Fiverr terms and sustainable relationships

One my of customers found someone on Fiverr to do some mechanical modelling. That worked out well so we tried to use a PCB designer on Fiverr to modify a PCB design. That did not turn out as well as there were some high voltage circuits that required spacing for safety, and the designer clearly did not understand the safety issues.

Being short on resources for the software side of the project, we also discussed trying to find a software developer on Fiverr. After looking at the Fiverr terms, I’m not sure this model is appropriate for complex tasks that require a collaborative relationship, vs a throw-it-over-the-wall relationship. A few quotes from the terms:

  • You may not offer direct payments to Sellers using payment systems outside of the Fiverr platform.
  • To protect our users’ privacy, user identities are kept anonymous. Requesting or providing Email addresses, Skype/IM usernames, telephone numbers or any other personal contact details to communicate outside of Fiverr in order to circumvent or abuse the Fiverr messaging system or Fiverr platform is not permitted.
  • All information and file exchanges must be performed exclusively on Fiverr’s platform.

A few concerns:

  1. Fiverr prevents developers from developing and using their own brand and reputation outside of Fiverr (such as a Github profile).
  2. Uploading files is not collaboration – how do you do complex software development without using Git? How do you review changes and iterate on solutions? See this for an example of how great work is done.

So it seems Fiverr is a gatekeeper leveraging low cost labor to provide solutions. This might be OK for logo design, and many other simpler tasks. But for complex systems and truly innovative solutions that require collaboration, I’m not sure it is the right model because you have to move from a gatekeeper to an enabler model to really scale innovation. How to be an enabler and develop a process that rewards all involved – that is a topic I’ve very interested in exploring more. It seems Ebay and Amazon are similar to Fiverr in that they tightly constrain the supplier/customer relationship to preserve their gatekeeper status in the relationship – a race to the bottom that really only benefits the biggest players and platform owners. It seems there has to be a better way – perhaps through the use of blockchain technologies? Interested in your thoughts!



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I would not use Fiverr for the reasons you mentioned. Upwork is slightly better but has related issues.

We have had success with — they are middle men who do the recruiting and short listing and handle payment. More appropriate for “higher end” software.

Hubstaff Talent is a free job posting board that hopes you’ll buy their project management software

The hard part is interviewing and sourcing the right candidates.

I see an emerging “trusted squad” model of independents that work together. We already have the collaboration tools, next we need some better trust and payment tools. And maybe collaborative quoting…

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Thanks for the great input @boris – will check out these links.

“trusted squad” sounds right to me as it implies a long term relationship, which I think is vital. This has been one of my goals for years. I have collected a small group of very trusted individuals, but they are good, and thus often busy. The world is a big place, so it seems there is a lot more potential.

One of my hopes with OSS projects is to connect with people who have some of the same interests as I do. If someone is not really interested in the types of problems I’m working on, it makes little sense to hire them as they are not in it for the long haul. Again, the world is a big place, so seems there are people out there :slight_smile: