Digital Nomads

Ally: Top 10 Lifehacks for Digital Nomads

March 20, 2014 by

Ally Basak Russell leads oDesk's international marketing team — from San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Sydney, Dhaka, Manila, Dublin, Oslo, Berlin, or anywhere else she can find a good Internet connection. In an interview with Forbes, Russell shared her path to success and offered her top 10 lifehacks for Digital Nomads. Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

Top 10 Digital Nomad Blogs

March 11, 2014 by

So you're considering becoming a Digital Nomad or perhaps you've already set out on your journey. Congratulations! Now what? Rest assured! There is a thriving community of Digital Nomads eager to help you out. These entrepreneurial travelers are logging their journeys and, most importantly, sharing expert advice in blogs that will help motivate you and keep you safe and inspired during your trip. Here's our top 10 blogs for you to explore. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

A Female Engineer in the Middle East: Online Work & Gender Equality

March 7, 2014 by

She was stuck at home and frustrated about it. For Nermin Fawzi Sa’d, moving with her husband from Jordan to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia had seemingly derailed her career. As a mechanical engineer, the country’s strict laws forbidding mixed-gender workplaces kept her from pursuing her ambitions. But then she discovered a game-changer for women throughout the Middle East: the power of online work. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Featuritis: How To Diagnose Your Product Now

March 3, 2014 by

We designed the product, mapped the logic, and hired a development studio. By February of the following year, we had the prototype for Channelkit and started meeting investors. Then we got a wake-up call. We decided not to hold on to the over-complicated product we’d developed, but instead to reach out to our potential users and figure out what they actually needed. And if you are serious about the success of your startup, I recommend you do the same. Here are the steps we took over the course of several months to course-correct—which we hope can also serve as your roadmap to avoid needing course-correction in the first place. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Lessons from Foxycart’s DIY Remote Hackathon

February 11, 2014 by

After participating in several hackathons, Luke Stokes, CTO and co-founder of Foxycart, was inspired: Why not recreate that experience by holding an internal hackathon? With a distributed team spread across seven time zones, this type of focused, real-time collaboration was a rare event. Despite a slew of challenges, Foxycart's remote hackathon came off successfully and proved to be an opportunity for team growth. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Tech Beyond London: Dom Bracher’s Startup Story

February 10, 2014 by

Entrepreneurs aren't afraid to break away from tradition, and British freelancer-turned-business-owner Dom Bracher's early career path demonstrates just that. Not interested in moving from his rural hometown in southwest England to London, he chose to stay put. Now he runs a thriving mobile app marketing business and, in this interview, shares his oDesk advice for freelancers and business owners. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

My 5 Top Freelancing Freedoms (That Can Be Yours, Too)

February 5, 2014 by

I have found that working for myself has given me so much freedom and flexibility to live the life that I want to live, while at the same time helping others bring their business dreams to life. What could possibly be better than working for yourself, being there for your loved ones, and creating a life you are passionate about? There’s nothing more freeing than that and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Read Full Article

Digital Nomads

Jay: Ex Million-Mile Commuter Turned Digital Nomad

February 4, 2014 by

In 2011, tired of recycled air, bland food, drab office interiors and too much time away from family, entrepreneur Jay Shapiro made the decision to sell his digital advertising agency and found Infinite Monkeys, a DIY mobile apps tools site—that he built as an entirely location-independent business, relying on support from a virtual team. Taking advantage of his newfound freedom to work wherever he wants, Jay and his family began touring the world. They also took their “home” with them, in the form of a custom-built “Eco-Roamer,” a 33-foot camper van fashioned entirely out of sustainable materials. Jay designed the camper to serve as both a second home and mobile headquarters for his blossoming virtual business. Read Full Article

Online Work Tips & Best Practices

Making the Leap From Freelancers to Digital Agency

January 16, 2014 by

How can a few entrepreneurial friends—each doing their own thing—take a leap and launch a digital agency together? Making such a big change is a lot easier when you already have paying clients and a full pipeline of leads. When it came to getting Matchnode, our Chicago-based digital marketing agency, off the ground, we already had both—thanks in large part to oDesk. Learn how Matchnode evolved from an idea among friends to a viable business. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

