Launching soon: Gig Board Jason 26 Sep 2006

61 comments Latest by Dave Rosen

We’ve been really happy with the response to our Job Board. Over 500 jobs have been posted in just a few months, and job posting volume has grown every month. Lots of repeat customers posting new jobs too.

We launched the job board because we were getting tons of emails asking if we know where to find a designer or programmer to hire. The job board was the answer to that question.

But we’ve been getting just as many emails asking if we can recommend a freelancer, contractor, or design or programming shop to help with a project. Not a full-time hire, but a project hire. A gig hire. So it’s time to address another need: The gig.

In a few days we’ll be launching the Gig Board. The Gig Board will allow people to post their projects and find designers, programmers, or writers to help them out with those projects. For example “Need design help for our web site” or “Looking for programming help on a client project” or “Seeking copywriter to write and edit our newsletter,” etc. These are project-based gigs. The Gig Board will let you find your match.

So we can launch with some gigs in place, we are offering 20 free gig listings. The first 20 people to email in a gig will find their gig on the Gig Board when we launch. Here’s what we need from you:

Your company name, the headline for your posting (60 chars max), the full description of your project or what you’re looking for help with (500 characters max), category (design, programming, copywriting, other), budget (optional), time frame (optional), location (your city or anywhere if location doesn’t matter), and an email address so people can get in touch with you. Note: If your category is over 60 characters, or your posting is over 500 characters, it will not be considered. You must follow the posting rules. We reserve the right to deny a posting if we don’t think it’s appropriate.

If you’d like to submit your gig, please email it to [jamis at 37signals dot com]. Thanks again! We’ll announce the launch of the Gig Board here on SvN when we go live.

61 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jeff Croft 26 Sep 06

Wow, hard to imagine what prompted this!

Anonymous Coward 26 Sep 06

Uh Jeff, did you read the post?

“But we’ve been getting just as many emails asking if we can recommend a freelancer, contractor, or design or programming shop to help with a project. Not a full-time hire, but a project hire. A gig hire. So it’s time to address another need: The gig.”

Rupert 26 Sep 06

@Jeff

Could it be Cameron Moll’s release of AuthenticJobs.com today?

Which - if you notice, AutheticJobs.com already has the ability of “gigs” built in

Hmmmm …. Interesting

Mike Swimm 26 Sep 06

Man you guys are going to have to call the CRM-ish tool ‘Sunset’ by the time it comes out:)

JF 26 Sep 06

We actually started on this last week before Moll released his board (I didn’t even know Cameron’s site had gigs). It’s an idea we’ve had for awhile, but just hadn’t gotten around to building it until this week. We planned on releasing it yesterday, actually, but something else got in the way.

This is Phase II of the job board franchise. Job board was phase I, Gig board is phase II, and phase III is coming before the end of the year hopefully.

Jon Maddox 26 Sep 06

Jamis - The Gig Master

Rupert 26 Sep 06

Seems to me that someone wants to steal attention away from Cameron today.

Capitalism is great, isn’t it.

In all seriousness, more things like this the better. People have been needed tools like this for years.

JF 26 Sep 06

Wow, some people are so cynical. This has nothing at all to do with Cameron. We like Cameron a lot and we definitely wish him well with his board. As I mentioned above, I didn’t even know his board had gigs. I figured it was jobs only.

Had we launched this yesterday would people say Cameron was trying to steal attention away from us? I certainly hope not because that wouldn’t be true either.

There’s plenty of room for a lot of players in all these games. None of us have the power to steal attention away from anyone else. In fact, this probably brings a lot of attention on Cameron’s board which is fine with us. We hope he does well with it.

So lighten up folks! No conspiracy or competitive strategy here. Just purely scheduling similarities.

Jon Maddox 26 Sep 06

Pfff, I’ve been getting Topfunky’s gig board in my emails for months….

They’re all copying Geoff!

;)

Jeff Croft 26 Sep 06

Jason, no one is saying there’s not room for you both — of course there is. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you guys doing this, and I’m sure no one has a problem with it.

