All Things oDesk
June 21, 2012 by Stephane Kasriel

The potential to make a significant impact on the world is a unique and exciting opportunity, which is why I am thrilled to join oDesk this week as the company’s new Vice President of Product.

The way the world works is changing. Work is no longer a place, and with that shift comes incredible freedom and opportunity for both businesses and workers around the world. With more than 3 million hours worked on oDesk’s platform in May 2012 alone, oDesk is at the leading edge of this movement, but there still remains a great deal of innovation ahead of us. I am looking forward to taking on this exciting challenge alongside my talented co-workers here at oDesk.

As the Vice President of Product, I lead the direction of oDesk’s platform, building and refining the technology to help our clients and contractors work the way they want—whether it’s from their couch, the beach, or the coffee shop. My goal is to make the oDesk experience as successful and enjoyable as possible—and that’s where feedback from our community comes in.

In the comments section below, share your thoughts on what we can do, change, or design to help make oDesk great. From hiring and getting hired to paying and getting paid, please let us know how we can make oDesk work for you.

Happy working!

Learn more about Stephane

Stephane Kasriel

Senior Vice President of Product and Engineering

Stephane Kasriel, Elance-oDesk’s senior vice president of product and engineering, has more than 12 years of high-tech product and general management experience, including leadership roles at pioneering companies including Fireclick, Zong, Work4Labs, and PayPal. Defining and leading PayPal’s consumer strategy, Kasriel achieved unprecedented growth for the company. He also helped guide Zong in their ascent and rapid acquisition by PayPal, and most recently worked as… read more

  • Scott Ales

    How can the small business bridge the communication gap?

    If I decided to build a new house I could hire a contractor to do it or manage it myself. Odesk to me is like a pool of sub contractors or skilled laborers who need to be guided only by those with the communications skills to do so. As an owner of a highly successful website I see no way to leverage the tremendous amount of talent through Odesk without having the language first. From my research thus far, it seems I am forced to continue paying $100-200 an hour to tech companies who hire contractors through Odesk at $30.00! Looks like a great business model.

    I almost wish I hadn’t found Odesk. It’s like finding the best home builder laborers who don’t speak english.

  • Hafsa

    Welcome! I am new to odesk and I appreciate user friendly and simple interface of ODesk! keep it up!

    Good Luck!

  • Anamul

    Congratulation Stephane.

    My suggestion – oDesk should fix / raise minimum rate in different section.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

  • Asif Anwar

    Congrats Stephane. Here are some my suggestions to make oDesk even better:

    1. There were SVN option for file management, I think oDesk stopped it. Currently, there are many file management apps like Dropbox, Sugarsynch, and Google Drive. It’d be nice to see integration of such file management apps. The file update data tells more about hourly contribution and a client can see his work in progress in real time. Moreover, this might make a client verify information when a contractor puts in manual hours.

    2. Allow direct bank transfers to top 10 countries in oDesk with tolerable transfer rate. This will help many freelancers in Bangladesh.

    3. Sometimes, for detailed job discussion, we need to give away Skype ID, which I think is some sense giving away contact information. But, if oDesk had a good messenger with screen sharing and recording option, then giving away Skype ID will not be required. Moreover, the hours spent on Skype discussion can not be tracked accurately on oDesk.

    4. I sometimes see that many jobs have survey or test on other 3rd party sites, before they think you are eligible for the job. But, if oDesk had detailed questionnaire feature, that can be optimized just like Google Forms, then it would be great for job posters.

    5. If there were some Gantt Chart app on oDesk, and if any client can link a job and put in status in the chart and monitor progress, that’d be good to see.

    6. Not sure if project page has any common wall (homepage) for short message posting like Twitter that all other team or project members can follow or unfollow. It can be used in many ways. e.g. if someone mentions that he started his work on 6:30:12 and then mentions he ended the task at 7:30:45, then it becomes more convincing to client when the contractor puts in manual hours.

    7. oDesk profiles are not search engine friendly like LinkedIn. The way that LinkedIn makes profiles search engine friend is by directories like this But, oDesk can have directories based on countries, skills, hourly rates, etc. I know they can be searched, but if they have static pages linked from 1-2 level deep from homepage, then each profile would get some relevance and link juice to become friendly in search engines.

