Championing a fairer deal for client and freelancer

Why we're building Freelancer Protocol

The issues most commonly faced by both sides of the table haven't changed much in over two decades of freelancing.

The difficulty freelancers experience in getting consistently paid on time remains at the top of the list.

A design problem...

An employee is sure to receive their monthly salary. As it's one of their company's core responsibility, the payment process is recurring and automated.

In opposition, for a freelancer to get paid, their client has to produce an effort outside of their daily habits. That makes the payment a one-off and manual process.

In practice, this changes everything.

A day in a freelancer's life

Sources: IPSE, CWJobs

...calls for a design solution

Addressing the payment issue for freelancers through better design is what we're set out to do with Freelancer Protocol, through a simple process:

  1. Projects are broken down into intermediary steps - we call them milestones. A milestone has a deliverable and a price, as well as a start and end date.
  2. We charge the client when each milestone starts and pay the freelancer when it ends, given the deliverable is marked as delivered by the deadline.

We've found out that, in practice, this process keeps most of the things that usually go wrong with freelance projects, now that both sides:

  • give and receive throughout the project
  • manage their risk

  • enjoy relative outcome and timing certainty

On top of the milestones mechanism, we're adding the basic functionalities one would expect from a freelancer platform (apart from matching freelancer and client together), namely invoice generation and lightweight project management.

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