But you saying that Cameron’s release today has nothing to do with this post is sort of like Microsoft saying that Apple put the iPod at $299 has nothing to do with the fact that the Zune is $284. Is it possible Microsoft was always going to release the Zune for $284? Sure — but you’ll have a hard time convincing me of it.

I don’t think that’s cynical of me. I think it’s me understanding the way business works. When someone puts out something that competes directly with your product, you try to snatch back the spotlight by one-upping your competitor. And if you don’t, you often lose. That’s just the way capitalism works. I’d be highly disappointed in you if you didn’t try to one-up Cameron.

If what you say is true — that you’re not trying to compete with Cameron — then I would say you’re not doing very good business. Seems to me that keeping an eye on your competition and trying to make sure what you offer is of better value should be a very basic tenant of any business — even bold, rebellious, “unique” ones like yours.

Right?

Jon Maddox 26 Sep 06

@jeff:

Someone needs to ‘get real’

I’m not here to defend Jason, but I DO KNOW he doesn’t work like that.

JF 26 Sep 06

But you saying that Cameron�s release today has nothing to do with this post is sort of like Microsoft saying that Apple put the iPod at $299 has nothing to do with the fact that the Zune is $284. Is it possible Microsoft was always going to release the Zune for $284? Sure � but you�ll have a hard time convincing me of it.

Jeff, I’m not here to convince you of things. That is your job.

I already told you the truth above. If the truth doesn’t convince you then you’re on your own.

I have no reason to lie, mislead, or BS about this. There’s no advantage.

You can choose to believe what you want to believe, but since I’m the guy who made this decision I’m the only one with the actual answer. And the answer is no: This had nothing at all to do with Cameron’s launch.

You can occupy your mind with your own story, or you can clear your mind with the truth.

Out.

Jeff Croft 26 Sep 06

“Jeff, what I’m telling you is that it had nothing to do with Cameron’s launch *at all*. Zero. Zip. Nada.”

Fair enough, then. If you say so, I’ll take your word for it. I believe you.

But I can certainly see why some people (myself included) thought the timing was…amusing…and I’m sure you can, too.

Sean Warburton 26 Sep 06

What are you Jason, are you a services company, are you a marketing company, are you an employment agency, are you a training company, a motivational speaker, a publisher?

Milk that that cash cow!

Jake 26 Sep 06

Will Gig Board be providing any input regarding the quality of the client? Some kind of job feedback mechanism or something would be great, epically for repeat posters.

It would also be helpful to get a budget range up front so that we know which projects are worth pursuing.

I have never used a service like this but it always makes me laugh when clients hyperventilate over my work estimate and start rambling on about how they could get the site built for $500 dollars through elance.

Vertical job boards are a win for all of us.

Sean Warburton 26 Sep 06

Why not make it free, that’d be a great idea.

Julian 26 Sep 06

People can always look for someone for free at Jobazaar. Web 2.0 job site, which I like very much.
The address is www.jobazaar.com

Dave Rau 26 Sep 06

I wonder if phase III will be for the freelancers and job seekers.

Another great idea by 37 Signals; the hits keep coming. Cam’s board is very nice looking as well. The more alternatives to the lame monster.coms the better.

kevin 26 Sep 06

Sounds exactly like ProgrammerMeetDesigner -> http://programmermeetdesigner.com/ - create by a 13yr old which has been around for a few months.

Rupert 26 Sep 06

@Sean Warburton

Why not make it free, that’d be a great idea.

It sounds like our good friend Cam heard you (atleast for the first 20 that is)>

Daniel Haran 26 Sep 06

I’m going to need a designer in a month. Can I get a rain check? ;)

Chris Griffin 26 Sep 06

I’m so glad all these job boards aren’t free.

If they were, they’d all just be another spam-ridden craigslist with a bunch of cheapskates wanting spec work or slave prices.

If a company is willing to pay $200-250 for a job listing, then obviously they are serious about finding a web professional to fill their needs. Most craigslisters wouldn’t even pay out $200-250 for the project they are listing itself.

Give me a break.

Sean Warburton 26 Sep 06

@ Chris Griffin

These are cash cows nothing more. I agree that free would mean it was full of spam but $25 would be a fair price and would root out the freeloaders. Jason preaches about how you don’t need money to start up, just do it, well try telling those start-ups that finding a designer or programmer on Jason’s site is going to cost a not insignificant $250 with no guarantee of success.

