speaking with their support staff was concerning, however. I asked rudimentary questions about how projects are handled that is not covered in their documentation. The staff member I spoke with became increasingly curt and bluntly asked if I wanted to proceed with a project or not, ignoring my questions. I apologized and logged out. I won't be returning.
So take my experience as you will. Best of luck to the team.
"Quality products are guaranteed because of our extensive experience and knowledge of making these projects work with many dynamic circumstances." Ambiguous, sure, but that should be a good thing. Let's hear that they're constantly evolving and working around new challenges, and applying experience and learning from all the data points they have to tackle existing / mundane issues. The core should be just that.
Or managed a software development project of any significance.
There's a difference between "if a developer gets sick or has to travel" and "if a project is behind schedule". (Though if the first happens late in the project, the problems with trying to backfill with an developer with no prior connection to the project at the late date are similar to trying to stack on more staff when a project is already behind schedule, and pose similar risks of delaying rather than accelerate delivery even further than accepting the cost of the loss.)
I think that's sort of the point. You do whatever any other engineering team does when faced with the same challenges. The question is what is Gigster doing differently that allows you to achieve consistent on-time, on-budget results? Because if you have that formula, you could probably make a lot more money just consulting with existing dev shops on how to implement it.
YOU SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
HOW CAN YOU DO IT THIS CHEAP?
Agencies and development shops have a lot of overhead
& are fundamentally lifestyle business, meaning that
their focus is profits. Gigster is venture-backed so our
focus is growth & customer satisfaction. We’d have a
referral from you than your money. Profits come later
when we are at scale.
I find it very hard not to get angry at these posts...
...One of the biggest problems facing my company right now is dealing with all of the venture-funded idiots coming after my customers, market and employees without so much as a hint of a viable business model. They outspend us on marketing 1000-to-1 and they offer to serve our clients essentially for free, apparently just to be able to win a logo for the "traction" slide in their deck in the hope that they will have enough proof points to get them their next hit of venture money.
I know that nearly all of them are going to vaporize eventually, but in the meantime they completely poison the well for all of us who are trying to do what Andressen, Wilson and the rest pretend they want startups to be doing - creating sustainable businesses in sustainable markets.
Unsustainable business models backed by a sugar daddy offering even more commoditization taking spoiled and angry users out of the market? Fine with me if you believe in free lunches, but somebody is paying for it, and cash is a finite resource so.
I can definitely understand the anger and that was my initial reaction last year but then I just stopped giving a damn. I stopped caring. I don't have to take this client and offer them deep discounts to match "free". I realized I rarely have to do anything. I can simply choose to wait for the next bus which won't be crammed with ton of people fighting over seats. I am so much happier and profitable as a result.
From another pov they are vc to idea guys, only instead of giving the money for equity they give the product for equity.
With the difference that they also get paid for it!
Go figure. They prefer to acquire company after they hit success for top dollar and run them on the ground instead of actually fostering innovation.
I don't know what that means. Those both seem like silly reasons to add more devs to a project.
Unless you're talking about long term sickness (like cancer) or travelling around the world for a few months, but that's not really the expected usages of those phrases.
- don't run a skeleton crew dev team unless you are ready to handle the risks,
- better project management upfront to cater for this risk - maybe allow customer to choose risk tolerance upfront like some fintech companies do and
- include some internal reward mechanism for over delivery so you can better manage resources.
There are prob a ton more but these are the 3 that popped into my head. Apps don't solve problems but good business models behind apps do. Sort that out 1st.
Idea is good but scaling to loads of projects will be a very hard endeavour (and scaling back after demand dwindle)
> that's where our platform comes in.
All that means that if the article is accurate, then customers of this service may find that Google owns their IP if they get big.
2. They can claim just about anything they like, then you get to defend yourself.
IANAL nor do I play one on TV but I don't know if I actually believe that is legal - and if it is then it's a huge legal nightmare.
Take this project for example. He worked on it before he was an employee of Google and after - does that mean Google automatically gets copyright over the project? What about after he leaves Google? What about if he never touched it while working at Google - does Google still get automatic copyright over it?
It is somewhat debatable whether this provision would stand up in court, but do you really want to fight a court battle with Google's legal team?
But Google now lays claim over its copyright which gives them the right to sell it or take it down completely. But thankfully - if you have an old version - they can't retroactively change the license. However - that won't stop Google from sending DMCA takedowns if it gets big enough.
