Aaron reflects on oDesk's pros and cons in this insightful post. First the good news.
He commends us for - among other things - being responsive, blogging often and interacting with our community, and not being afraid to put oDesk's software to the test in order to make it better. In a nutshell, for "embrac[ing] the Web 2.0 model of doing business," as he puts it.
His main gripe? That it's too difficult and cumbersome for providers to get started on oDesk. For example, he's not fond of job interviews. "...people tend to ask pretty stupid questions, like, 'where do you want to be in 5 years'," he says.
Point taken, Aaron. In fact, making it easier for providers to sign up is priority number one at oDesk. Please stay tuned.
But most heartening of all is this observation: "oDesk has basically brought the traditional workplace to The Web, which is a great accomplishment." Kudos and criticism aside, it's awesome to see someone talk about an important part of oDesk's vision in their own words.
To which I'll add that what oDesk aspires to do is to use The Web to move beyond the traditional workplace. For one thing, work doesn't have to be done in a grey cubicle, just because that's where it's been done so far. You shouldn't be limited to working with only those people that happen to live nearby. And ditto with the hiring process. It shouldn't give a leg up to those that can charm away during an interview. Instead, oDesk now puts the facts on the table. What does a person really know? What have they worked on in the past? How did they do? That's meritocracy.
Sure, there will always be something like an interview when you are choosing to work with someone. But hopefully the conversation will have more substance once the facts are clear.