We're Saying Goodbye to Our Profits For the Next 60 days: Here's Why
I am the content strategist at Lemon.io. When not writing, I collect vintage vinyl records and draw.
You’ve probably never heard about us. We’re lemon.io — a marketplace of vetted developers for startups.
If you know anything about marketplaces (and you do), you know that marketplaces like ours earn money from the commission paid either by the sellers or by the buyers.
Ours is not an exception. Just like any other vetted freelance platform, we add a commission atop of the developers’ hourly rates.
That’s the cost clients pay for our services which include finding the experienced programmers with proven work record, testing their skills, reviewing previous projects, interviewing them, gathering a diverse talent pool, assigning them only to those project they would complement the most, and then making sure the project goes smoothly, and the projects get delivered as expected.
That’s what happens usually. But nothing is usual these days.
The entire world is under the lockdown, not just one city, not one country, not even one continent. The entire planet has stopped.
Businesses are forced to cut their costs, some let their employees go, startups lose the deals they were counting on, and no one knows what to expect anymore. Except, everyone seems to be expecting the worst.
If you’re a part of a startup these days and still do the things as usual pretending nothing’s happening, you’re either delusional or… nope, sorry, can’t think of another possible reason.
We’ve realized this as soon as we saw these 3 things:
Our clients closing their projectsNew clients switching to us from more expensive alternatives (which is nice, but we’d still prefer other circumstances) Developers applying to join our network after losing their full-time jobs
Everyone is feeling the crisis, no matter how big or small the business is.
But, wherever there is something is going on, there are marketers. Businesses tip the situation to make it look like an opportunity to promote and advertise their products. We have a name for it — situational marketing.
“Sounds reasonable, sounds like a good idea, let’s ride the wave!”
That’s what I imagine big corp executives saying before doing…this?
If you remember the three weeks ago when the lockdown still felt novel and everyone was genuinely thrilled about all the amazing free books, online courses, and extended trials, you should also remember the moment when you stopped reading all the COVID-19 response emails from companies you don’t even remember giving your address to.
I stopped reading them too. The last email I read was the one from Godaddy
— a domain registration and web hosting company. They wanted to update me about their reaction to the crisis and pandemic. In case you’re wondering, here’s what they’re going to do:
TLDR: They’re doing all they can — work as usual.
Because, why not after all? It’s not their business they are going to close, not their former employees filing jobless claims, not their industry that’s been wiped out.
Our clients? Startups. All trying to cut their costs, to lower their burn rate.
We get them, we’re doing exactly the same too. Choosing people over marketing budgets and fun projects. If we all don’t do this, don’t pile up enough cash to last for at least 18 months, we’re done.
And everyone knows the next couple of months are going to be the hardest. Not everyone is going to get through them. And the thing with our business is this: if our clients don’t weather this storm, neither will we.
Discounts in the time of pandemic?
Yeah…how about no?
Instead of giving a 10% discount, or a thousand bucks to spend on development, or bonus hours, or whatever else a freelance platform might have offered, we’ve decided to… drop our profits.
We waived our commission entirely. Poof! Gone. Zero dollars added on top of developers’ rates.
Still not good enough. So we went and talked to our contractors, asked them to lower their rates. Some said no, some agreed, we’ve made sure we have enough people on our side to cover the demand and rolled out the offer. Called it “Don’t Panic” — a nod to the beloved Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Because in some way, doesn’t it feel like we all lost the sense of home and desperately hope to restore the normality as soon as possible?
Of course, we couldn’t give this offer to everyone. But for all the startups that really do suffer from the crisis or are currently on the frontlines of fighting the pandemic — 60 days of reduced pricing for all new hires before the 1st of July. No commitment, no questions asked.
And for Christ’s sake, don’t “social distance” your logo. If you want to be a part of the world coming together, bring something real to the table.
Know other good B2B offers? Share them in the comments. It’s the time we do want to see them.
Stay safe, cut the costs.
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