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Secret Academy Episode - Gary Swart

With entrepreneurship booming worldwide, more and more American businesses have turned to outsourcing as a means to bootstrap their business with low cost yet well qualified contractors. One of the largest marketplaces for finding such work is where Gary Swart lead the company as CEO for almost a decade. Although oDesk was founded by two technical entrepreneurs in Greece, a stroke of luck and being in the right place at the right time landed Gary the position as CEO. As CEO he has grown oDesk to over $360 million in transactions, 1 million clients, and over 5 million contractors worldwide. oDesk has since merged with rival website but all this could not have happened without the leadership of Gary.

Lesson's in Today's Interview:
  • How Gary joined forces with two founders from Greece
  • How his non technical background in sales complemented his partners
  • Why his experience working for IBM was significant in finding his passion
  • Why he quit IBM to start Intellibank and why that failed
  • How to make partnerships work and what to look for when identifying partners
  • His three step plan in growing oDesk to $360 mil in transactions
  • Why cutting their pricing model was a key factor in growth
  • Why keeping it simple keeps new customers instead of turn them away
  • The key differences between and
  • Why the merger between the two perfectly complemented each other
Full Episode, Downloadable Podcast, and Other Episode Resources Available for Members Only:
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Nellie Akalp
Founder of CorpNet
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Bobby Harris
Founder of BlueGrace Logistics