Wednesday, August 20, 2008

ELANCE, the Ebay for Services

E-lance, coined by MIT Sloan School of Management's Thomas W. Malone, author of The Future of Work: How the New Order of Business Will Shape Your Organization, Your Management Style and Your Life stands for Electronically Connected Freelancers which Thomas Malone uses to describe what the future economy might look like, an "e-lance economy."

Much like movies are made now, where producers, directors, actors, writers, technicians come together temporarily to work on one project and then disband only to rearrange in other ways to work on other projects, Mr. Malone envisions an economy where more and more companies will operate in the same way.

"We're in the dawn of the e-lance economy, E-lancers are electronically connected freelancers. They work together on project teams for a day, a week, a month, or longer -- and then disperse and recombine to work on other projects." -- Thomas Malone
Elance, Inc. took Mr. Malone's acronym to name their company and has embodied this concept. They are one of the few pioneers working toward providing the infrastructure that's needed for this kind of economy to succeed. Elance, Inc. is an online market place where services -- software development, graphics design, language translation, market research or anything that can be transmitted electronically -- are bought and sold. E-lancers post information regarding their skills, fees, and the date they can deliver and if they get the job, can download the materials to do the project, and get paid for it through this site. Like Ebay, Elance tracks the reputation of the freelancers by allowing previous clients to rate their performance.

Elance envisions its future as a workspace where both buyers and service providers from around the world can make Elance their own.

Watercooler is the Elance blog.

Elance University

Related sites:

Get a Freelancer

oDesk

Guru

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