Stature Software Builds From Scratch on oDesk

Relying entirely on remote workers, a two-man outfit builds a $2 million/year business on oDesk.

Stature Software launched in summer 2006 as a two-man outfit with a vision that was bigger than a two-man partnership. With a business model built around outside freelancers, the company has already grown into a $2 million venture. "I realized at the time that the future was with offshore developers," says partner Gregory Silvano. "My problem was that I didn't know how to find good offshore developers."

oDesk solved that problem. "oDesk was the first company we ever used," he says. "I didn't even search for competitors."

Stature Software

Gregory Silvano / Partner, Stature Software

"Once I saw oDesk, I realized it was exactly what I was looking for."

He and partner Joseph Patalano handle project management, application design and other non-coding aspects of software development, and most of the hardcore coding goes to their remote freelancers. "Stature uses 100 percent contract developers for most of our clients," Silvano says. "About 75 percent of our developers come from oDesk." oDesk has also provided project managers, admin assistants, researchers, blog writers and server administrators.

With everything riding on remote developers, Stature thought through the advantages of online work, and assembled its team with those strengths, and potential weaknesses, in mind. For instance, Silvano was careful not to load up on developers from only one region.

"I intentionally found [freelancers] from several locations, because I didn't want one political situation or one tidal wave to wipe out my entire company," he says. The geographical spread pays a great dividend. "We have nearly 24-hour coverage. We use more [freelancers] in the U.S. for support hours, but it's good to have the team all over the world."

There's gotta be a downside, too, though, right? "Time zone, definitely," Silvano says. "You need to be prepared, and you need to make sure you make time in the morning to answer questions from the developers, etc. It's easier to manage when there is a lot of work to do for a new project, like the initial phases of development ... they can work for several days and require little oversight."

Overseas developers can get work done while Silvano and his clients are asleep, and he can adjust to business needs faster than his rivals.

"I can add new developers quicker than my competitors can," he notes. "I can also add developers quicker than my clients can add in-house developers, which means I can ramp up for a new project quicker than they can, so I'll often get the new business."

"Once we find a freelancer, we typically keep that freelancer full-time forever," Silvano says. Read more about how Stature Software hires and manages freelancers on our blog .

Three years later, Stature Software is still technically a two-man outfit — but with the muscle of a large international business.

"We went from zero to 50 developers in 18 months on nothing but cash flow — no initial investment in the company," Silvano says, "and oDesk has been a big part of Stature's success, absolutely."

Stature's Advice for Getting Started

  • Start small, go slow.
  • Find a person you feel you can trust and enjoy working with.
  • Don't just go by price.
  • Stay on top of the work at first: "Ask for updates, see the code, be extra vigilant."

About Stature Software

Stature Software (www.staturesoftware.com) is an agile business software development company offering database, web, and desktop application development at reasonable prices. Key to the success of this Florida-based two-man operation is their expanding team of quality software developers around the globe.

Annual Revenue:
$2 million
Founded:
2006
Headquartered:
Lithia, Florida, USA
In-House Staff:
2
# oDesk Freelancers:
20
Began Using oDesk:
Aug 2006
Location Focus:
Typically Russia,
Ukraine & Philippines