Mobile menu

Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6] >
A proposal made about creating a cooperative - Would it be interesting to you?
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 23, 2008

You have probably read about a proposal to create a "cooperative of freelancers" in the forums, I thought that it might be a good moment to summarise the main guidelines expressed so far and assess how interesting this endeavour would be among us.

The definition of the "cooperative of freelancers" as expressed so far in other forums is as follows (this is my personal summary of the main themes of the conversation):

1. Cooperative system, i.e. freelancers share the capital and costs of the company equally. (Exact legal entity and residence are still under discussion.)

2. The decision as to how to share income and profits will be made by voting. All business decisions will be made by voting. Ideas will be shared, discussed and voted with online systems.

3. All interaction between shareholders will be online, even at the development and incorporation stage. No traveling or meetings in person.

4. It is estimated that an initial investment of Eur 6000 per shareholder will be needed.

5. A global translation memory will be created, which all members will share and use together for all customers.

6. Non-disclosure agreements with customers will not be accepted. Their translations will be added to the global translation memory.

7. Customers will be expected to use the cooperative's systems and methods for their orders and interaction with the translation force.

8. (Still under discussion) Members would work solely in the cooperative, with no services offered independently.


Now. Should this idea become a reality, would you be interested in joining? YES or NO? If you would not, can you quickly explain why (please in a few words for an easier assessment of the attractiveness of this proposal)?

(Edited to change "Eur 6,000" to "Eur 6000" to avoid confusions.)

[Edited at 2008-09-23 10:58]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:25
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
No, I would not be interested Sep 23, 2008

As I am a legal translator, I have to keep clients' material confidential.

What I would be interested in, as regards a common TM, is the opportunity to upload such TUs, from time to time selected by me, with confidential data removed, which appear fairly standard, not in breach of any confidentiality obligations, and useful to re-use.

Astrid


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Gianni Pastore  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:25
Member (2007)
English to Italian
Frankly speaking, no Sep 23, 2008

Tomás Cano Binder wrote:

Now. Should this idea become a reality, would you be interested in joining? YES or NO? If you would not, can you quickly explain why (please in a few words for an easier assessment of the attractiveness of this proposal)?


I really can't see any benefit. Also, I don't see any other kind of freelancers (in fields such as medical, engineering etc.) doing something like this. Yes, there are Associations of freelancers, but they don't share anything else that membership for pension's schemes and few other things (at least in Italy). IMHO, G.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Deschant
Local time: 00:25
Don't think so... Sep 23, 2008

In principle, I am not opposed to collaborate in the future with other translators under the form of a cooperative, but I have several issues with this particular proposal:

-Points 5 and 6: I suppose that the rejection to sign non-disclosure agreements may put off customers - the ones more interested in privacy, more serious and more ready to pay high rates for that matter. Of course I am assuming that the cooperative will be upfront and inform the customers of what it means to prescind of a NDA.

-Point 3: I think that, if I decided to collaborate with other translators under the form of a cooperative, I would like to know my colleagues well. Internet is a wonderful tool, but I don't think it can replace face-to-face communication when it comes to building trust - which would be absolutely a must for me in this situation. In other words, if I am going to work so closely with other people, making an investment of money and time, I would like to know if I get along well with my colleagues and if they share the same ethics of working as me - I wouldn't like to be associated with someone whose work could potentially damage my reputation.

Regards,
Eva

[Editado a las 2008-09-23 10:20]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
English to German
+ ...
My reply Sep 23, 2008

1. Cooperative system, i.e. freelancers share the capital and costs of the company equally. (Exact legal entity and residence are still under discussion.)


No, I refuse to take any liability or responsibility for costs, taxes or whatever expenses caused by individuals who I do not know in person, not even after FBI clearance.

2. The decision as to how to share incoreplyme and profits will be made by voting. All business decisions will be made by voting. Ideas will be shared, discussed and voted with online systems


No. Give me one good reason why I should take a cut in my income because other members work slower or make mistakes.

3. All interaction between shareholders will be online, even at the development and incorporation stage. No traveling or meetings in person


No. I need to know who my name and my reputation is affiliated with. Biometrics and DNA-samples appreciated.

[quote]4. It is estimated that an initial investment of Eur 6,000 per shareholder will be needed


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Fernando Toledo  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
German to Spanish
Same same Sep 23, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

As I am a legal translator, I have to keep clients' material confidential.

What I would be interested in, as regards a common TM, is the opportunity to upload such TUs, from time to time selected by me, with confidential data removed, which appear fairly standard, not in breach of any confidentiality obligations, and useful to re-use.

Astrid

... But different.

Not only the confidentiality. Now I can use my "resources" for a few different clients, and the analysis of the TM are made separately, if I would take all TMs from the different (but same same) clients to make a analysis for each of them, I would lose money... La calle está dura.

Regards


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Roy Williams  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 01:25
German to English
No Sep 23, 2008

In addtion to the comments already made, six grand in any currency why too much of an initial investment. who would be watching the pot and how do we know whether or not they could be trusted.

I have to take sides with Nicole on this one.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Felipe Gútiez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2002)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Of course I am for Sep 23, 2008

Thank you for the summary Tomás.
I would ad as the most important feature the ability to vote and decide democratically and the ability to receive proposals and make them work quickly if they are approved.

