Ramiro González Forcada and Nicolás Castro are 29 years old and founders of The Flock, a freelance validated talent platform that matches technological projects with Latin American freelancers.
Its beginnings and the pandemic as an opportunity
It was in the midst of the pandemic and socially isolated, as almost everyone, when they started to brainstorm about their current enterprise, which is present in more than 10 countries and manages more than 20 projects at the same time with 50 #flockers working on that. The confinement played in their favor to have greater availability and thus be able to work, almost exclusively, in the project they trusted so much.
They make up a seamless team and they complement each other. They foster remote, independent and asynchronous work. Nico states that Rami has a good mix of strategic vision, leadership and critical analysis. On the other hand, Ramiro declares that they have both the same desire, objectives and values but from different perspectives. “I encourage the team and always challenge us to go one step further. Nico does short-term oriented management and has a good trade-off between moving on and experiencing the current moment, he knows how to enjoy every step.”
They met when they were children, as they used to live in the same neighborhood and their schools were near. They had many people in common and they met again at university. “We started to get to know each other little by little, at first in study groups, then in social meetings and later on we set up different projects. In that moment we realized that we enjoyed working together, we had similar ideas and dreams and we wanted to create something big. We made some things before that did not result as expected but we never gave up. We had the feeling that we had to work together and we finally got to this project which joined many objectives: global outreach, technology and impact,” say both of them.
The pandemic was a breaking point for the start of The Flock. “That context helped us a lot when trying to demonstrate that it is completely possible to work with people from many parts of the world and focused on meeting objectives instead of schedules,” states Nicolás. The arrival of the pandemic showed people’s potential to the world and that they could be able to develop their tasks from anywhere. Ramiro also claims that “it was a reality before the pandemic but with this phenomenon, everyone was forced to do it, and even some companies that would have never taken the leap are now experiencing positive results.”
The challenging world of startups
They are versatile, skilled and passionate about technology and they argue that the start-up world evolves really fast and flexibility is needed in order not to be left out soon. The most challenging is to find the product-market fit. That is to say, to find the moment in which you know exactly the added value that is provided to the client and they perceive it in the same way. That moment, when you understand how to speak to them, what to say and how to sell, which is really important, represents the starting point where more growth can be obtained.
They work with elastic teams which is a win-win scheme where both parties win.
Although there are many similar platforms, the added value of The Flock is that every #Flocker who joins the platform can work in a comfortable way, as they forget about dealing with clients, they have an income in dollars and on time, they have predictability regarding potential projects and it is fully remote. Every talent can decide when and where to work, which gives a real balance between their jobs and personal life. Moreover, they state that it has great benefits for companies, as they have motivated teams, they invest in the necessary skills for every product stage when they need it and they improve their return of investment in the labor force, among others.
The founders highlight communication as an essential aspect in order to be able to work with elastic and remote teams both for the clients and the Flockers. That’s why in The Flock we put a lot of emphasis on following the project implementation methodology.
The importance of reliability and curiosity
According to their experience, talent must have reliability in people in order to develop themselves professionally within remote teams. The idea is to know that when they say they will do something they will actually do it. This is very appreciated in The Flock and it adds a lot of value to the profiles. Regarding this, Ramiro mentions a key concept: curiosity.
“Working in remote teams makes you relate to different cultures and languages; you must be curious in order to be constantly learning from others.”
“We are very strict when validating a talent, we permanently look for the perfect manner to make up an IT team.” Therefore, in The Flock they create a rigorous process, by means of which they quickly detect the level of every applicant. Their objective is to become the biggest validated talent platform in Latin America that searches for the perfect match between talent and project.
They affirm that Latin America is a high-quality pole of talent attraction, they are really motivated to grow in a professional way. Besides, they underline the good level of English, which is the universal language in the digital product development world. Nowadays, this region possesses a lot of skilled people, not only in the technical field but also in languages and social skills.
Finally, how do you see TF 5 years from now? We expect The Flock to be the leading digital talent platform worldwide. They see themselves working with more and more quantity and variety of people and enterprises, with increasingly ambitious projects and improving the work-life balance of many people. That’s where we’re headed.
What would you advise someone who wants to quit their permanent job in a company and start working as a freelancer? “We consider that nowadays talented people, especially from the digital product development world, have more opportunities than ever. Indeed, enterprises are the ones that are concerned about getting good talent and not the other way round. They argue that it is the right time to take the leap towards the independent and freelance world. “Companies like ours help in that transition and accompany the freelancer’s life.”
The founders made a short, random and a bit nerd quiz so as to know more about their vision and the way they are when working in The Flock.
Does contact beat CV or does experience beat studies?
- N: This has changed a lot. There are CTOs from huge companies who did not go to university or do not have any degree. I think experience obtained by working and the desire to learn beats any contact or degree.
- R: Experience without a doubt beats studies. But studies plus experience is a boom.
Which is your favorite Google extension?
- N: https://glossarytech.com/. It is really useful for those who do not know too much about technology and would like to understand and learn a bit more.
- R: Google Docs Offline → To have access to everything when the internet goes down.
Which was the last app you downloaded?
- N: A customer’s one. I can not tell you too much because of privacy policies 😉
- R: Bird.
Your favorite emoji?
- N: I really like the rock hand emoji 🤘🏼.
- R: The upside down face 🙃 .
Your last search in Google?
- N: Rock hand emoji haha
- R: Upside down face.
Working day or night?
- N: I love mornings. I wake up early to work or work out.
- R: Free! No fixed schedule preferences.
Physical books or eBooks?
- N: I am old school regarding books, I prefer the printed ones and their smell.
- R: Both, it depends. When studying I prefer the physical one so as to take notes on it.
Which is your mantra on a busy day of work?
- N: I try to prioritize and deal with one issue at a time.
- R: Order and prioritization.