The Next Silicon Valley is Closer Than You Think

January 13, 2014 by

Researchers found that cities known for supporting “anchor institutions” like large companies and well-funded universities (e.g., Boston, Mass.) employed significantly more technology inventors, but they were not producing a proportionally larger amount of citation-weighted patents. What’s the takeaway of these findings? The best cities for technology innovation have a varied ecosystem, with at least one large institution and many smaller companies. oDesk’s own VP Matt Cooper takes this discussion one step further in his Inc. column, arguing that the rise of online collaboration tools has rendered geographic location all but moot. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

For Productivity, Stop Crushing It & Be the Tortoise

January 10, 2014 by

Here we all are at the beginning of 2014 with shiny new backpacks full of resolutions, goals, plans, and projects. What thought process and workflow will you use to meet your goals? What if you started hitching your creative pursuits to the habit of consistency not flashes of brilliance? What if you invested only fifteen minutes a day, six days a week, regardless of how you felt? What if you gave yourself permission to be the humble tortoise, not the glamorous hare? The industrious ant, not the swashbuckling grasshopper. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Book Review – “Remote: Office Not Required”

January 7, 2014 by

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's recent book "Remote: Office Not Required" delves into some of the underlying philosophies about remote work that shape the culture of their company, 37Signals. More of a collection of loosely connected, blog-like articles than a definitive management tome, the book largely covers content that will be familiar territory for this blog’s readership. That being said, the authors speak from hard-won experience and there are plenty of practical takeaways that make the book worth a read for even seasoned remote workers and managers. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Big Idea 2014: More SMBs Will Be Started Than Ever Before

December 31, 2013 by

In his recent LinkedIn column, Gary predicts that more small businesses will be launched in the upcoming year than ever before “because it’s easier than ever to do so.” Citing more accessible, on-demand technology, as well as a positive shift in investors’ attitudes towards entrepreneurial endeavors, he makes a compelling case for an uptick of small business growth. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

From Soggy Bottom to Silicon Valley: Bootstrapping Lessons From a Startup Disaster

December 6, 2013 by

Let’s say your startup is underfunded. How can you triage your branding needs? How do you identify and prioritize the most essential marketing initiatives? Correctly answering these questions can help your company stay afloat during the initial bootstrapping phase; failing to do so, as oDesk VP Matt Cooper learned the hard way, can cost you dearly. In his recent article for Inc. magazine, Matt details the lessons he learned from a failed boat rental business he started with his uncle. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

The Way You Work: oDesk Client Govind Davis on Motivating Remote Teams

December 4, 2013 by

The co-founder and CEO of MCF Technology Solutions—a specialized systems integrator that designs, develops, and implements cloud-based platform solutions—Govind Davis has built an almost entirely virtual company. Aside from three local employees, his staff of approximately 60 people works remotely from around the world. Here, he shares five of his best pieces of advice on how to continuously cultivate and motivate remote teams. Read Full Article

The Way We Work

Leadership In A Virtual World: An Interview With Bernard Wilson

November 15, 2013 by

Located in Australia’s sparsely populated Northwest Territory, Darwin is better known for underground mines and tourist traps than for a bustling tech scene. But that hasn’t stopped Bernard Wilson. He’s capitalized on the power of remote work and cloud computing to forge his dream company, Primetime Entertainment. In the process, Wilson has learned valuable lessons on leadership and the importance of remote team relationships. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

The World Doesn’t Need Another Silicon Valley

November 11, 2013 by

It seems every emerging startup hub worldwide aims to recreate the unique entrepreneurial conditions of California's Silicon Valley. But is that possible—or even advised? In his previous column for Inc.com, oDesk VP of International & Enterprise Matt Cooper interviewed Jon Bradford, the managing director of Techstars London about why entrepreneurs should think more like athletes. In his latest article—part II of that interview—Matt and Jon discuss how startups might actually benefit from being located outside Silicon Valley, and how other entrepreneurial hubs shouldn't necessarily aim to be the next Silicon Valley. Read Full Article

Startup Resources

Entrepreneurs Should Think More Like Athletes

November 5, 2013 by

Visualizing success is a powerful thing. For athletes, it is an essential part of training, alongside practicing the strategies and techniques that will bring them that success. Could the same hold true for entrepreneurs? If the success of the American startup ecosystem is any indication, the answer is yes. In the latest post for his Inc.com column, oDesk's VP of International & Enterprise Matt Cooper interviews Jon Bradford, the managing director of Techstars London, who discusses how visualizing success can play a significant role in startup outcomes. Read Full Article