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From skillee to comet5 min read

8 months ago, we created skillee. It has been the most intense period of our lives. These months have reinforced our determination to shake up the job market and laid the groundwork for a tremendous adventure.

For those who don’t know us (yet), here is our mission:

comet seamlessly connects the most sought-after tech & data skills with the best projects.

Our rebranding is a great opportunity to take a look back at the genesis of the project, our achievements so far and our ambitions for the future.

Day 1: Three friends, shared aspirations and a reboot

 

 

The idea of skillee came to us 8 months ago on a terrace in Paris. Joseph, Valentin and I worked for IT services companies. As we were discussing the limits of this outdated model, we eventually found that there was a real opportunity ahead of us. Our talk reflected the opinion ofthis Harvard Business Review articlethat inspired my master thesis. It can be summed up in one sentence:When a paradigm shift takes place, business models must be reinvented..

Hence our statement:

– Companies cannot survive without tech & data experts.
– Today, the best experts want to work as independent contractors.

Then we defined our mission:

Improve market fluidity by ending toxic subcontracting and seamlessly connecting the right hard skills to the best projects.

We had to think differently from how the consulting sector had traditionally functioned. Its mindset was detrimental to both talents and companies: body shopping must be stopped.

Broad-based marketplaces were seen as the only alternative. Yet this was still an incomplete solution, combining a freelancer ranking system dictated by low prices, low-quality and time-consuming listings, and the absence of technical skills assessments.

What we needed was a qualitative approach and a genuine solution able to:
• autonomously evaluate the skills of each registered freelancer
• select the best ones to create the most talented community
• enable companies to submit their needs online in less than 2 minutes
• match each freelancer with their ideal project

So we started working on a product that provided each client with an evaluated and targeted skill, along with providing our community of freelancers with outstanding missions: and so skillee was born.

 

One team, the first clients and a myriad of comets

From this moment on, everything went very fast and we had the six most intense weeks of our lives:
• we all left our jobs
• we made our first deals (even before the company was created)
• we interviewed 300 freelancers
• we managed to schedule 50 sales meetings

In December 2016, we had around 30 deals signed, our product-market fit was validated and a couple of new talents joined the team. Our great adventure had begun!

Because skillee is all about the fantastic people we’ve met, starting with The Family and then our first employees, for whom family is the common denominator.

The team is structured around four pillars: product, talent & client acquisition, community and our matching system. This set-up along with internal processes helped us accelerate in early 2017.

Clients: Renault, Société Générale, Veolia, Lagardère and Havas among others have trusted us and confirmed our vision.

Freelancers: our community has doubled and the pace of the missions has been speeding up. It is time for us to take off!

This take-off is the reason that made us evolve:

Bye-Bye skillee, Hello comet.

By looking back on the path taken, we have been considering the market as a unique, dynamic and interconnected system: a universe.

Each company is like a planet, with its own technical environment. When considered as a group of planets, they compose a galaxy.

For instance, the “Javascript” galaxy gathers the companies using React, Node, Angular, etc. We have been working on the mapping of these systems every day.

The freelancer is an independent element, gravitating or navigating between these different systems. They shine when they come in contact with a heat source, a.k.a. a thrilling project. Those are the comets of our universe.

Comets are at the core of our mission and vision, hence our new branding!

 

Becoming the trusted third party with our product

The core of our vision lies in our technology: we are building an unprecedented platform that seamlessly connects the best freelancers to the greatest projects, and the most ambitious clients to high-demand skills.

Today, we are a team of 15 passionate people striving to meet this tremendous challenge and to invent the best way to work in tech/data. We are determined to become the standard bearer of a fairer, more transparent and healthier model, with an improved allocation of value.

comet in key figures:

• 100+ projects
• 1000+ qualified tech & data freelancers
• 30+ ongoing clients (including 10 key accounts)
• 97% success for our matching algorithm

The next steps are just ahead of us: Product, Sales, Growth, Community, Data, Events, etc. The release of the newest version of our product is coming very soon, with an improved evaluation process and a reworked matching algorithm in order to develop “from scratch” a new collaborative mode between talents and companies.

By the end of the year, we aim at being the leader for tech and data missions in France.

Our goal is to continuously have new projects for our freelancers and provide our clients with optimal access to these talents.

We want each comet from our universe to shine. After all, it’s all about gravity!

 

 


? Follow comet on Twitter and Facebook

? Freelancers, companies, sign up here in less than two minutes

? Learn more on hellocomet.co

 


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Charles Thomas

CEO and co-founder of comet

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