Rob 26 Sep 06

Way to steal the thunder from Camereon and AuthenticJobs.com.

Pretty low, man.

Chris Griffin 26 Sep 06

The price is what it is because of economics. 37signals isn’t charging because they want to weed out the freeloaders, they are charging because they are a business, and businesses exist to make money.

If companies find value in posting a job listing on here for $250, then why should they charge less? It’s that simple.

There are many options out there, some are cheaper and even free. But its not likely you get as many qualified applicants as you will find here or at authentic jobs.

Sean Warburton 26 Sep 06

@ Chris Griffin

You’re the one who argued that they should charge to stop spamming, my argument was that charging $25 rather than $250 would weed out spam. I’m under no illusions about 37Signals true business philosophy, they’re cash obsessed rather than product obsessed, that’s why their products have so few features and their cult like following empowers them to do this. Jason would make a great politician, he’s all mouth and no trousers as they here in the UK.

Jamis 26 Sep 06

Just a quick note: my email was posted in this article as a way for people to send gig ads (we can still use some more, btw). Please do not send support email to that address. Thanks. Support requests should be sent to the appropriate email address for the product in question.

ML 26 Sep 06

Way to steal the thunder from Camereon and AuthenticJobs.com. Pretty low, man.

Yeah, Cameron got no publicity from this post/thread at all!

I’m under no illusions about 37Signals true business philosophy, they’re cash obsessed rather than product obsessed, that’s why their products have so few features and their cult like following empowers them to do this.

Um, most succesful businesses care about cash, no? And our products have so few features on purpose.

Digger 26 Sep 06

Great idea.

Check out a site we have just launched to beta called LogoSauce.com a venue for logo designers who want to showcase their work and build a profile.

Could be another great place to source a designer for your project.

Nick Selvaggio 26 Sep 06

Interesting way for 37signals to create an additional revenue stream. I have to say I agree with Mr. Griffin.

Looking foward to it.

gwg 26 Sep 06

I love this idea. It’s perfect for what I need: Programmers with some extra time who don’t expect a full-time job. I’d pay for a listing because it fills a need. I couldn’t care less if 37s has more of my $ as long as they deliver the goods. When they stop, I’ll stop paying. It’s pretty easy.

Hopefully my submission passes muster.

Geoff 26 Sep 06

To Selvaggio and Griffin’s points, how about also charging candidates to respond to listings? Doesn’t have to be much, just enough to make a candidate think, “am I really qualified for this?” $5 would do it. Both parties need a little skin in the game.

Alfred Toh 26 Sep 06

All the sudden, the web 2.0 community is turning their attentions to JOBS. We will be launching soon. So check us out if you are into more JOBS!

Nothing wrong IMO with 37signal launching their Gigboard today even though AuthenticJobs.com did theirs too. I’m sure Cameron is getting a free amount of attenton for the 37signals guys too. So its all fair game. Grow up people ;)

Nathaniel 26 Sep 06

Haha, this is going to be AWESOME, 37signals! I can’t wait.

Don Wilson 26 Sep 06

Wow, sounds great. Hopefully it won’t be RoR-centric ;)

Em 26 Sep 06

Wow, talk about resentment for 37s enjoying some success. Maybe 37s should create a ‘gripe’ blog and charge people $25 per post. Tha’d bring in a shload of cash!

“Jealousy is in the house ya’ll, Fellas sing it…”

@ the price is wrong people: $250 is a drop in the bucket compared to other startup expenses. Some headhunters charge hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars for placing people. I imagine that people can place their gig in about 2 mintutes, and then they have their needs in front of some of the best designers/developers in the world. To me that’s valuable and easy.

d 26 Sep 06

Wow, sounds great. Hopefully it will be RoR-centric ;)

A 26 Sep 06

getafreelancer.com has been doing this for a long, long time. let the competition begin and good luck to all!

viperteq 26 Sep 06

@Em: I have to totally disagree. $250.00 is a lot of money to spend. Especially when you have more than one position to fill. And let us not forget: Just because you post to the Gig Board or to the Job Board, this does not garauntee that the position will get filled. Yes, a lot of people read the SVN blog. And yes, a lot of those same people are top notch developers/programmers/designers. But, you will not find a perfect match everytime. Heck, since 37S hasn’t posted any success rate data for all we know, jobs could be getting filled at 20% or lower. That’s a heck of a gamble for a business to take.