> so this example is a non-issue
It's a huge issue - when people and companies don't even understand the terms of the GPL  copyright and licenses could make a huge impact. Yes - someone can fork it and call it pans and make all sorts of awesome changes - but that's horrible for software development. Now there are 2 different versions with different features - I would rather one project that completely works than 2 similar projects that kind of works.
> the author didn't care
The other contributors did - and that's equally important. I would not want to piss off the people who are contributing code to my project. Once other people start contributing code - a good open source project should respect the opinions and comments of the community.
The way IP issues usually surface is during diligence for an investment or acquisition, anyway, and most investors won't go anywhere near a company that can't prove they own their IP.
And the worst part is, it scales linearly \cue groans\. Funny how in business, that's terrible (it's literally the worst it could possibly be to have a potentially profitable business), but with algorithms, it's the holy grail.
Interesting point BTW about reduction in quality of workers over time. (Like the pretentious-but-true saying "A-players hire other A-players. B-players hire C-players, and C-players hire losers") I've noticed the same trend though in product-centered businesses where I've worked. Unfortunately, I feel like the fact that the amount of work to be done doesn't scale linearly with revenues actually exacerbates the subsequent-employee-quality-decline-problem because even if the new guys are less... good, the company is still making more money so nobody except the coworkers and managers of these people (who actually have to work with them on a daily basis) even cares.
It's probably not a problem at places like Google and Facebook, but it was kinda heartbreaking to watch my super-talented and motivated dozen-person startup team become something completely different because we were growing so fast and were told to spend money and hire like crazy after taking an investment round.
Really enjoyed thinking about your point that revenue outpacing effort enables employee quality decline. Maybe a way to force employee quality on a company would be to continually take on enough work (new/side projects, say, sort of like we see with AWS) such that the company will only survive if employees are good quality.
Assuming optimum talent and project selection, it should scale sublinearly. The N+1th worker bee will be less productive than the Nth, and the N+1th project will have a be willing to pay less than the Nth in terms of $/unit output.
Actually, If they specialize their tech stack sufficiently for fast prototyping and take equity in these super early ideas, that should not be a problem as they could be in for the long game via equity.
This just seems like blatant lying to me.
Second, 10-minute guaranteed quote? Would you share with me this amazing estimate technology? I've been at it for 10+ years, having helped build a popular website from the ground up and can't estimate the dev time of project with that kind of conviction given 10 hours.
With all that experience, my estimate process is now extremely honed. It takes me, quite consistently, 4 to 8 hours for a typical web startup MVP. And that's assuming I can build the product completely with technologies my team has used before.
The whole thing really doesn't make a lot of sense and is the first "YC" company that made me question if YC is maybe scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point in terms of what to fund.
That is literally how it works at many of them, just fyi. I'd strongly, strongly recommend you hire someone who does PM for one of those companies if you are as oblivious to how they work as that statement just made it appear.
> A few other differences - you don't interface with developers,
Yeah, plenty of them just want you to talk to the PM. The only time I was ever brought into meetings was when it was a very, very large customer [e.g. Bigger than Zynga] and the contract was 7 figures.
> price is guaranteed,
Prices are often fixed in outsourcing contracts at a per-project price with a list of deliverables and features.
> costs are lower because dev talent isn't in house (no holding cost).
I've worked with outsourcing companies where they paid per-project or per-hour a specific project [usually projects under $20k] as their sole model.
I worked with 2-3 at a time and just kept the apprised of my availability, one usually was the bread and butter while the other two handed me small projects [usually 80 hours or less].
Prepayment isn't an option because you'd need to use something other than credit cards -- the chargeback rate would be far too high for any payment processor to keep you as a client.
Am I the only one who doesn't develop for a mobile or web platform anymore:(
Just give me a couple of statisticians who can program so I can update my backtester!!!
Interesting idea, its easy to dismiss it but as someone who initially said meh to Uber and AirBnB when I first heard about them, I've learned that my initial gut reaction to most apps is pretty useless.
I am assuming you don't have the same response now and if so what changed.. Did your knowledge of the product change(like, you thought AirBnB was renting Air mattresses earlier) or did the traction the product received change your thinking...
Quality, strict timescales, integrated product management for clients - cash flow positive early on, maybe equity options for Gigster(s) - sounds like it could work if the execution is water tight.
Only worry I can think of is it's hard to make a clean product out of it when every job is vastly different and can get messy/out of scope.
The idea isn't new and there have been startups like GroupTalent, Crew and TopTal that have tried/are trying this and many others in various different verticals.
