What do you like best?
I love how PPH is a easy place to search for work relating to your skills, its easy to filter jobs down to see which jobs you may have the right skills to pursue. And then placing bids and contacting the job is fairly easy and straight forward.
Another benefit is the fact that if you are a bit wary of people taking advantage and not paying, their escrow services gives you a little piece of mind that you will at least get some of the money if for some reason things go south.
Additionally as you get feedback and provide your legitimacy, people start to draw to you through the search engine just because of your good feedback which brings you even more work.
What do you dislike?
There are a few annoyances with PPH which really let it down, the most obvious problem is commission, for someone starting out and bidding low for work it becomes a real problem when you then have fees coming out of your earnings driving your pay even lower.
The second problem and possibly the biggest is that this is a worldwide community, and in some countries people can work for far less and enjoy the benefits whereas people in more expensive countries such as the UK suffer, thanks to people bidding £3 per hour!!
Obviously this becomes less of a problem as you build up your trust and get glowing feedback, but it can be a very unwanted struggle when your just starting out.
Another huge problem with PPH is the buyers, they will post up jobs with little to no details, which makes finding work somewhat time consuming, I tend to ignore any jobs without sufficient information and with low financial expectations.
Finally, PPH offers no real invoice panel for accounting purposes, making the process of submitting your accounts extremely difficult. For a community of Open Source workers, you would think this is something everyone needs?
Recommendations to others considering the product
Use it at the beginning to bring in much needed work while you focus on building your brand and customer base, once you have feedback more and more people will contact you through PPH rather than you replying to their jobs and eventually you should not rely on it for work.
Of course if your happy with the fees and you can earn a decent amount and the work is easy to find and complete, by all means use it for everything - but that wasn't the direction we went.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
PPH really helped at the beginning of our business, as a start-up we struggled to get the influx of new customers via Google or bulletin boards and forums, and word of mouth was slow or non-existent. Having a job board we could search through and put our-self out there to potential clients gave us a huge boost in terms of finding work and the potential of making contacts and earning money.
Eventually though we use it far less due to charges we need not to pay working with our clients directly, so now we hardly apply or do any work through the platform and instead focus on word of mouth and customers through open platforms such as google search.