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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Guru - Freelance Marketplace Site Analysis and Review

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Guru - Project Quantity and Marketplace Size
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Guru - Project Discipline Focus
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Guru - Project Quality
(Page 1 of 3)

As we saw in the previous topic, Guru is not the largest of the freelance marketplace sites. But where it lags its competitors in the area of quantity, it gives no ground when it comes to quality. In fact, it can make a fair claim to having the best overall project quality of any of the major sites. It does this despite not being an industry leader in a couple of areas usually associated with listing quality.

General Project Quality Assessment

One of my constant themes in this Guide is the inverse relationship between quantity and quality. The ultimate reason for this boils down to Sturgeon’s Law: “Ninety percent of every­thing is crap.” A huge chunk of the outsourcing/freelancing industry is oriented around attracting cheap clients who want to hire cheap contractors to do mediocre work cheaply. It is flatly impossible to be a leader in terms of both quantity and quality simultaneously. Many sites focus on quantity; Guru takes the opposite approach, gearing itself towards quality instead.

My overall assessment is that quality of projects at Guru is above average to well above average for the industry. I believe the Guru’s project quality is the highest among the major freelance marketplaces, which makes it a very good option for professional freelancers.

I believe that Guru’s high project quality is due to a combination of factors, some of which we’ll explore further in the subsections that fill out the rest of this topic. But it’s worth empha­sizing that the company’s management has made specific policy decisions to show that it values quality over quantity. A good example is the decision to pre-screen all projects and reject ones that aren’t appropriate for the marketplace. Another is the use of very high membership fees to discourage casual freelancers from joining the site.

Prohibited Projects

Guru’s excellent help system includes a detailed list of projects that are not allowed on Guru. This includes any that contain the following:

  • Offers of compensation that do not include a fixed payment or hourly rate. Projects can include commissions or profit-sharing, but only in combination with the preceding forms of payment. Contests, contingent payments, pure commission deals and the like are not allowed.

  • Requests for free mockups or free work.

  • Full-time or part-time employment opportunities.

  • School projects or homework assignments.

  • Sales pitches or job fair listings.

  • Requests for work that are illegal or “questionable”. This includes projects that violate other sites’ terms of service.

  • Requests for payment outside of Guru.

  • Projects with unreasonable expectations or a poor chance of success.

This last entry is particularly interesting. For more information, please refer to the discussion of ethical policies and enforcement.


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Guru - Project Quantity and Marketplace Size
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Guru - Project Discipline Focus
Next Topic/Section

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