It was on this very date in 2014 that we signed up for Thumbtack.
Thumbtack, if you don't already know, is a website service that provides professional service providers (designers, programmers, carpenters, lawyers, etc.), the opportunity to provide quotes on various types of consumer requests for a fee. These fees are based on Thumbtack's perceived value and type of request submitted by the potential client. Only Thumbtack Pros are charged these fees, it is free for anyone (and I do mean ANYONE) to submit requests through the site.
Over the past two years, we've worked hard growing Rolling Rook Studio, and we've actually come a long way. Thumbtack was a good starting point and has most certainly played a major role in our success. These days, however, the quantity and quality of requests available through Thumbtack have been pretty dismal. Where once we were receiving 30-50 requests a day, it has dwindled down to 10-20, and those 10-20 requests typically come in with budgets of less than $200.
Thumbtack used to be pretty good about attracting healthier, larger companies, marketing directors who might be in a bind, or serious, small business people who came to the table with some R&D and at least some sort of budget. Now, it seems that Thumbtack is full up with kids wanting cool banners for their "clan's" YouTube gaming channels, a gazillion digital photography businesses, wannabe musicians, DJs, bands, or some sort of t-shirt design business. Typically, they've done no research and have no budget and they're clueless about what it takes to succeed.
What we find most disturbing, is the ever increasing number of Thumbtack Pros calling themselves designers, who are willing to bid on cheap, (less than $200), unethical (blatant copyright violations) and often illegal requests, (like photoshopping information on someone's ID or birth certificate). It's a slippery slope straight to the bottom, and Rolling Rook Studio wants no part of it.
Fortunately, the bulk of our business, so far this year, has been from the return business of our wonderful clients.
While Thumbtack is constantly evolving, we have not seen any substantial changes that have been of benefit to us over the past 2 years and we honestly don't see it getting much better any time soon.