Noonies2020 Award Winner for the Most Controversial Writer of the Year
Who is Michael Brooks?
He is the founder of a new freelance website goLance.
Why does he deserve to be a hero of my story?
To even dare to launch a new platform in the world dominated by freelance “dinosaurs,” such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer dot com, you have to be… Let me put it this way. You have to be a this-is-Sparta-and-this-is-madness kind of entrepreneur.
Michael Brooks did something, I’ve always wanted to do or at least see happening in my freelance lifetime. The breath of fresh freelance air for a change.
A thousand lawyers of the Upwork empire will descend upon you. Our lawsuits will blot out the sun!
Here are two things you should know about me. I have a soft spot for the underdogs and I don’t like bullies. I really don’t like bullies in both private and business life.
goLance is by far the absolute underdog in the freelance industry. David vs Goliath comparison doesn’t get even close when you put goLance and Upwork side by side.
It turns out that goLance is small and insignificant to be treated as serious competition to Upwork, but still big enough to be hit by a lawsuit. At first, I found this one a little bit hard to believe. So, I did some research on my own.
The biggest and the most powerful freelance platform actually filed a lawsuit against goLance, which is still technically a startup. Why?
Allegedly, goLance is “stealing” Upwork’s client. How can you steal a client? That’s the first question worth asking. The second even more important one is how big and important these clients are to you that a lawsuit is needed?
So, what if a client decides to leave Upwork and work somewhere else? You’re going to sue a freelance platform where your former clients continue to work on. Instead of asking yourself, why you are losing your clients in the first place, you are going to “exercise” your legal power over your “competitors” just because you can.
Again, why is a small freelance platform such a big threat to almighty Upwork?
Those were my thoughts exactly, but then I decided to give goLance a fair try. Michael Brooks didn’t use copy/paste while creating this new platform.
To begin with, there’s a flat 7.95% service fee for freelancers. There are no service fees for the clients. I’ve found that this is a new decreased fee. It used to be a 10% fee. When was the last time you heard that a freelance website decreased its services fees?
There are no membership plans. There’s no limit how many times you can bid. You don’t have to wait from two to three weeks to get paid. Thanks to Payday Advance, you can get paid the very next week after you submit your work. Meaning, there’s no need to wait for a review period.
And, that’s not all. On your goLance profile, you can use as many third-party links as you like. For example, you can include a link to your Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, and even your Upwork profile. There’s no “support law enforcement” to breath down your neck whether or not you’re going to work outside goLance.
This time, I’ve spent working on goLance, helped me realize why the clients, and the freelancers too, want to leave Upwork.
I’m fully aware that King Leonidas isn’t someone you would like to introduce into a story with a happy end. But, I’m also aware, and that’s the thing I like about freelancing the most — the big numbers in this industry count for nothing.
So, how is Michael Brooks holding on with his Spartans goLancers against the mighty empire of Upwork? I reached out to Michael Brooks, so I can get his comment. He was kind enough to reply that he isn’t allowed to either confirm or deny my findings because he has a “legal obligation” to do so. Something is definitely going on. This is the best confirmation I could possibly ask for.
Somewhere out there Michael Brooks and Upwork’s version of Xerxes are negotiating the terms of his surrender. We all know what King Leonida’s response was. We also know what was the price he had to pay for it.
What will be Michael Brook’s answer? Upwork believes he was worth a lawsuit. I believe he is worth a place in freelance history.
The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this legal battle was over, even a freelance-god-king can bleed.
I don’t know about you, but I “will fight in the shade.”
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