I’m still owed payments for contract coding work from when I was 13.
I’d feel embarrassed about that, except chasing invoices is an unpleasant reality for every independent worker. I got that lesson as a teenager programming for mom-and-pop businesses in my hometown in France. It was Y2K, and now everyone needed a company website. As the neighborhood's token computer kid, getting work was easy. Getting paid on time was not.
If you’ve ever done independent work, you’ve likely felt this pain too. So let’s just say it: The way the world treats independent workers is insane. Thirty-six percent of workers are now categorized as freelance, a number that’s growing fast amidst the Great Reconsideration as more and more highly-skilled product builders choose the freedom and flexibility of an independent career. And yet, most companies still treat these workers as second-class employees, paying them on net 30, 45 or 90 terms, as if they were a vendor, and not a human being with bills to pay and families to care for.
Let’s just say it: The way the world treats independent workers is insane.
When we started A.Team, we wanted to create the best place on earth for independent builders—removing all friction and risk to enable builders to do their best work with their favorite teammates. We knew a key part of that would be removing the false choice between autonomy and stability. You should have the freedom to work on initiatives you’re passionate about without worrying about when you’re going to get paid.
That's why I am excited to announce that we're rolling out the beta of a feature I wish I had when I was 13: Guaranteed On-time Payments™.
Introducing Guaranteed On-Time Payments™
The answer to “how often should independent workers get paid is simple: Twice a month, the same as full-time employees. That’s why we’re rolling out the beta of Guaranteed On-Time Payments™.
If you’re a builder on the A.Team platform, here’s what you need to know:
What does it mean for me? If you're on an A.Team mission, and submit your hours worked via the platform, you'll be paid every two weeks. On-time, every time, 15 days after the invoicing period. Simple as that.
Who qualifies for the beta? We’re rolling it out over the next few days to builders who’ve billed 400+ hours through A.Team. Then to everyone else once the kinks are worked out.
How about if a client doesn't pay A.Team? Since we’ll be paying you before the client has paid us in most instances, we're taking on the risk entirely because we believe it’s the right thing to do. We also have rigorous vetting and standards for the builders that join our network, so we’re confident standing by your work. Similarly, the fact that we’re request and referral-only on the client side—working only with market-leading companies with meaningful product missions—makes this easier, as we have great trust with the partners we work with.
Why are you doing this? We want to create the best place on earth for independent builders—so we're quite literally putting our money where our mouth is. Predictable on-time payments has also been one of the biggest requests from our builder community since day 1. We see this as a huge step in helping more builders take the leap toward choosing freedom, working only on missions that are meaningful to them.
With this rollout, we hope to give independent builders more stability than they’d have at full-time jobs. After all, as we saw with the wave of layoffs two years ago, the stability of full-time employment is often an illusion; one morning, your entire income stream can disappear in an unpleasant Zoom call with HR.
We want to create the best place on earth for independent builders—removing all friction and risk to enable builders to do their best work with their favorite teammates.
We see a future where builders can design careers that combine both great freedom and great stability by working on multiple long-term, high-paying product missions with the guarantee of getting paid regularly. A future where great builders can launch fulfilling independent careers—working on missions they’re passionate about with teammates they love.
We want A.Team to be the place builders can call home—providing the community, exciting work, and stability you crave. We also want to take away the psychological stress of non-billable activities, which take up half of independent workers’ time. We aim to get that number down to zero.
This is just the beginning of our journey to empower builders and create the best environment possible to grow their careers. We see incredible potential for two-sided marketplaces, like ours, to build tech-enabled financial services that provide incredible value for people—as NFX recently covered in this brilliant piece. We’re eager to roll out On-Time Guaranteed Payments to more and more builders in the coming months, and introduce future benefits—like equity and upside sharing in product missions—that will reward great builders in the manner they deserve.
We hope that this will be a model the rest of the business world follows. Because you should be in control of your career, not accounts payable.