Earlier this month, oDesk has re-launched itself with the new name Upwork. The company CEO Stephane Kasriel posted an open letter to Upwork’s official blog announcing the relaunch.
According to Kasriel, the change will feature the four major improvements in the website: faster hiring, better collaboration, larger teams, and professional growth. For more information, read the official blog on the link at the end of this article.
Regarding the name, Kasriel said, “With an exciting and limitless future in mind, we chose Upwork to better convey our vision and represent our current and future community. It’s a name that inspires us and we hope it will inspire you as well.”
On a contractor’s perspective, I think it is a bold move for Upwork. I’m sure that they are aware that it will create confusion and worries, if not panic, both for clients but mostly for contractors. I mean, when I first saw the website, I thought I became a victim of a fishing malware. But after I composed myself for seconds, I asked the question, “Why?” in my mind. Why do they need to change the name that is already trusted by many freelancers and entrepreneurs? A website design is easily acceptable but the name? It’s like half of the branding.
Some contractors also panicked and worried about their projects, profile information, and money. And I must admit I’m one of the contractors that didn’t instantly accepted the change.
One reason is trust. When it comes to your career, time, and money, you must trust someone enough to entrusted these things to them. We already trusted the old name and logo and seeing a totally different website just alienated us.
Another reason is comfort. It comes along with trust. Since our trust was reset, it gives you a bit of discomfort.
The last thing was for a sentimental reason. I’m a sentimental kind of person. And in that company where I started my freelancing career and knowing that I’m not going to see the name and the logo anymore, it makes me feel sad.
And another reason before I forget, is the name. It is harder to pronounce; “upfwuerkh“. (I just got it from a comment on the official blog).
But on the other hand, for the sake of moving on, the system is still the same. The projects, profile information and money are still there. Everything in the system is still the same, they just added more useful features that would improve our working experience.
I believe that the change has a valid reason and it includes improvements. It’s not just a simple website redesign where the owner got bored with the color and the name.
So our freelancer life goes on.
How about you? Do you have any sentiments regarding the change? Let’s discuss it on the comment area.
Here’s the link to the official blog: https://www.upwork.com/blog/2015/05/odesk-is-now-upwork/
And here’s another good article posted on Forbes that discussed more deeply on the matter: http://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2015/05/05/elance-odesk-becomes-upwork-today-odesk-brand-gets-phased-out/2/