November 17, 2008
A few weeks ago I heard this story on The Moth Podcast (it’s an mp3 since this site doesn’t create show pages) about a guy who decided to outsource some of his daily activities. If you don’t feel like listening there is this article he wrote in Esquire. Or I could just tell you what I got out of it … (actually the Esquire article is very entertaining, so make sure you read it at some point)
The guy is AJ Jacobs, apparently he is very bright because he adjusted one of my ideas into something that is actually possible, apparently. He found a company in India that offers ‘remote executive assistants.’ This assistant will do research, memos, emails, etc. He finds another company that offers a concierge service. The cost? The assistant is $1000/month for 8 hour days (although that might be half price, I think he had a coupon) and the concierge is $400/month for 4 hour days. I guess not terrible prices, and I don’t need that much time, I don’t think.
If you read the whole article it goes past just work related to his job. He outsources talking to his parents, dealing with his wife, even reading bed time stories to his kid. He even attempts to outsource his therapy sessions. Too far or too wise?
I’ve been saying for a while that I need an intern. Before you ask, yes, sort of like Darin (Kramer’s intern). Now this intern could do intern-related tasks. I have plenty of web site work that needs to be done. There is also a lot of data entry on ICH. I recently got sick of it all so I’ve been automating it, but once I get the automation done I will still need to check it every once in a while, you never know when part of it will break down. There are also plenty of other features I’d add if I had someone to check it over more often. I’d have time to do this if I didn’t have an actual job, but even then an intern would be nice.
While all that would be very helpful and make the internship moderately legit, there are other things I’d like my intern to take care of. Prior to needing an intern, in college, I decided I needed a stenographer to follow me around all day and take down all my conversations. I found I was forgetting many of my genius ideas as school work got in the way. My roommate had originally applied for the position. So the intern could serve this purpose. They would just need to be alert during the day and jot down notes of what I say. Then I’d be able to quickly look through the notes and they would jog my memory about whatever idea or story I had mentioned earlier in the day.
The issue is that I can’t get an intern (it would be hard enough to get the 1st one, but after they told their story, no way I’d get another) and I don’t have the money to pay for an assistant. So he really didn’t solve my problem. He just had the funds to do so. I’m curious how this guy survived after the outsourcing experiment ended. He seemed to become quite reliant on them.