More than $1B spent on oDesk to date

ODesk, the self-styled “online workplace” that matches freelancers with customer companies, has announced that it has reached a milestone: More than $1 billion has been spent on oDesk.
As Gary Swart, the CEO, put it on the company’s blog:

We are proud to be the first online workplace to reach this milestone, while remaining true to our mission: creating freedom and opportunity for the world’s best businesses and best professionals to work together. After all, the simple truth underlying this landmark is that work is no longer a place.

A number in and of itself means very litte, but the millions of people feeling the positive impact of online work means everything. So as we take a moment today to celebrate this milestone, we would like to first and foremost celebrate the people that made it happen — our fantastic community of businesses and freelancers. It’s your hard work, advocacy and loyalty that is changing the way the world works for the better. You are true innovators who realize that work today isn’t a time, a place or a role — it’s about bringing together the best people in the world and creating more opportunity for all.

This landmark also hints at what the oDesk community has known all along — online work is here to stay.

The company also released other stats in an infographic, including these factoids:

  • There are now 4 million freelancers on oDesk
  • These freelancers have collectively listed 2,389 skills in the past year
  • They have taken more than 2.6 million tests to back up those skills claims

I am also glad to announce that the company has published a free ebook, Make It Work, with a foreword by me, making the case for placeforms (marketplace + platforms = placeforms) like oDesk that fill a huge societal void.