Good piece Lauren and I strongly agree and strongly disagree. I have used Upwork for years and have had terrible experiences and great ones. Correct the terrible tend to outweigh the great but I have had a developer work with me (in India) for over 4 years and thousands of hours with no problems. Ditto for a graphics designer who was amazing (see Agree further down).
I think the source of the problem with Upwork (and it isn’t their fault) is people go in their looking for people to do tasks that they actually have no idea what the effort involved is. The terrible experiences I have had have all been small task test went OK, bigger task crash and burn, disappear.
On the agree front I must agree with you you really can’t beat someone in y our time zone and language who you can actually deal with. This may sound incredibly racist but I found that a lot of the Indian / Pakistan people who pitched work are unable to say they can’t do something or that they are struggling with it.
In recent months I have drifted more and more for the higher value work (specifically graphic design as there isn’t a person in the entire Indian / Pakistan nation who can do design — I know I searched and searched an searched and..) and I find that US /UK graphics people although a 2/3X more expensive more expensive deliver 10X value for the price and that is what I want on my gravestone.
Here lies Kieran — his company delivered Ace work and made us happy.
Thanks for the article.