Smart Money Article about Outsourcing Secretarial Work

Discussion in 'Economics' started by SiSePuede!, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. That is one of the funniest articles I have ever read. I literally have been sitting here laughing while reading.

    It has taken the edge off my day.

    One of the funniest parts by far:

    "Asha and Honey never say no. I find myself testing them, asking them to perform increasingly bizarre tasks, inching toward abuse of power. Read "The New York Times" for me. email me a bunch of questions from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." Send me a collection of Michael Jackson jokes (e.g., "Why was Michael Jackson spotted at Kmart? He heard boys' pants were half off"). I keep pushing, but I haven't yet found their limits. The closest I got to a no was when I made the admittedly odd request that Asha play the card game hearts for me, since I was wasting too much time playing it myself on my PalmPilot. Asha replied that she thought this was a "good idea" but that maybe she would do it after finishing the other projects."

    I may have to hire one of these individuals, too. Someone like Honey K Balani.

  2. Funny article. We outsourced some IT work (non finance related) a while ago to different countries.. Argentina, Phillipines, India. Waste of time and money, will never do it again. Quality of work (and understanding of the objective at hand!) was generally poor, I found it hard to explain tasks via email and Skype. Nothing beats in-house staff if you want it done properly is my take away from the whole experience.
  3. HA, my buddy who works for a huge IT firm was recently telling me about one of the huge projects they outsourced to bangalore.

    They started with 20 indian guys, they werent getting the job done, so they expanded to 30,50, now they have 200 guys in india working on the project :eek:

    They finally delivered the software, but it ran so slow it wasnt useful. So they had one of their top US techies look into it, and in just 4 hours he had it running 25% faster, but said it was a mess and needs a lot of rework. He was stunned how many people it took to write the software and how long it took them. He basically came back and said this could have been done by 4 top notch US guys in a quarter of the time :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Lets see here, the india guys basically charge half the US guys now, once you get thru all the middlemen.
    200 indian guys = cost of 100 US guys when it could have taken 4 good US guys in house.

    Some compaines are just dumb. They make decisions based on bean counting.

    They dont know that, in IT, one really good IT guy can get 10X as much done as an average IT guy if not more. This is not an exaggeration, ive seen it too many times, been there myself.

    Theyre just too stupid to pay the real top notch guys 10X more than the nearly useless below average guy.

    I think outsourcing is having a hard to measure drain on US IT. 1. the money drain, 2. the productivity drain, dealing with the timezones is a nightmare
  4. I think you'd be silly to hire certain people to do certain things. If you hire from a reputable company with people proficient in your language and you're not having them do anything that is complex I think you could do very well.

    Trying to hire these people for IT or extremely complex tasks is silly and I've laughed at people who do it for years because you're asking for "proficiency" so you'll get a programmer cutting and pasting.

    I'd hire one to collect and organize press releases for companies I'm interested in. I'd have them read filings and highlight relevant information. Seems to me that you just need to make sure that the person has a comprehensive understanding of business, what you're looking for, what to organize, etc.

    I could easily hire a secretary to look at filings for dilution, incomes, etc. etc. and have them collate it into an easy to look at manner. That's part of their appeal, they're a cheap way to get the noiseless answers you're looking for because they can filter it for you. I'd pay $400/month for a part timer to do that and also to handle dealing the random problems I have with things like refunds, flight booking, searching for info on places or things, etc.

    Putting them to task to do anything really difficult or even just giving them creative freedom to do something is probably inviting disaster. :D

    But keeping track of people is great. I invest in some private companies and could happily set one to work calling the companies once a week and listening to conference calls and taking notes....listening to conference calls and taking notes would be SO WORTH $400/month!
  5. Yep,
    I have a software / database / web developement firm and decided to hire a USA web developer to do some overflow work that my company did not have time to do since we are socked to the gills with other developer work...

    <b>THEY</b> hired Indian programmers to do some simple web programming work since they were mostly graphic design artists... it was a nightmare... 4 months later the Indian team could not complete a 3 simple jobs in aspx... they even advised against us trying to do it... as if it should not be done...

    I turned around... hired a local USA contractor at $125 an hours and they GOT IT DONE IN 3 HOURS...


  6. maxpi


    A lot of hi tech stuff is easy to do once mastered. There are lots of engineers writing firmware. Basically you could get the typical worker at Radio Shack up to speed on that kind of work in weeks if they were interested in that kind of task. I did that with an engineering student co-op once. I just gave him a microprocessor data book and an outline of the task. The guy had not had any microprocessor classes at that point. He was cranking out good code in a week or two.