Monday, December 3, 2007

Outsourcing, "4-hour Work Week" and You

Greg and I were chatting about the subject, and he asked me to summarize the content in this space.

Fact 1: outsourcing, hate it or love it, has been with us for a long time, and will be here for our whole lives.
Fact 2: you can accomplish many ambitious projects, if you're good at outsourcing the grunt work - see "The 4-hour Work Week"
Fact 3: is one of many, many existing sites that offer an enormous pool of talent at very reasonable rates

Some more about : from my experience with it, you can get quality work delivered to you for very low rates. the reason for this is that freelancers from all over the world are bidding for your projects. from some of the bids i've read, it seems there are 5 grad students in an emerging country, huddled around 2 computers, ready to crank out PHP code in a couple of hours for 50 bucks.

Of course, it doesn't always go smoothly, and even if you rely on the site's rating system, you're still not guaranteed success. but so long as you provide very specific description and instructions, and you're not going with the lowest bid, it's pretty doable.

what's the point, you ask? the point is that you're freed from grunt work, and can deal with higher-level things, like interpreting your vision into a tangible design, coming up with architecture, or brainstorming up a radical paradigm shift. then, bid out the grunt work to ready-and-willing freelancers. the only restriction on how ambitious you can get is the amount of seed money you have. oh, and also, don't create projects like "need a myspace clone, $200". be realistic.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Tim, you are the man.

This concept is very powerful and liberating concept. With this idea, you don't have to worry about the drudgery of hacking out a mediocre web site. Instead you just pay someone $50 bucks and it's much better than you could have done yourself. You can then try out more ideas at once, giving yourself a better chance of success.

I would like to another idea to Tim's post:

A side benefit of freelancing is if you are going to invest some money, I bet you will think though it more. Your own time is some what "free." It doesn't matter if you waste it, you don't lose anything. But if you spend $50 and get nothing in return, that money is gone.

Think about it this way, if you invest your $50 and it goes no where, you lose the equivalent of 10 Starbucks lattes. If you spend 8 hours making an HTML table, you can do it while drinking those 10 lattes. At least you get the enjoyment of the lattes even if you are unproductive.