    8. Allow Contractors to add or embed presentations, docs, and videos on profile like Fiverr

    9. Since I am speaking of Fiverr, another idea is popping up. oDesk is about clients to initiate the job. But, what about allowing contractors to put in some job profiles that they can do best and clients can come in and purchase or negotiate price.

    10. Currently, the feedback scores are showns based on stars and scores. But, it’d be better if things were more visual on a contractor’s profile. e.g. introducing some badges based on some achievments, which can be more appealing to clients.

    Note: Huge problem with cookies on this blog. It took me more than 10 tries to comment on this post :-(

  • Tarek Mollah

    Welcome to the kingdom of oDesk, Stephane,
    If we have noticed, oDesk itself is evolving and taking a form itself and in terms of products innovation, this is an on-going project and sky is the limit.

    As the supply vs demand is significantly increasing, probably micro managing the existing categories or fine tuning is a demand of the time.

    Creating more oDesk Group and outlining requirements specifically will encompass categorization of skills.

    Incorporating milestones on existing features, as huge traffic often making talent acquisition cumbersome.

    Am sure, we are going to see some magic soon days to come!

  • Adel Mike

    Congratulation Stephane. Only thing i want to suggest is making the payment faster, sometimes payment tooks 10 days,if you can speed up the process it will be great.

    Thank you Odesk, you are awsome. Keep the good work.

  • Al-Mamun Talukder

    Congratulation Stephane. I would like to suggest some things. I personally think the rate (payment) of the contracts are getting too low day by day. Sometimes, putting up the same amount of work is now worth half then before. Please come up with a good solution for that. Encourage people not to bid too low. This is very inappropriate for the market. I like the way oDesk is right now. Please don’t introduce features that will raise mixed reactions. We love oDesk as it is simple and friendly. Complications that contractors need to face on other marketplace are not needed here. Keep up the good work. Thank you!

  • Mahmud Hassan Sunny

    I really Appreciate this post, As i think it has been posted on the right time.. Market place is getting dull for some of unprofessional worker’s irritating attitude. People is getting desperate to gain the job without any quality… They are bidding low price mentality is completely destructive for the market place… oDesk should introduce a new term minimum bid margin… No one can bid below that margin..


  • Samer Bechara

    I would like to see an improvement on the fixed job prices. While it’s great to be able to work on an hourly basis, the income you can make is pretty limited to the hours you can put in a week. I would like to see more guarantees on fixed job prices, such as setting up guaranteed payments on milestones completion. I would also like to see bigger fixed price jobs of a higher quality.

    I would also like to see more high end clients on odesk. I’m mainly talking about the clients who have got the funds, and are willing to pay for premium talent. I don’t see many corporate clients, investor-backed startups… I would like to see this happen, and it seems to me like it’s a natural growth path for odesk.

  • Stephane Kasriel

    Mike & Jeff,

    Thank you for your feedback. Some great ideas in there! We’ll definitely look into them.

    / Stephane

  • Jeff D

    My suggestions:

    1. Stock options/stock purchase plan for top-performing oDesk contractors.

    2. Bonus payout upon reaching designated milestones – 1,000 hrs, 5,000 hrs, etc.

    3. Create a section in Business Services specifically for “Taxation, Tax Preparation”

    4. Spend more oDesk marketing dollars trying to pull in accounting work.

    5. For those contractors who have verified their IDs, start giving them some sort of credit (there seems to be no current indication on their profiles).

    6. Create a separate site specifically for CPAs & other accounting professionals. Raise minimum rates.

  • Mike Sawyer

    We need to get paid faster, especially if our clients are paying by PayPal. Getting paid the next day or two would rock, however, that may not be possible but I am hoping it could be. My clients, quite a few have a serious of endless questions on how to handle their accounts. Maybe if you make it easier for them to cancel contracts, hire, or organize their graphical interface with easy to use drop down menus. A tutorial should be mandatory for them to watch. I would say about 2 of out of every 10, I have to field questions for them about how to hire, post a project, make a payment or something similar. Otherwise than that, you guys are rocking the world. Cheers!