Online marketplace Freelancer went on a massive launching spree around the world when it was an early-stage startup to get it off the ground.
Speaking at Blackbird’s Sunrise event in Sydney today, Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie said,”even when I was on holidays I’d just launch”.
“It’s funny because every country you go to you can say ‘it’s the land of the small business’ because all of economies over half of GDP is small businesses.
“It worked until it didn’t work. I think we launched in Germany three times.”
All it would take would be a quick language change and add the regional currency.
He’d even appointed pseudo-managers to deal with the press when he went home.
“I got asked to speak in Argentina, and I thought ‘this is fantastic I’ll just launch in Argentina’,” he said.
He’d previously been to Chile and met a few tech CEOs while he was there. Barrie asked one of them to “pretend” to be his Latin American regional manger while he was launching the site.
“We’d find a freelancer on the site and pay them an hourly rate to come out for a day or two and pretend you’re the Freelancer country manager,” he said.
Two years ago he told his Latin American head it would only be for a few hours, but the press engagements lasted for a few weeks after. Barrie subsequently had to appoint him as regional Latin American manager because he was the face of the company in that part of the world.
Barrie can’t remember how many countries he’s launched in, but told Business Insider it was a strategy that built media hype and recognition – two things his startup needed.