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The serious clients who have the money you are looking for, are not going to hire a random guy in Thailand based on a forum comment.

At your suggested rate, these clients will be able to get an on-location contractor with significantly more experience (think 10-15 years). I.e. No hassle with international payments, timezones and what not.

Compare that to what you are suggesting: A very high cost (150 USD an hour) at a very high risk (completely unknown resource). This makes it a highly unappealing business proposal.

For you to get that rate while being remote, you need to have already established yourself with such clients, i.e. You need to have worked for them before and built a lot of trust.


The problem here was not with outsourcing as a discipline, it was with lack of experience in outsourcing. The lessons learned in the post are typical of first-time outsourcing attempts, but entirely incorrect if you have an experienced person leading your efforts.

A few tips for OP and others reading:

1) If you are western and it's your first time, avoid suppliers from the Middle East and the Far East (Pakistan, India, China etc). The cultural difference will be too big a mouthful.

Instead go with locations closer to home, i.e. Brazil/Chile for US, Eastern Europe / Russia for EU.

2) Do not use bottom barrel suppliers. $10 suppliers, will deliver according value. If they were better, they would charge more.

3) You need to know about local holidays. Eid in Pakistan, the Chinese new year in Far East, the orthodox christmas in Russia etc.

Good suppliers will inform you of these well in advance. $10 sweatshops will send you the dreaded "Oh btw 14 days national holiday is starting now, thanks bye".

4) Strongly consider time and material pricing model. Fixed-price is appealing. But in usual custom projects, the estimation will statistically speaking be way off. You'll then end up with scope / price negotiations and bad relations.

You'll also be more likely to continue with a bad supplier because of loss aversion i.e. "we've already paid 50% of the total project, let's just see it through". This results in death march projects usually.

5) If you do not have an experienced outsourcing manager, the next best thing is a supplier with strong project managers and experience in outsourcing. Find a consultant or broker that can find you one such supplier.


Most users probably don't miss features in LO as such. The issue like with much open source software, is UI and stability related.

Joe Marketing ain't going to jump through UI hoops and do complex bug work-arounds, when he can avoid this entirely by buying a MS office license for 200 USD or whatever the price is.


Please don't start a witch hunt on the basis of a handful internet comments. We should be better than that.


How is it a witch hunt? Labor is supposed to be a market, no?


Naming the person opens them up to personal harassment (which happens way more than people think).

Potential employees don't need to know her name to make an informed decision about whether or not apply to Netflix.


They can make an informed decision about whether to bother showing up to the interview if they find themselves scheduled with her.


Not necessary, because this person and her views are quite well known: http://firstround.com/article/The-woman-behind-the-Netflix-C...

What's basically clear is that the candidates complaining here a) didn't do their basic f-ing homework, and b) are seriously misrepresenting Netflix views on letting people go.

Not I agree with that part of Netflix culture (and it would pretty much be illegal in most Western countries), but there is a clear logic behind it, and I seriously doubt they skipped that part in the interview.


What's basically clear is that the candidates complaining here (...) are seriously misrepresenting Netflix views on letting people go.

You can assume the posters here are being malicious, or that they're honestly telling what they understood from the interview. If the latter, then I'd argue it's Netflix fault for failing to leave the right impression.


Wouldn't such people use Word or Pages rather than markdown though?


A tip if you already use lifecycle programs: Set up your marketing automation tool to automatically unsubscribe your recipients from the program, if they are not opening the first 2-3 emails (thereby showing a lack of interest in the specific program). This allows you to keep a higher percentage of email permissions, which you can use for less frequent communication.

Otherwise a large part of the uninterested segment will end up revoking their email permission, i.e. Unsubscribing from your permission base entirely.


On the other hand, measuring email opens is far from perfect - the user can have images off - and you could unsubscribe users who are actually reading your stuff.


That's very true, you'd be unsubscribing some false positives. Usually this is marginal though, and it's a tradeoff worth taking except if your recipient group have an abnormally high use of image off. Also, you can decrease the percentage by hosting content on a landing page since in most tools, a click will also register an open.


What's the best way to do this in Mailchimp?


Not sure it's possible to automate easily since mailchimp is a rather simple esp. I might be mistaken though, it's been a while since I used them. You could probably solve it through the API or at least through a bit of recurring manual work.


