This weekend was the first time I had to pay salaries and not invoices! a bit more than 6 months ago I was still in the mindset of I will never have any employees. I want no one to rely on me… How the fuck this happened to us and why did we decide to sign full-time contracts?!
In November 2019 Max and I decided to stop myCTO. A few months later Maxime, Ghislain and I incorporated our new company, Sparkmate!
myCTO had a freelance based workforce. That was the purpose, myCTO was a freelance network. And Sparkmate will not rely on freelancers...
When I told my friends that I have signed some employment contracts for my team in July they were like... "What the fuck are you doing dude?"
Freelancer based Workforce
When I started myCTO with Max, a team composed of freelancers was a no-brainer for us. We wanted to be a bootstrapped company and I was sure that freelancing would be the future of work!
I spent 18 months managing a freelance based workforce (and I have been a freelancer early on in my life). As an entrepreneur, I would better go with a freelance team. Here is why:
- Ownership. The freelancers you worked with are their own boss. You give them the mission and they do the job whatever it takes!
- Flexibility. Most of the time freelancers know their shits and manage their time the way they want!
- Cash Management. You only call the freelancers when you need them! It’s great to not pay a full-time salary to your workforce when you don’t have any work for them!
- Freedom. Both sides are not linked to each other and they continue to work together only if they enjoy it. It makes the relationship super cool and peaceful! There are no long-term contracts. Both parties should care for each other if they want to continue to work together. This brings excellence to the relationship! We all should do our best at any time!
This is the view from my entrepreneur's POV. Looks great no? if you are an entrepreneur you will agree with me! Let me tell you something, we are biased.Not everyone is like us and some people want a bit of stability in their life.
If you check on the freelancer’s point of view there are some bad points:
- Financial Stability. As a freelancer you don’t know what you get every month. Some lifestyles are not really compatible with this
- Social Advantages. Freelancers don’t have the same social advantages as employees . Pensions, Health Insurance, access to bank's loans… All the things that an entrepreneur doesn't care about ;)
- Mental load. You need to do your accounting, pay your taxes, and handle all the shits an entrepreneur needs to!
In our case, a big part of myCTO team was super young. They were trusting the project. They wanted to join the adventure, so instead of taking a normal job. They became freelancers to work with us!
Most of the freelancers were telling me that they would never be freelancers and didn't want to. They did it for myCTO.
Sparkmate Solution to Future of Work
When we took the decision to stop myCTO. We have been super transparent with the freelancers (and friends) we were working with. We explained to them all the reasons for this choice. Later on some of the freelancers we were working with decided to join Sparkmate. Sarah, Thomas, and Sasha helped us to design Sparkmate’s work rules, and here is what we came up to and why:
- There are no working Hours at Sparkmate, you work whenever you want, you have to do your job and that's it!
- Unlimited Holidays. Same than the working hours you are your own master, you know the deadlines and your work requirement
- Remote super friendly. You come to the office only when you want and when you need to. As we build a lot of IoT and a lot of prototypes we can’t be full remote.
- We do not work for our clients on Friday. We work on personal projects and/or side projects. 20% of our time is dedicated to learning
- Full-time contract, with a Salary at the market rate
- End of Year bonus based on the company performance
- Everyone owns stakes in the company and the more responsibilities you take the more you own
- You stay here only if are still super aligned with the values and the vision
These are the rules we have got at Sparkmate. This is not what makes people come and work at Sparkmate, values, and vision makes. But to me, these things make our teammates comfortable and allow them to focus only on one thing: Crush Sparkmate’s goals.
It’s weird to me to tell you that I shifted from the pro-freelance to the pro-fulltime team. At the end of the day, freelance or full time are administrative status. The most important thing is the relationship you have with your team and the culture you design! With our current work’s rules, we are very aligned with our culture.
I hope you guys have learned some interesting insights and that you enjoyed reading it!
Don’t hesitate to reply to me and start a convo about anything or suggest any topics I should speak about in the next one!