I very much appreciate the authors openly sharing a stat of wrong perceptions and a need to change. It would be great to know how much time they already spent on their initial strategy, their first offering before accepting this might not be the right way forward.
We are a SaaS start up with an online toolchain optimising typical steps in outsourcing of Software projects, ranging from strategy, supplier selection to the ongoing governance. It all works and we have good customers but scalability is not easy due to direct B2B sales.
In order to build on the global and scalable approach of the offerings being SaaS and overcome the limitations of the “standard B2B sales approach” (reduce the time and costs to acquire a customer) we have extended our offerings by a free B2B Marketplace for Software projects ( http://www.plixos.com/market somewhat similar to freelancer portals, just B2B). This shows good traction on a global scale but shall remain free of charge. Goal is to achieve a cross sell to the other — charged — tools.
Reading the crew.co story, I fully agree that high quality will be a key factor for success, for any developer or designer offering his services as well as for the crew.co platform itself. Defining the right (measurable and accepted) criteria is already a challenge in freelancer work. I think this is even more complex when dealing with a large scale application development or maintenance project (we have developed a provider rating with a University for exactly that: http://bit.ly/1YzRMvR ). The offer of full refunds in case a customer is not happy seems to be a working approach for small size projects only.
Building in a tool that allows to estimate the realistic budget for a project seems to be a valuable offer and I see similarities with the business case module of our Outsourcing Advisor (once again, for larger scale Software Outsourcing/Offshoring projects).
All in all, crew.co seems to be on a good track and I wish them all the best. For us, an opinion on the differences between freelancer marketplaces as theirs and marketplaces / portals focusing on larger scale projects (typical B2B) would be great help improving our offerings. Thanks to anyone responding! Joerg (firstname.lastname@example.org) .