The $250.00 charge for the Job Board isn’t because Jason and Co. want to weed out the spammers from the authentic. It is *strictly* a brand tax. They might not see it that way, but let’s be honest? If Rails, Basecamp, Backpack, et al were not popular or widely known, would a business really be posting on the board? For that matter, would you even be looking on the board for a job? I don’t think so.

Now Jason has the right to charge whatever he likes for people to have the ability to post their jobs on the board. It’s his company and he’s earned that right. But economically speaking, the Job Board and the soon-to-be-released Gig Board doesn’t *really* cost him anything but Bandwidth. He’s hosting the sites on the same servers that host Basecamp, etc., and using the same team to maintain it at no increase to production/maintenance time. So why is it that a product that is so cheap to produce and maintain is so expensive? Because of the 37Signal brand. I think that Jason would make MORE money if he charged LESS and still be able to attract the high quality businesses that the Job Board brings in. Smaller companies that need good talent would be apt to spend and big companies that are looking to bring in a slew of new people would buy more posts. And they would probably post with more frequency or be more inclined to purchase posts that last for longer peiods of time.

Jeff Croft 26 Sep 06

On price: It is a sticky issue.

Although it’s absolutely the 37signals brand that has allowed them to charge what they do, it’s still of value to users (both job advertisers and job wanters). And, 37signals has earned the brand they have by making good products and bringing their sites a lot of traffic. It’s certainly not as if they’re charging for nothing — they’re charging for all those eyeballs (to be fair, I would imagine Cameron has close to as many eyeballs coming his way, if not more).

So, I don’t have a problem with 37s charging a nice price for the service, especially since it provides the side benefit of weeding out spam and cheap skate companies with projects that have no budget behind them.

But, that having been said, $250 is still prohibitive, especially when you have multiple position to fill. We’ve currently got seven positions open, and we’ve bandied around the idea of posting some (or all) of them to the 37signals board — but so far, haven’t been willing to take the cost hit. If it was $100 or $150, we probably would have posted all seven by now.

I don’t think 37signals is too far off with their price point, but I do think it ought to be a little bit cheaper.

Dave Lippman 26 Sep 06

I’ve never spent the money on the 37signals Job board for posting poitions at our company but I haved used others like the Newstoday Job board with mediocre success. I have to say, the price does sound extremely steep, especially since results don’t seem to be quantifiable at this point.

I guess my only other question with these types of boards, especially the gig board, is wether there will be a lot of repeat usage. For example when I find a freelancer that we work well with, we keep going back to that resource over and over. We also then get referrals from that persons’ personal network, etc… I think what i’m getting at is that hiring freelancers on a per project basis is more about networking and finding long-term relationships rather than one-off hires.

If I were the guys at 37signals, I might have refocused my efforts and created the linkedin.com killer. That site has a great concept but it’s pricing structure is completely out of whack and could be easily taken down with a brand/network as prominent as 37signals.

John Topley 27 Sep 06

I’m under no illusions about 37Signals true business philosophy, they’re cash obsessed rather than product obsessed.

Yeah, anyone would think they’re trying to stay in business or turn a profit or something. I don’t know where Jason and co get their crazy ideas from!

Dean 27 Sep 06

Stop messing with trivia and finish that sodding Sunrise.

Sean Warburton 27 Sep 06

@ John Topley

John, if you’re going to quote me, at least address the whole of my point rather than the part that you can use for a cheap shot. I never argued that businesses shouldn’t turn a profit, my point was that 37Signals have become obsessed with profit rather than product and that’s a bad thing.

John Topley 27 Sep 06

Sorry Sean. However I would say that it’s totally right for a business to be obsessed with profit because that’s what businesses are for: to make money.

Also, I would argue that it’s actually harder to make things simple because you can’t just take stuff out willy-nilly; you’ve got to sweat over the details. Anyway, it’s been covered on this blog enough times.

