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In which I pretend to be a PM for apps like Numo (YC W24). Numo promises to makes it easy to get credentialed and paid for digital work, anywhere on earth. In this episode, you'll hear the stories of two freelancers, Amaka Uwandi an English Teacher, Children's Storybook writer & illustrator from Nigeria and Oumayma Mejri an English Teacher, Transcriber, Translator from Tunisia and the challenges of accepting international payments. 

As a PM my objective is to help build products that provide value to high-frequency use- cases so it can acquire newer users at lower cost and retain existing ones at higher value. 

  • Use-cases: How often and how severe is the use-case. Is there a higher frequency, higher severity adjacent use-case. 

  • Acquisition: What are barriers to try and switch. 

  • Retention: Can value be delivered sooner to avoid risk of churn. 

Takeaways and next steps

  • Problem: I'm somewhat surprised that timing and FX risks persist despite payment and platform solutions like Rippling, Workday, Stripe, ADP, Paypal, Remote, Upwork, etc in Gartner categories like HCM and Multi-country Payroll. A quick Perplexity search does mention FX risk protection by some of these platforms. Need to dig into this some more. 

  • Severity: International payments risk is a high frequency (monthly), high severity problem for freelancers like Amaka and Oumayma. Having said that I missed asking them about whether they've tried to solve this problem in the past and something I'll need to follow up on.

  • Trends: Freelancing is on the rise among Amaka and Oumayma's friends. Need to dig into global trend reports by ^^ platforms to understand this some more. 

  • Pricing: We didn't get into solutioning. Upwork does $400M annual revenue on a 10% fee (5% to business, 5% to freelancer. Enterprise and agency pricing is different). Both Amaka and Oumayma talk about how hard freelancing can be. To the extent that freelancers are willing to pay any insurance premium for ^^ risks, pricing it will be an interesting problem. Do companies pay instead. 

  • Mockups/ prototypes: Severity inversely proportional to barrier to try. As a follow up on severity, also show freelancers mockups that highlight "speed" and "safety" aspects of the product. 

  • "What happened next" as a conversation hack to get detailed and reliable user feedback worked. 

Big thanks to Amaka and Oumayma for their time and knowledge! Hire them for your English & Math tutoring needs!

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