We like to write about tools that make life better for startups. We’ve written about Pivotal Tracker, the iPod of project management software. And we recently covered [Startup Digest], which curates the best startup events in 27 cities.

Today I want to talk about Solvate. Solvate says they “recruit and contract talent to work on demand.” But I like to say they’re “simple outsourcing for startups.” I’ve been using Solvate to produce interviews like How to optimize web apps with KISSmetrics.

SlideShare: How to optimize your web apps with KISSmetrics

My Solvate experience

I told Solvate what I needed: “Turn my MP3 interviews into blog posts that look like this.” It took them about a day to find someone: “Trent‘s going to get in touch with you.” I talked to Trent on the phone and described how I’ve produced our interviews in the past. He took a lot of notes and sent me a spot-on email that described what he was going to do.

Then I sent Trent a raw MP3 interview and he produced everything you see in the full blog post: a Slideshare with Slidecast, a podcast with chapters that look great in iTunes, an outline, a transcript, and a polished draft of the blog post. Along the way, he sent me 2 or 3 emails asking for feedback: “What do you think of this outline? Can you take a look at this podcast before I make a Slidecast?”

Trent probably saves me 5-10 hours per interview. I think my favorite part is that I rarely have to repeat instructions twice — with Trent or Paul. They both really want to do a good job. And Solvate takes care of the hassle of negotiating contracts with the talent — all I did was sign a click-through contract with Solvate.

Free hour of Solvate!

I’ve arranged for Solvate to foot the bill for the first hour of any project you start with them in March. Try it out and let me know what you think.

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2 comments · Show

  • Nicholas

    I’m pretty psyched about trying this out. I’m a big outsourcer (from micro to big projects) and definitely welcome improvement on the whole process, specifically someone to play intermediary. I’ve submitted a project for a content development piece and the rest are being queued up in my head as I write this. Thanks for arranging the free hour. Will share how it goes.

  • Danny Schreiber

    Great behind the scenes post, Nivi.

    I haven’t used Solvate myself, but this past October I met and heard the elevator pitch from its co-founder Julie Ruvolo. It’s evident she’s passionate about the company and its purpose. And she’s an awesome NY entrepreneur.

    Now learning about how you guys use it, it’s on my “to try” list for 2011.

    Thanks for sharing!