The only problem with that is its completely unrealistic and if you lack management skills (like me) then hiring a remote person makes that even harder. Not even to mention your just pissing away money.
So add on top of the the trust issues. Each remote person you bring on is a liability. You are giving them access to your servers on a very high level. Being we are a small shop (or used to be) we never had a dev environment. All developing was done on the live server. So trust was a really big thing. I had been burnt by guys who just would leave the server down and goto bed… and that would make me go insane.
Now I know what your thinking – Wasn’t David Dellanave AKA dillsmack a remote hire? Well not really.. basically I had known Dave for over 10 years and one day in IRC I was ranting about how I would *NEVER* hire a remote programmer ever again and he (dillsmack) messaged me and said he would like a shot to prove me wrong. He also said he would work for a very low hourly wage and show me what he could do.
What was I going to say… no ? So I gave him a login and told him what I wanted to get done and he made a huge impact right away. I think I hired him in the fall (august) of 2004 and I was so fricking over my head. I was doing all of the programing, graphics, server administration, email admin, dns admin, you name it… I was doing it and I had NO LIFE. Not to mention this was back when nextpimp was getting over 100,000 unique hits a day. The server was soooo over loaded that the kernel would panic and it would randomly reboot at least once per day (not the http service im talking the whole box would reboot). Anyway Dave had a lot of experience with high volume websites and immediately started optimizing and scaling it out.
Flash forward a little bit and David came to me one day with an idea on how to leverage the nextpimp nextel formats to other platforms like sprint and cingular. I told him I thought it was a great idea and I would give him 40% of the profits that this would make. Deal. What we did, did not last but I think on Dave’s end alone he profited over 50k the first month we did that. For the next couple years we did several deals like that. Dave’s hourly wage was a joke I don’t even think he was keeping track of his hours because the revenue split was where it was at. This was good though. I did not want a hourly employee… I wanted partners in the company. So we redid our deal to be a flat salary + profit sharing and continued that for the next 2 years.
Then in 2007 I came up with this idea for shoemoneyads which long story short turned into AuctionAds. When we sold the company in July (only 4 months later) I thought it was fair to give him exactly what I was going to get out of it (which I can’t disclose.. sorry). After the auctionads sale was complete I talked to David about doing a new deal (it had been 2 years since our last one) where he would have ownership and not just drawing a salary+profit sharing. We did some corporate reshuffling and now David owns a decent position in the entire ShoeMoney system.
So in the example for David – I was dead set against hiring remote people but David was willing to do what it took to show me that not only was he a good employee but he was invaluable. Over the years of working together he has had some amazing job offers up into the 300k/year range and I have encouraged him to go after them. But he always says back to me, “ya right I am not gonna get rich working for the man”. Obviously its worked out well. David believed in what we were doing and has stuck with me and because of that he is pretty set financially and still in his mid 20’s.
Also I will tell you in the process David has become one of my closest friends and also the god father of my first born child.
David is probably the best example if you want to see what kind of remote person works well but I will give you some other examples as well.
Unique Blog Designs – They first came to me a while back and asked if they could redo my blog design… I was like sure… Then they did it and they did it fast! It was awesome and I did not have to manage them. I just told them what I wanted and they did it. I have since referred some fortune 500 clients to them and have also hired them to do some other big scale projects. UBD has established itself as THE blog and web design company by proving to people they have the skills you can’t live without.
NewsPaperGirl – We had invested a lot of money in a charity event for fighters.com and I wanted to get some good exposure with a awesome press release. I twittered asking for a prweb ninja who can get 5’s and great distribution. @prweb responded with Newspapergrl aka Janet Meiners. So I wrote her a email asking how much she would charge and what not. She promptly responded with her rates but added that she would be willing to just do it for me for free (OOHH). So I sent her the prweb fees and she submitted. I will be honest when I first saw the press release she did I was not that impressed. I am a branding guy and I did not feel like our company was mentioned enough. She was really focusing on the event. She said to rust her and that she knows what she was doing. Fair enough (I love confident people).
Then a couple days later my phone was ringing off the hook (no joke). I was on 4 radio stations and in 2 news papers and had inquiries from a TON of media sources. Janet had been able to score another perfect prweb score and had incredible distribution for my press release.
Guess who will be the only person I will call in the future and guess how much I care about price =P
I do not like to hire remote people but I like to use the best…