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Author Topic: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?  (Read 12797 times)

Offline Arctic

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2011, 10:10:23 PM »
The idea that it is inevitable that the rates will go down isnt sound.

If that principle were to be fact then all jobs would be at rock bottom in pay.

Well explain to me how there can be several businesses that charge anywhere from $75-$125/hr and they make money even while those $20 fix anything techs seem to come and go?

Offline RoboGeek

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2011, 10:11:33 PM »
you have to differentiate between real IT work and simple tech type work. Replacing a video card isn't the same as setting up a domain controller. Most techs make around $15/hr if they had W2 jobs,  but through the platforms if they make that $15, they think they are actually doing better (because they don't include taxes and other costs)

Any company that exposes themselves by hiring unskilled 3rd party help gets what they deserve. I know one of my customers insurance company called me because they wanted to check out my business since I do the work on their systems. I had to give them all my info, including insurance info and 2 references before they would allow my customer to use my company. Thats the first I heard of that, but it may become more common
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Offline Todd Hughes

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2011, 10:15:41 PM »
Well explain to me how there can be several businesses that charge anywhere from $75-$125/hr and they make money even while those $20 fix anything techs seem to come and go?

Some customers want quality technical expertise from a reputable company, some just shop price and are only looking for a warm body who will do the job as cheaply as possible.  :wink:
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Offline Parrish

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2011, 10:18:23 PM »
Incidentally, we did have a discussion "offline". I won't go into the specifics, but after the private discussion I felt manipulated.
Did he at least offer to pay for your taxi ride home?   :p
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Offline Parrish

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2011, 10:23:46 PM »
I did vote no and I didnt read the answers to closely.
I meant to say that they are hurting the field.
I meant what I said just as Todd and Parrish read it.

If CR.com had stayed true to the course they had originally planned and allowed us to set our own rates and to negotiate directly with the buyers with CR.com staying out of it, platforms would be better since it was CR.com/OnForce that started the drive to the lowest common denominator.

I've been thinking about that Dave and I believe we would be exactly where we are today with rock bottom rates except that the path taken to get there would be a bit different yet the results are the same.

What I mean is: Instead of the platform enabling the low rates (as it were), the techs themselves would keep lowering their own rates in  the interest of beating the competition until that price war eventually lead us to the same place we are now. Witness the plethora of "I will fix any computer problem for $20.00" adds on Craigslist. This end result still requires the platforms as an enabler though.

Think about it........
I don't really agree with all of that.  Sure, there will always be 'techs' that play the lowest price out there game.  But they don't last.  We've had them come and go in my area trying to steal away our customers or what have you.  They last maybe 3 or 4 months then they are gone.  Heck, many of them will submit their resume's to us looking for a job (seriously).  So, while they do exist, they don't really effect the market in any meaningfull way.  The only reason the marketplaces themselves are having any kind of effect is because they are able to reach such a large portion of the population (and, to be honest, their effect is only in certain niche areas of IT).  What the platforms are really doing is allowing all these lowball $20 per hour techs to become a consolidated force that larger national players are able to take advantage of.  When they were each on their own the nationals and other large companies didn't even know they existed- much less had a mechanism in place to take advantage of their ignorance.
You are exactly correct though- the platforms have enabled this to happen.  Absolutely correct.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 10:26:10 PM by Parrish »
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Offline bfarmer

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2011, 10:24:33 PM »
you have to differentiate between real IT work and simple tech type work. Replacing a video card isn't the same as setting up a domain controller.

I charge the same rate no matter what I am doing. The only people not willing to pay are buyers through platforms. My local clients just write a check.

Offline bfarmer

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2011, 10:28:17 PM »
I don't really agree with that.  Sure, there will always be 'techs' that play the lowest price out there game.  But they don't last.  We've had them come and go in my area trying to steal away our customers or what have you.  They last maybe 3 or 4 months then they are gone.  Heck, many of them will submit their resume's to us looking for a job (seriously).  So, while they do exist, they don't really effect the market in any meaningfull way.  The only reason the marketplaces themselves are having any kind of effect is because they are able to reach such a large portion of the population (and, to be honest, their effect is only in certain niche areas of IT). What the platforms are really doing is allowing all these lowball $20 per hour techs to become a consolidated force that larger national players are able to take advantage of.  When they were each on their own the nationals and other large companies didn't even know they existed- much less had a mechanism in place to take advantage of their ignorance.

Bingo! We have a winner!

The platforms are allowing the cheapie "techs" to do a lot more work than before the platforms existed. The "$50 FF for any repair" guys would be out of business in no time if they had to rely on their own customer base.

Plus, the platforms allow anyone to become a "national". I did a job for a company last week that I am pretty sure was a one (wo)man show.

Offline Parrish

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2011, 10:30:08 PM »
you have to differentiate between real IT work and simple tech type work. Replacing a video card isn't the same as setting up a domain controller.

I charge the same rate no matter what I am doing. The only people not willing to pay are buyers through platforms. My local clients just write a check.
Yup.  I still sit back and scratch my head over those that think they should have different rates based on the difficulty of the work being done.  That's poor business.   A good business owner understands that labor is billed based on time- not difficulty.  My time is worth the same no matter if I'm replacing a video card or setting up a domain.  The only real difference (in my mind) is onsite and inshop.  Onsite costs more because my expenses are higher to deliver onsite services than it does instore.  Not to mention that, with instore labor, we are able to work on multiple tickets at the same time.
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Offline bfarmer

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2011, 10:33:04 PM »
you have to differentiate between real IT work and simple tech type work. Replacing a video card isn't the same as setting up a domain controller.

