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Take over development and maintenance of 4 yr old ecommerce site.

Where do I begin?

We launched about 4 years ago. We provide the service of enabling anyone to place orders on the largest Japanese websites. In short, we're a proxy buying service. Japanese online marketplaces are generally offlimits to those who don't live in Japan are not Japanese.

While there is a massive market for our service (I know this, from nearly 20 years of experience with other businesses I operate in the field), this site in particular- continues to operate at a loss. After monthly salaries (2 full time developers in Asia, $2000 total), server costs, and other operating costs, we're usually around $500-1000 in the red every month. We have approx. 2000 customer accounts, but only average 1-2 orders per day.

The site has many flaws- although it does what it promises to: displays millions of products available domestically in Japan, and enables any person outside Japan to order those items via our service.

We have a task-list of nearly 200 tasks at this point- some of them going back as far as 2 years, all intended to vastly improve the site- and thus our turnover.

However, over the last few months, I've come to realize my small team has lost interest in the project. Without doubt, I am partially to blame (if a ship is sinking, the captain must always bare some portion of the blame). I presently reside in Europe, while my team is in Asia: I used to live where they do (that's how this started) but haven't been back to their location in over 2 years- so I feel the chemistry has faded in that regard. At this point, I feel they see the job as an easy monthly paycheque with virtually zero oversight, and a very lax boss who focuses most of his time on other ventures (that, being me of course).

However, at this point I feel I need to make a change: either fold the business- or hire an entirely new team- a group of developers (in Europe) with whom I can meet occasionally, people who's work ethic will be better aligned with the needs of the project, and people who see genuine potential in the business model.

Here's what I need:

1. A verifiable method for me to be able to track (at least, to some reasonable degree) the time spent coding every day. I've lost some degree of faith in the remote long-term worker model. In time, everyone becomes comfortable when there is no immediate oversight. It's human nature- we all have a tendency to become passive, spoiled, and take things for granted when given the opportunity.

2. I would like to offer a minimal 'base' salary plus, a task-based payment system, thus providing incentive to deliver good work, rather than the stagnation that may creep in on a standard monthly salary model.

3. I am seeking two full time developers.

4. I would like people who are creative. I'm not interested in a Japanese mindset for example (I've spent many years in Japan as well) where only instructions are followed- without room for individual creativity, ideas, suggestions. I need people who will help the business grow, by noticing things I do not, suggesting new ways of looking at things, solving problems, etc.

I could go on, but running out of space. I prefer to work with a team based in Europe (easy access if I need to straighten you guys out in person - I travel frequently). Respectfully, I have no interest in working with teams from India/Pakistan. Been there, done that (too many times), and no longer interested, regardless of cost. Contract will include NDA and non-competition clause (I don't want to hire a M. Zuckerberg, if you know what I mean).

Please provide details in your offer (monthly cost, will you work full time- do you have another developer you'll work with?). Thank you in advance to those offering genuine assistance.

And- to those celebrating it, Merry Christmas & a fantastic New Year!

Skills: Amazon Web Services, eCommerce, HTML, MongoDB, PHP

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About the Employer:
( 2 reviews ) Zug, Switzerland

Project ID: #18406402

47 freelancers are bidding on average $2363 for this job

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