This article was originally posted on Syllable.Productions earlier this year.

Build Squad is a proposed Project Network. It’s like a “LinkedIn for Projects”. Just like LinkedIn shows how professionals are connected, the Build Squad network shows how projects are connected. Why is this great? Because it creates a new way for organizations to hire a team of professionals perfectly fit for their project.

A sketch of my brainstorm while thinking about the Project Network.

Yes! Let me explain. Today, if an organization needs to outsource a project, they might hire one or two freelancers, or they might hire recruiters to help build a small freelance team. But if they need a larger team, they will need to hire an agency — a more expensive option. The Project Network offers a high-quality, more affordable option: it enables them to request a ‘squad’ of high-caliber professionals. The network will vet and curate the best draft picks. The professionals will also self-select the highest quality teams by requesting the top talent that they prefer to work with.

A crack team of freelancers

Okay, help me picture how this actually works?

Okay. Imagine a network like LinkedIn. In this network, each node is a professional, and each connection is a personal relationship. Like this (below).

A map of one professional’s connections on Linkedin

Build Squad has a similar network structure. But instead of connecting personal relationships, it connects projects; each node is a project and each connection expresses a similarity between projects. Project similarities include things like: sharing the same creators, or requiring similar skill sets, or requiring a similar budget or quality. The brainstorm sketch below tries to illustrate how these similarities can be used to calculate “degrees of separation” between teams. In theory, this can power an algorithm to curate ideal teams for a company looking to build their next project.

A sketch diagram of professionals, their skills, and their connected projects

Just like Linkedin, this network could create a broad map of similar projects by allowing for 2nd and 3rd degree connections.

Need a team that can build you an art gallery website similar to the MOMA’s? Maybe the network can find you perfect match like the one shown below.

An example ideal team:

  • A team lead: An industry leader, all-star portfolio. Valid LLC and vetted.
  • 4 freelancers under that lead with these promising stats:
  • — 1/4 have worked with the team lead before
  • — 1/4 actually worked on the MOMA website
  • — 3/4 are 2nd degree or 1st degree colleagues of each other
  • — They have a combined 15 years working in tech
  • — They have a combined 8 years working with museums
  • — They have a combined 20 years working with top-tier companies.
  • All freelancers are available, valid LLCs, and within budget.