Colin D. Devroe 27 Sep 06

I think that, with the interests of those posting jobs and gigs to boards like the 37s job board and Authentic Jobs, perhaps a deal could be made for 1 job or gig to span between many job boards for a slightly larger and shared rate.

It is costs $250 for 30 days, perhaps it could cost $400 to span across a few job boards for the same duration, with the originating job board getting the majority of the sale and the subsequent boards getting the left overs.

It would be seemingly altruistic in its approach. It would help those posting jobs and those trying to find them. And it would benefit and profit both boards.

A smell a job board network or job board aggregation service.

Sean Warburton 27 Sep 06

@ ML

“And our products have so few features on purpose.”

Less is more has a different meaning to me these days. I think Jason stopped mid sentence and it should have carried on as …

Less is more … time for us to dream up other ways to cash in on our popularity.

This whole idea of less is more is bullshit, you can spin the phrase as much as you want but any way you look at it, less is less. It means, we did the easy bit but we couldn’t be arsed to innovate and do the tough bits that everyone is getting wrong.

In terms of business organisation then less is more is a great phrase. Less bureaucracy, less cost etc.. but the benefits don’t move over to product development because as I say in this case less is less for the customer and more for the developer. Less features for the customer, less development time, less support, more time to dream up new ways to cash in on our success. As you can see the only real winner here is the developer.

That’s great but don’t be so arrogant as to make us believe you’re doing your customers the favour, you’re doing yourself the favour.

Anonymous Coward 27 Sep 06

This whole idea of less is more is bullshit, you can spin the phrase as much as you want but any way you look at it, less is less.
Where have I heard this before?

ML 27 Sep 06

Sean, you bag on Jason and argue “less is less” yet Jason also says “less is less”.

Fwiw, customers who do want more can choose other products. We’re not trying to be everything to everybody. You may not want less, but a lot of other customers do want exactly that.

Sean Warburton 27 Sep 06

@ML

“Fwiw, customers who do want more can choose other products. We’re not trying to be everything to everybody. You may not want less, but a lot of other customers do want exactly that.”

Brilliant! it’s a cop-out but I suppose when two parties believe passionately that they’re right there has to be a line drawn under the discussion and that’s as good as any.

I still think you should charge $25 per ad. I like success, but I equally hate greed and $250 is greed. That applies to 37Signals, Techcrunch, Cameron Moll and anyone else.

Mandy 27 Sep 06

I would just like to add my 2 cents as far as the price goes. Most job sites charge between $200 and $1000. The cheapest I’ve ever been able to pay for a job posting (outside of craigslist, where you never get good responses) is $100, and that’s through being a member of AIGA where the membership is $300 a year. If you’re willing to hire someone at $30K a year, then $250 is less than 1% of that person’s yearly salary. That’s a TINY amount to pay to find the right person. And if the salary is higher, the percentage is even lower. Compare that to headhunters who charge 10-15% of a yearly salary. If you can’t afford $250 to find the right person for the job, then how can you afford to pay their salary? More importantly, how can you respect the work of a potential employee, if you’ll spend more on a pair of sneakers than you will finding the right person?

Hrush 27 Sep 06

@Sean Warburton:

Mate, I suggest you take a lesson in basic economics. When you hit the part about demand, supply and price elasticity, stop. Reread it till you understand it.

Sustainable pricing is dictated by markets, not greed.

And another company’s pricing is certainly not to be dictated by your own *opinion* of greed.

You want to start a job board and charge $25, good luck and Godspeed.

Disclaimer: I have NEVER used the 37Signals job board and certainly can’t afford to at this stage.

Sean Warburton 27 Sep 06

@Hrush

I’m not your mate.

@Mandy

You can pay 37Signals $1000 to advertise your vacancies but it won’t guarantee you any better quality than craigslist. Granted you’ll get less applicants but that’s down to 37Signals being far less popular than craigslist and in fact part of me wonders if hiring from a site such as this can be more risky because there’s a greater potential for finding the type of applicant that knows all the right buzzwords and they’re dangerous.

