Where on the web to post non-coding projects/requests in for bidding?
April 21, 2009 1:48 AM   Subscribe

outsourcingfilter: Where on the web to post non-coding projects/requests in for bidding?

For outsourcing programming/web/coding projects, there are many sites to submit your requests in for others to bid on. Then there is Etsy Alchemy for handmade goods and crafts.

What about custom graphics? Where would I go (besides Craigslist) if I want a custom vector logo done?

What about engineering? Where would I go if I want a custom lawnmower robot made?

Those are the two main fields I'm looking for answers to, what about projects for other fields?

Looking for sites where you can post a project for others to bid on.
posted by querty to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Custom vector logo:
- Guru
- GetaFreelancer
- Elance

There are probably dozens more...
posted by leigh1 at 3:25 AM on April 21, 2009

MeFi Jobs?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:55 AM on April 21, 2009

This site purports to do what you are asking.

Caveat... I have looked at some of their postings, and the requesters are clearly looking for slave labor... They may use up your entire $70 budget for a custom robot!

Seriously, if you are going to do a product development (as in a custom lawn mowing robot), you probably want someone within visiting distance. The Bangladore crowd may be able to help a bit, but really, they wind up posting questions back to USA web sites asking how to do assembly programming and how to make transistors work. I just spent 40 hours enjoying the design skills of the Slovenians and doing Electronics 101 fixes to a shipping product whose quality levels do not rise to the level of freshman tech school work. Don't do this on price alone.

Logos don't electrocute people. Graphics have artistic content and do not activate motors. Outsource them with no fear. Hardware should be approached a little more guardedly with factors other than price given due consideration.

Last item... if you are developing product, you are incurring some liability for the product. Insure yourself, your company and insist that your providers do the same. This is particularly true for self-powered moving motor driven blade containing products.
posted by FauxScot at 5:39 AM on April 21, 2009

Best answer: DISCLAIMER: I work for the company that helped these guys build their product (although I didn't work on this particular project).

MavenLink is a site that was designed specifically for finding professionals that weren't necessarily just technical (like accountants, lawyers, business consultants) who can provide small businesses with one-off or periodic services (say, a few times a month or so). It just went to a public beta last week, and I see there's only a single project at the moment, but I think it'll be interesting to see where it goes. I know they spent a lot of time really nailing the UI, and I know they're interested in providing an experience that's something other than the 'race to the bottom' mentality you see on other bid-for-work sites. It also looks like the Mavenlink guys had a bunch of people from their professional network join up, so you might have a limited time to get work done by folks who wouldn't normally be looking at smaller online jobs.

Anyways, to answer your specific needs, there are a number of sites that 'crowdsource' graphics: crowdspring, 99 Designs, etc. (see this article for more). Be careful, if you crowdsource graphics, you will likely earn the permanent ire of your designer friends, as you will most likely be committing the sin of asking for spec work! There have been endless debates about spec work on mefi, which hopefully won't show up in this thread -- however, they may have a point about quality. A co-worker used 99designs to have a logo created for his side project site*, and to be honest, I thought every single one of the finalists was terrible (that said, he was fairly happy with what he got, while I come from a design/art school background and am highly critical of these things). That said, good design and good illustration is hard, and you

As for engineering -- well, you may be interested in ponoko.com -- a little less engineering and a little more product design, but very interesting. Wired did an article on them a short time ago.

* as an aside, I gave him a little guff about it, but then I realized that this sort of spec work is meeting the needs of extremely small and lowbudget businesses -- something which boutique or independent design is usually very poor at -- designers aren't really losing customers to these types of sites, because these people really wouldn't ever have been customers in the first place. In fact, they may be gaining customers, as more people learn about the value of design first-hand.
posted by ragaskar at 7:43 AM on April 21, 2009

I just commissioned a gift on Etsy Alchemy. You might be able to find a good logo designer there. I don't know how likely you are to find engineers, though.
posted by crinklebat at 8:07 AM on April 21, 2009


I'm one of Mavenlink's founders and saw this post in our logs based on a little traffic we've been getting! I want to add to what ragaskar had to say. He's definitely spot on with where we're at in the launch cycle - we just pushed out our first release on 4/14 (Weds last week) and have only been trying to get our group of mavens (experts) together. We've been using the platform to get work done ourselves and are excited to get your projects on!

Outsourcingfilter, I'd love to hear more about your challenges finding people to get work done for you online. As ragaskar mentioned, we're focused on traditional professional services - legal, accounting, marketing, strategy, finance, software, and others. Our vision is that you can come on the site, post what you need, and mavens will find you, bid on your projects, and you will get your work successfully delivered. Posting is completely free.

You can check us out on twitter or email me directly at roger@...link.com. I'd be glad to help guide anybody and everybody through the process!

VP Products & Platform, Mavenlink
posted by rogerneel at 1:32 PM on April 21, 2009

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