I'm wondering if the A list angels and VCs are privy to some deeper plan about what this intends to become long-term.
> What would be the differentiator?
I mean, the biggest problem in consulting isn't the coding, it is to work out what the customer wants.
If they give you a spec and you're just bound to that spec, it could be a good thing.
Code the stuff, get your money, don't care about the rest.
They have to meddle with the customers, if some misunderstandings happened.
From the faq.
1. This is dangerous if there is no clear plan on what competitive advantage scale gets you.
- Is it network effects?
- Is there some other benefit that i am missing? Would it drive down the marginal costs of the project once you have an existing library or ways to optimize the process?
2. I have a theory, running at a loss, free or with no bus model only makes sense in a few cases:
- strong network effects (fb, twitter etc)
- High LTV for customer, together with low churn.
- Proxy for demand/supply. For e.g Solving a customers problem on one side. This may be low cost or even free, eventually you bring in the other side of the market
- The scale gives you access to data that no-one else can get. This allows you to be much more efficient / cross subsidise etc.
marketplaces have strong network effects
This sets off my "peak tech" sensor like nothing before it!
Would be good to get more info of how much you can make as a developer and how much projects are likely to cost, though.
So much like Uber, can we assume that "$10-$20k/month" is a mythical number that could only be achieved by working 100+ hours per week and virtually no developers will actually make that much?
1. $20k/month every month? Unlikely.
2. Self-employment taxes + other business expenses.
A lot of startups in the sharing economy space have been guilty of grossly exaggerating how much their contractors/employees actually make. Is this just yet another instance of that or are these numbers legitimate? I think that's a perfectly reasonable question to ask.
UX-design as a service would be great, at least from a developer's perspective. This is something I've never been able to do, and pretty much forces me to go elsewhere if I want a project completed.
I'm impressed you guys are doing it...
What does it take to actually work as a freelancer for Gigster ?
Rails but no Ruby
MySQL but no Postgres
Docker but no chef nor puppet
Might be good to sort by either type of technology or alphabetical etc.
Also, would love to hear more about your pricing generally.
So, Gigster can only be used by for-profit corporations? (Since non-profits, public sector entities, and non-corporations can't offer equity or options.)
To do any kind of fixed-price work, you need absolutely ironclad protection against scope creep. Said protection against scope creep usually must start with an extremely detailed specification - the kind of thing that takes weeks to develop, not a 10-minute phone call.
I would imagine Gigster's terms looks something like:
• Client gets no input beyond the 10-minute phone call
• Interpretation of the specifications given in that phone call is 100% up to Gigster
• Any revision of specifications whatsoever results in a change order
It scrolled me back to the top of the screen and didn't send any data to the server, but didn't display any errors.
Gives me Heroku's application error message. I guess they should have used their own Gigsters:
An error occurred in the application and your page could not be served. Please try again in a few moments.
If you are the application owner, check your logs for details.
^ I hope?
BTW, portfolio doesn't seem to work:
trygigster.com/portfolio errors out
Overall, I really like the idea, but the language of the site and of the people answering on this thread is really ringing alarm bells in my head.
Did the writer have a stroke? How did this even happen?
Read this as "...and we handle maintenance for life. \brushes off shoulder\ bug life. "
My BS detector is off the charts. This has clearly worked well for lot of startups that went bust because the sales sold something that didn't exist and couldn't be delivered. First you are talking with the wrong person if they are not intimately involved with your vision. They will gladly sell you the moon and earth if it means a commission check.
I build MVPs but it takes a good week or two just to wrap head around their vision and develop a plan to turn it into reality. 10 minutes isn't enough time and guaranteeing the cost means cutting corners, A LOT of them. You can't do this in 10 minutes if you are looking for quality. In fact I'd argue that without taking the time to chat and do some careful mine sweeping to look for potential pitfalls or scope creeps, you are most likely talking to a snake oils salesman, and this excerpt from that article shows this.
If they did poach the top talent in SV, why in the hell are these people working for a fixed cost? Guaranteed quote means guaranteed overtime, there's no way someone talented would put up with unpaid overtime, or is there a major "disruption" going on here.
i want a youporn clone
2 minutes ago
a minute ago
I need this done ASAP
a minute ago
can you agree to equity share?
a minute ago
once I market it it will be HUGE
a minute ago
we take equity on some projects :) However we dont really discount the projects that much
a few seconds ago
for them what's your budget here?
a few seconds ago
well 1k to start
a few seconds ago