What do you think of the tam-tam system to select the translators? For example the KudoZ leaders of the last years. I mean, this is not a world too big. Most of the top translators know each other.

Almost any of the cons given in this and other threads can be solved.

I have nothing against travelling and meeting in person, is just a cost. If necessary for the start, I would be willing to do it. What about Istanbul for a global meeting?

Asia a un lado
al otro Europa y allá a su frente Estambul (Canción del pirata, José de Espronceda)
We have a giant opportunity today. This does not happen everyday.

[Editado a las 2008-09-23 10:23]

[Editado a las 2008-09-23 10:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
English to German
+ ...
More replies Sep 23, 2008

4. It is estimated that an initial investment of Eur 6,000 per shareholder will be needed


No. Since there is no physical residence, I don't see what start-up expenses could possibly occur. Also: Since everything is supposed to be so democratic, this amount may as well sit peacefully and save in my account.

5. A global translation memory will be created, which all members will share and use together for all customers.


No. In my field of work there is no such thing as sharing. Without exception all of my employee contracts with advertising agencies included a clause about a 6-digit fine, should any intellectual property rights be violated. Such things don't only refer to what has been written previously by other people BUT WHAT YOU ARE WRITING RIGHT NOW.

6. Non-disclosure agreements with customers will not be accepted. Their translations will be added to the global translation memory.


No. You will never be able to acquire decent clients. If you are less picky, you may as well work for the Mafia. However, they might have the one or the other comment regarding leaking information.

7. Customers will be expected to use the cooperative's systems and methods for their orders and interaction with the translation force.


Yep. That's what customer service is all about. Besides having them buy, install and learn new software, I also insist on my weekly gift basket and flowers (lilies only).

8. (Still under discussion) Members would work solely in the cooperative, with no services offered independently.


So be it. The lowly believer's humble question: Who will manage the finances? the Almighty God of the Ultimate Bank Account, where we sent our love gift to?
Addendum:

For whatever reason my replies to the remaining questions won't show.

[Edited at 2008-09-23 10:29] [/quote]

[Edited at 2008-09-23 10:56]


Addendum:

Huge thanks to the wonderful colleague who just contacted me and told me why the rest of my post wouldn't show. Thank you, A.! Please have a great day.

[Edited at 2008-09-23 11:01]

Edited for typos.

[Edited at 2008-09-23 11:14]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Felipe Sep 23, 2008

Thanks for your opinion Felipe. Please let's stay to the topic. I am most interested in knowing how many people like this idea. Thanks!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:25
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
What are the advantages? Sep 23, 2008

The only advantage I can see up to now, would be the "Global TM". And if this really turns out to be an advantage is still very unclear.

Where do the customers come from? Do I have to bring my own customers to the cooperative? Does the cooperative employ sales people to find customers?

For me, a cooperative might make sense, if it is run as a normal company, and the members are the owners of the company.

A company is a company is a company, - there is not a lot of "democracy". There might be a flat management structure - ok, but somebody has to do the work - and needs to get money for it.

Who pays the sales people, the accountant, the person who writes the bill, the person who develops and updates the website and ......

Who carries the responsibility for the performance of the sales people, the programmer(s) ...

A company is a company is a company..........

Siegfried


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:25
Italian to English
+ ...
No - and some questions about practicalities Sep 23, 2008

Felipe Gútiez wrote:

What do you think of the tam-tam system to select the translators? For example the KudoZ leaders of the last years.


Strewth. A sure-fire way to define quality. (Irony alert!)


I have some questions for Tomás: why EUR 6000 in particular for the initial investment? How many freelancers do you expect to have in the cooperative and how would this money be spent?

On a personal note, this is not a feasible proposition for me. I couldn't accept points 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8, and as for points 1 and 2, I have my own business setup, so it's out of the question for me. Call me a pessimist but I also have concerns about quality here. Purely out of interest, I'd also be keen to know how you would go about distributing work within the cooperative and establishing (fixing?) rates.

Cheers,
Amy


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Amy! Sep 23, 2008

Thank you Amy for your opinion and point of view. I really think that quickly assessing the real interest of the proposal is important right now. We can always discuss each of its features in detail later in the week if you agree. I hope you don't mind!

[Edited at 2008-09-23 10:56]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Nyet Sep 23, 2008

Aren't we freelancers precisely in order to avoid getting wrapped up in company politics and enforced allegiances? Now we can pay for the privilege to get bogged down in the very thing we are so happy to have avoided?


Tomás Cano Binder wrote:


8. (Still under discussion) Members would work solely in the cooperative, with no services offered independently.



At first, I thought the whole proposal was just some kind of Kafka story. But when I read #8, now I realize this is something even Mr. K. would have rejected as too horrible even to contemplate.



(note: The 6-euro membership charge is reasonable - but you might want to correct the original post, where it says 6000. Keyboard might be stuck!)

[Edited at 2008-09-23 11:02]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Siegfried! Sep 23, 2008

Thanks a million Siegfried! I hope it is OK with you if we take on your very interesting questions later in the week? I think it is important for us all to quickly assess how many people are interested. Let's keep focus on that for a couple of days and then discuss the different aspects. I hope you don't mind! Thank you!

(Edited to fix a typo).

[Edited at 2008-09-23 11:06]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3 4 5 6] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

A proposal made about creating a cooperative - Would it be interesting to you?

Advanced search


Translation news





Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs