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Questions and answers for our machine learning services

Q & A

Understanding the value of the Machine Commons Services Collective

Do we pay you?

No. The Pitch Process is entirely free. 

Once a supplier is allocated, one of two things happens dependent on the supplier's preference:

1. Our service providers pay us a Network Fee, once they've been paid by you. (Trusting, eh?)

2. We manage the administration of payment on behalf of the supplier. 


Welcome to the community business model. 

Why should we go through you, versus to the supplier directly?

Our arrangements with the suppliers mean that you are paying the same price either way. 

For you, this means you'll receive multiple targeted - and filtered - responses with no admin. There are feedback rounds between us and our Supplier before you see the proposals, so you only see the highest quality approaches. 

For them, we're essentially a sales channel that they only have to pay for confirmed business.

What's the typical process?

Most service providers have a tiered service structure that looks something like this: 

  1. Assessment, to help you understand your options;

  2. Proof of Concept, to prove capability before full scale commitment; and

  3. Full scale build, normally including ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

For smaller or simpler projects, or when clients know exactly what they're doing (don't worry, this is rare!), it's possible to combine all of the above into a single quote. In some other cases, suppliers will only work hourly to avoid scope creep. 

What's in it for the supplier?

It's like having a sales and marketing team you only have to pay when it works. No salaries, overheads, no risk. 

We pick our suppliers for their engineering capability - not their marketing skills! 

We believe a spade should be a spade, that an engineering firm should, well, engineer. 

Think of us as a centralised marketing and sales team that enables our suppliers to focus on what they do best. 

When do we meet the engineering firm?

We can handle 90% of questions most clients ask before stage 1 (what can we expect, how long does it take, how much will it cost, can you build X, etc.).

Once we've received a signed Order Confirmation for the Scope of Work, we hand you over. Alternatively, if you prefer a single point of contact, you may use us for further Account Management).

For the more technically specific questions, we have arrangements with our suppliers for fast responses to help us convince you you're making the right decision. Often, we'll introduce you over a conference call to brainstorm possibilities. 

How do you choose suppliers?

Our business value is our reputation and ability to select the highest quality vendors. Often, quality is actually about appropriateness. Fit.

Through our Suppliers, we've indirectly worked for hundreds of businesses. 

Not only do we carefully taxonomize our Suppliers, but we hold them to really high standards and routinely check through client testimonials.

Trust in us is to trust in each and every one of our vendors, so we take failed delivery incredibly seriously. 

What's your commission?

It varies for each tier (or stage) of product development.

Typical commissions are between 10-25% of revenue, depending on the profit margin the Supplier has factored into the Service in question. It equates to the same variable cost of marketing/sales that each supplier would have to pay for business anyway. 


Our role is to keep both Suppliers and Clients happy, so large engineering projects will see deductions of about 5% of the total build. 

We're not really here for the profit margin. Check out our Mission page.

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