Feeling out the contract market – Day 1 (Boss: Kevin)

Today, I wanted to get a feel of the contracting market.  I wanted to see 1) what people were looking for, 2) where they were asking for it, 3) test out different markets and approaches and evaluate the responses.

I found the most up to date opportunities on craigslist and kijiji so I spent most of my day there emailing.  I ended up contacting 10 posters that were looking for RoR help and had conversations with 2 so far.  Here’s a template of my message:

Hey there,

I’m interested in your RoR Developer posting.  I’m an experienced engineer and have worked exclusively in RoR for the past 2 years.  You can find my CV here http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevintsoi.  

Here’s a summary of my qualifications:

  • Waterloo Computer Engineering grad, 2004
  • Creator of the mobile content platform that powers the mobile storefronts for Warner, Universal, Sony, and EMI Canada
  • Cofounder of Well of Change (http://wellofchange.org)
  • Currently working on a steathy startup
  • Other RoR side projects – http://funrays.comhttp://evangee.com
I cannot do designs, but besides that, I can pretty much do everything end to end in launching web products (including implementation of designs).

As mentioned above, I am currently working on my own startup and I’m looking for side projects to seed it.  My rate is $75/hour.  Let me know if you think I am a good fit for what you are looking for or if I can help your team in anyway, and if so, we can chat further.


My search on other “contracting services” sites were unsuccessful.  Sites such as elance and rentacoder seem geared towards bargin shoppers, and other contracting niche sites were not up to date.  My next move was to contact placement agents and see what kind of short-term flex contracts were available.

The pricing of $75 seemed reasonable.  One responded that their current position was for $60, but another responded and suggested that I should raise it to $90.

Christine took a different approach and looked for founders who wanted their ideas implemented.  She emailed 150 people on the cofounder list and received 3 positive responses, and 2 negative responses.  Her message template is as follows:
Hi guys,

We are a team of two that can get anything done. Our backgrounds are technical, business, marketing and entrepreneurial. As MyersBriggs, my partner and I are complete opposites ESFP and the other INTJ. If you or a friend are looking for help on your business, please contact us atchristine@evangee.com.
– Quick one day or one week turn around
– Soup to nuts developer and Customer development

We’ve investigated
– professional networking tools
– social media analytics
– mobile platform to distribute mobile rich media for Universal, Sony, Warner and major music labels
– social recruiting
– human resources monetization of employee referrals
– social enterprise and fundraising for charity
– event planning tools
– food blogs


The surpising part was that the people who responded seemed to be technical as well, and wanted extra help which wasn’t our initial target of business people with ideas.

Just received a positive email from an NGO looking to have some web dev work done.  Perhaps that is our niche given our background in the sector.

That’s it for the day.  I would liked to have seen more RFP type projects from established companies, but I’m guess that they usually work with companies in which they have a deeper relationship/partnership with.  Will need Christine’s mad calling skills to make those discoveries.  Perhaps its just a matter of timing/volume on contacts, as was the case with cho & associates.  Will update any progress from today’s contacts.


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