LifeWork August Update

This month Stefan and I have been racing. Him to build the platform to a point we can test it with our freelance network. Me to increase the number of freelancers we have that are excited to test it. We both won. We have 200 freelancers interested in using the platform that is now hosted and in user-testing mode. So we’re feeling good!

The next month is the most critical yet. The thought of having paying customers this time next month seems daunting right now, but that’s the ambitious goal we are aiming for. If you believe in us, this next month is the time we would most appreciate your help…until the next month ;)

Talking freelance best-practices with Kelly Bennet, ft. first t-shirt appearance

Talking freelance best-practices with Kelly Bennet, ft. first t-shirt appearance

Getting LifeWork out there

As part of the big marketing push, I have been spreading the LifeWork name however I can. My highlights were speaking to a room of art logistics freelancers at the ArtLinx conference, and sharing my story with Berkeley Innovators (which you can find here). I have been promoted to co-lead of the East Bay chapter of the Freelancers Union to deepen that community involvement, and am excited to share our progress at the meetup we are hosting tonight!

David and Alex (pretending) to support the SF Giants

David and Alex (pretending) to support the SF Giants

Team

We’re excited to have Alex and Jordan rejoin the team from mid-August after their summer internship experiences, on product and engineering respectively. We are currently looking for a fifth member of the team to focus on marketing - ideally an intern from the new MBA classes starting school

Product

We’re alpha testing the product and getting initial customer feedback on what features need to be added to our MVP for it to be a viable option for them. The loudest feedback we are getting is trust - everyone really needs to trust us before they’re willing to use a new tool in their client interaction, which suggest we have to be more professional-feeling than a typical MVP. Our biggest question is how flexible we need to make the platform. Right now we can process project-based contracts, but we can’t easily facilitate hourly work, or edit contract/payment terms, which may be dealbreakers for many freelancers.

Finances

We still have plenty of cash remaining from our grant and competition earnings. Stefan hasn’t yet needed any engineering support and we have kept paid advertising to a minimum. We have committed to raising $250k in our upcoming pre-seed investment round, which we still plan to open in mid-September.

KPIs

Freelancers registered interest: 196

Freelancers testing: 8

Achievement of Goals from last month

  • Platform ready for initial testing with freelancers/clients

    • Complete! We will have our first public demo in a small group meetup tonight.

  • Reach 45 freelancers/clients ready to test the platform

    • Complete! We hit our goal of 50 and our now getting the tests/demos scheduled.

  • Conduct 20 interviews with ‘clients’ to better understand their reception to the platform

    • Incomplete. We de-prioritized this after hearing the same message from 10 clients. We need to 1) solve their admin burden, and 2) compensate them for tying up working capital in Escrow if they are to be happy to use. We’re planning to do those things, so we’ll wait now until we can test the demo with them.

Goals for next month

  • Freelancers testing: 25

  • Freelancers using service: 7

  • GTV of transacted projects: $15,000

 Asks

  • Please introduce us to any Angel investors or small VCs that have an interest in the Future of Work and having positive impact in the world. I’m finalizing my target list and don’t want to miss anybody awesome.

  • Please introduce us to heads of creative agencies or communities of freelancers. We’re exploring partnerships.

Thanks as always! Please send me any thoughts/comments/feedback/questions to david@lifeworkonline.com. I am also open to hearing from you.