It turns out that if you pay people by the piece for work done, instead of by the hour, you get more productivity per hour.
Wow. When you pay people an hourly wage, a lot of them do the minimum amount of work necessary to keep from getting fired. But when you pay them per piece, they have an incentive to work hard and get a lot more done.
In software, this seems like the kind of thing you could implement with eLance or other small contract bidding systems. (Question for the forum – if you’ve used eLance or other services, which ones do you like and dislike, and why?)