For instance you’ve got Hrush above, he frequents this site, if you read his blog he’s full of buzzwords but would you really want to employ a person that addresses a total stranger as mate? how would your biggest client react to being called mate by the new employee he’s never met.

Don’t assume that because 37Signals are a talented bunch that readers of it’s blog are equally so, that would be very naive.

Disgruntled as well 27 Sep 06

Hi,

I will just put in my two cents as well. Since I know there is no real way to police this sort of thing, it may be a moot point, but, nevertheless.

I have been responded to four freelance projects on the board. Because of my ‘exceptional’ portfolio, I have essentially been ‘hired’ on all four that applied to. Or so it would seem. In three out of the four jobs I was asked, by the client, to submit ‘design comps’ as part of my bid for the project.

In their words, ‘just a low-res (72 dpi) rough of how you would design this page…the best design gets the project.’

Once would be a fluke, 3 times is a joke.

Maybe 5 years ago I would have engaged in this kind of stuff, but there really needs to be a way to offer some sort of self-policing, like on CL, whereby hack clients get kicked out.

Disgruntled as well 27 Sep 06

Hi,

I will just put in my two cents as well. Since I know there is no real way to police this sort of thing, it may be a moot point, but, nevertheless.

I have responded to four freelance projects on the board.

Because of my ‘exceptional’ portfolio, I have essentially been ‘hired’ on all four that applied to.

Or so it would seem. In three out of the four jobs I was asked, by the client, to submit ‘design comps’ as part of my bid for the project.

In their words, ‘just a low-res (72 dpi) rough of how you would design this page…the best design gets the project.’

Once would be a fluke, 3 times is a joke.

Maybe 5 years ago I would have engaged in this kind of stuff, but maybe there should be some sort of mechanisim in place to alert others about hack clients?


Hrush 27 Sep 06

@Sean Warburton

My sincere apologies, I presumed too much about your level of cultural awareness.

‘Mate’ is a common term of address in many parts of the world. I should not have presumed this knowledge on your part, addressing you instead as ‘Dude.’

But then, that might have struck you as a “buzzword.”

Em 27 Sep 06

@Mandy: That’s the point I was trying to make above. Thanks for spelling it out a little better.

@Disgruntled as well x2: You’re going to run into dumb clients no matter where you find the job lead. I was supposed to participate in a conference call today with our client and 2 other competing vendors. The purpose was to discuss our tactics regarding the execution of our client’s strategy including timelines and cost. And, you guessed it, the best ideas win — oh and as a slap in the face, the vendors that are rejected get to have their ideas (if worthy) implemented be the chosen vendor.

But to your point, the challenge with a rating system seems that in order to present a truly balanced assessment, you’d need to have more than one or two people commenting on a project.

@Sean: BIG difference between informal blog comments and a professionally dealing with a client. Do you throw tantrums like this in front of your cleints? Are you this cynical directly to your clients? Do you cuss at your clients? If so than maybe you should take a basic PR course along with that basic econ course Hrush mentioned above.

Andrey Kovalenko 28 Sep 06

We at Design Agency Directory are in the process of building our Gig Board as well. i guess there is enough space for everybody to offer this kind of service, because they are offerd in a bit different way and mainly in different context. Some people are more comfortable going to craigslist, some will go to 37 signals, and other will choose among many other offering.

Andrey Kovalenko 28 Sep 06

We at Design Agency Directory are in the process of building our Gig Board as well. i guess there is enough space for everybody to offer this kind of service, because they are offerd in a bit different way and mainly in different context. Some people are more comfortable going to craigslist, some will go to 37 signals, and other will choose among many other offerings.

PWills 28 Sep 06

37signals may want to consider a money-back guarantee, a la Joel Spolsky’s new job board:

“What if I don’t find anyone I like?
Thanks to The Fog Creek Promise, there’s no risk at all. Just ask us within 90 days and we’ll refund your money.”
http://jobs.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?pg=pgFAQ

Would the occasionally unscrupulous gig poster ask for their money back even if they hired someone through the board? Of course. But it would address most of the pricing concerns above, with minimal impact to the bottom line.

Dave Rosen 28 Sep 06

This is going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing how 37signals approaches this Jason.

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