I charge the same rate no matter what I am doing. The only people not willing to pay are buyers through platforms. My local clients just write a check.
Yup.  I still sit back and scratch my head over those that think they should have different rates based on the difficulty of the work being done.  That's poor business.   A good business owner understands that labor is billed based on time- not difficulty.  My time is worth the same no matter if I'm replacing a video card or setting up a domain.  The only real difference (in my mind) is onsite and inshop.  Onsite costs more because my expenses are higher to deliver onsite services than it does instore.  Not to mention that, with instore labor, we are able to work on multiple tickets at the same time.

Or nap while cloning, etc. :)

But you have it right, price is based on time and overhead. For you guys that run a shop or store, does your rent decrease if all you are doing is swapping power supplies? Of course not.

Offline Parrish

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2011, 10:33:51 PM »

Plus, the platforms allow anyone to become a "national". I did a job for a company last week that I am pretty sure was a one (wo)man show.
And, when thinking about Work Market, they are actively encouraging more of these 'nationals' to pop up.  Even going so far as to encourage that tickets be picked up by said 'national' and put back out on the very same platform.   But, from Jeff's perspective, I do understand the logic there.  Each time a ticket is accepted/completed on Work Market (doesn't matter if it's for the very same work or not) they earn $9.  So if that initial ticket is accepted then put back out as a new work order they will make $18 instead of just $9.
Edit: or whatever the dollar amounts are.  It seems every time we turn around WM has changed their pricing structure.  I don't even know what it is anymore to be honest.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 10:36:53 PM by Parrish »
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Offline Parrish

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2011, 10:35:32 PM »
you have to differentiate between real IT work and simple tech type work. Replacing a video card isn't the same as setting up a domain controller.

I charge the same rate no matter what I am doing. The only people not willing to pay are buyers through platforms. My local clients just write a check.
Yup.  I still sit back and scratch my head over those that think they should have different rates based on the difficulty of the work being done.  That's poor business.   A good business owner understands that labor is billed based on time- not difficulty.  My time is worth the same no matter if I'm replacing a video card or setting up a domain.  The only real difference (in my mind) is onsite and inshop.  Onsite costs more because my expenses are higher to deliver onsite services than it does instore.  Not to mention that, with instore labor, we are able to work on multiple tickets at the same time.

Or nap while cloning, etc. :)

But you have it right, price is based on time and overhead. For you guys that run a shop or store, does your rent decrease if all you are doing is swapping power supplies? Of course not.
It's even worse for us shop owners during the holiday season.  Our rent is the same yet we close the shop on holidays AND pay our W2's for that holiday.  Being closed for a holiday is very costly.  But that's all part of having a shop and I understand it.
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Offline Rick Savoia

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2011, 10:44:15 PM »
Incidentally, we did have a discussion "offline". I won't go into the specifics, but after the private discussion I felt manipulated.
Did he at least offer to pay for your taxi ride home?   :p

Actually, after a couple of messages back and forth, he bailed on the private discussion. Overall, I think they hold themselves blameless for the negativity. I essentially told him that community members may set the attitude and tone, but the community host creates and perpetuates the positive or negative image of themselves that triggers the attitude and tone. There are no angels on either side of the platform.

I said this before in the OF forums, and they didn't like it then. Apparently he still doesn't like it.

Offline Mark Verhyden

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2011, 10:54:09 PM »
"The industry" is about as nebulous a term as one can use.  If you don't specifically define the term you will only get responses framed within the context of the respondent's interpretation of the term.  Which then renders the whole exercise meaningless since everyone's interpretation will be different.

Nothing personal but it just sounds like another platform (read Onforce again) bashing orgy to me.  Same type of result one would get if they stepped into a KKK meeting and said "hey, let's have a open discussion about equal opportunity legislation".  Or maybe go to one of these Occupy Wallstreet camps and announce over a megaphone that "there is going to be a round table discussion about the free enterprise system and the marketplace".

The question was born from a very lively discussion in the OF LinkedIn Group and I wanted to take it to the next level - a live event. There are techs both for and against them. I don't view this as platform bashing.

Sure, if you want the platforms on there as well, let's do it, provided any of them want to. You are concerned about platform bashing, but the opposite is all platform promotion, which is just as skewed. Keep in mind that if they do, chances are they will not engage in a frank discussion and will want to take everything "offline" as Toby did in the LinkedIn discussion (including with me), which will defeat the purpose of the discussion.

Ok, so "the industry" = "contract IT field service". And I was not referring to having the platforms on per se but the venue in which these inquiries are made.  Granted TFF does not have hundreds of posters, not even dozens, but I can count on one hand the number of TFF posters that have made regular positive references to doing business with the "platforms".  At least the Linkedin group seems to have a few more that have a favorable view on this.

Also, I don't believe in having "offline" conversations per se about a public discussion.  It inevitably leads to exactly what you described and is a waste of time.

Offline Todd Hughes

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2011, 10:55:53 PM »
Mark, see PM.   :p
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Offline RoboGeek

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Re: New Poll: Are web-based platforms helping or hurting?
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2011, 11:40:21 PM »
if you refer to 'the industry' as contract tech work, then these places have a huge effect. But the way I see it, contract tech work is a TINY part of the industry as a whole - at least the way we are talking. Technically speaking, any time a client hires a business its a 'contract' job.
But places that hire a company for things like we do where we basically are their IT dept, are a much different critter than one that allows any joe blow to come fix stuff because 5 different places accepted the work and posted WO's on OF, WM or whatever
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