UK Based Freelancing, The Next Step.

For those of you that read my tweets and/or articles, you’ll be familiar with a recent post I wrote about the state of UK freelancing and how we don’t have a home on the web that we can call our own, a home that enables us to find projects and compete with other freelancers in a fair and unbiased way, other freelancers mind you, that are from the UK, so we’re not undercut by those who live in parts of the world where the price of living is lower, and in some cases, considerably lower. If you aren’t, you can read it here.

I’ve spoke to a fair few people about my idea, which includes a very brief Twitter conversation (about 4 tweets), with the UK country manager for Freelancer, who said the following:

I appreciate that he took the time to respond and be honest with me, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I also see where he’s coming from in relation to the players with many millions of VC backing, but in this situation, I don’t feel that having many of millions will help them at all, so frankly, they can stick that money up their arse.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, I intend to go ahead and work on this system, starting with a prototype for people to play with and see how it works, stepping up through all the planned iterations I have.

You may be wandering why I would continue, even after being warned that I’d be entering a market that’s currently dominated by those with very deep pockets. For those that are familiar with me as a person, you’ll probably be aware of my attitude and that I don’t like to back down, even when faced with total annihilation which often causes me problems, but in this case, I believe it’s going to help.

See, they can swoop in throwing money around trying to build a UK only site that’s miles ahead of my own in an attempt to corner that part of the market, but they will be fundamentally flawed. To put it best, I’d like to quote a friend of mine, “VC’s always have profits in mind, you don’t, from the ground up you’ll see the freelancer, not the money”, which is an EXTREMELY apt point. The idea is that I’ll build this system as a freelancer, for freelancers.

I don’t really care about profit at this point and I’d be happy if the system grew and maintained itself. Anything that would be made up and above the cost of maintenance would be put back in to improve the system

At this point in time I’m working with Anthony Bullock to get some concepts drawn up and some material so that you guys can see a bit more of what we intend to do.

Up until now I’ve always been the guy behind the scenes, making the system with my only focus being the creation of the system, which has served me well, but for this particular project I am going to have to step out of my comfort zone and take on all the aspects, including marketing and creating interest in the project. With that being said, it would be greatly appreciated if anyone has any suggestions or feedback about anything to do with this system, whether it’s someone you think I should speak to or just a question about what we intend to do.

As always, any feedback, questions or informaiton can be directed to @ollieread or me@ollieread.com.