"In high-end contracting work, daily rates are industry standard. If you have the option to bill on a daily increment, why would you ever bill hourly?"

This advice is rather black and white, making it not exactly spot on for a large variety of cases. "X is an industry standard" is also rarely entirely correct. Ex. While daily rate might be standard in the UK and US, Scandinavian rates are almost always hourly based. Russian and ukranian as well, and most likely a whole range of other locations I know nothing about.

If you contract for a professional services firm that re-bill your hours, you're going to have an explanation problem when they see 3 hours logged and a full day billed. Conversely, the "full day" is easily stretched by a client-in-need into 10 or 12 hours, which leaves your hourly income plummeting by 25-50%

In this particular case, your best bet by far is to bill hourly. This applies to a variety of other cases as well, which is why there is no such thing as a universally applicable approach on consultancy billing, and such really shouldn't be given or taken without a huge disclaimer.


I've been informed by evil bastards whom love to outsource that Ukrainians are perfectly happy with $5 per hour.


You can get a junior for as little as $2/hour, if you need code grunt tasks done.


This is not entirely true. Tramadol are often given in doses of 3x50 mg a day for pain relief. To a user with no tolerance, the most common lowest dose, i.e. 1x50 mg is certainly more than enough to give a euphoric feeling, ability to concentrate, stress relief and a whole range of other effects. Effects obviously can't be compared to "real" opiates, where the effect is much stronger and have more of a sedative effect. It should also be noted the effects vary quite a bit depending on the individual, i.e. some people don't have much of a reaction to Tramadol.


The article, and Zunger's G+ discussion as mentioned below, clearly established that they were taking very high doses.


That might be, but that's not relevant to the point of what dosage is necessary for a psychological effect.


You think it's reasonable that he should continue at the helm of Mojang and retain control of Minecraft IP until what exactly? 10 years pass and the brand (which Minecraft has become) finally fades in popularity?

So he can release it as open source, to make good on what? Some "About" page he wrote fucking 4 years ago when Minecraft was nothing but a PC indie sleeper hit?

Get real.


It's absolutely astonishing to me that SV investors and incubators pass along ~4 million USD to a team of people with so little business experience, as to neglect hiring an accountant. End result being unpaid payroll tax for almost 3 full years!

No one ever asked what accounting firm Amicus used? No one ever just glanced at the finances and thought hey, where's the frigging payroll tax? Is valley capital so readily available as to warrant this kind of extremely low investor engagement in funded companies?

No written founders agreement either. I mean this is basics, and it should have been caught or taught by the accelerators and the investors.

This is not a shot at the OP, who I think is exceedingly brave to write such a public, honest and informative account of their screw-ups. Competence comes from experience and everybody in business has been incompetent at some point.

Rather, this is a massive failure on the investors' and accelerators part. With all the talk of "funding the team, not the idea", you'd think there was a bit deeper understanding of team experience and competence, than just some degrees from an ivy.

It's mind blowing that investors can be so careless with their cash. I wonder if it's a common occurrence or if this is an outlier situation.


Additionally, accountants can save you huge amounts of money in the long run.

We pay our accountant a very modest £100 a month, and he's easily saved us many multiples of that again and again. If you're ever thinking that you can't afford an accountant you may want to think again.


It's not astonishing to me at all. Look at Amicus now. 1) They're still around, and 2) it seems they have actual paying customers now (in a scaleable market). That is farther than 95% of startups.


> It's mind blowing that investors can be so careless with their cash. I wonder if it's a common occurrence or if this is an outlier situation.

There is way too much capital chasing too few opportunities today. The bar for who and what gets funded at seed stage is extremely low. Social proof and accelerator cred clearly often substitute for due diligence.

Exacerbating this is the prevalence of party rounds in which lots of investors put in relatively small chunks of capital. For obvious reasons, if you're raising a $6 million Series A from two or three name firms on Sand Hill Road, you're probably going to be subjected to a lot more scrutiny than if you're raising a $3 million round from a group that consists of upwards of 10 angels and/or super angel funds. In the latter scenario, the amount invested per investor tends to be so small that none of the participants have a real incentive to perform rigorous due diligence, which costs money and takes time.

According to CB, 15 investors participated in Amicus' $3.2 million round in 2012.



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