Sunday, May 27, 2012

How To Outsource on Odesk

My wife nearly died laughing when I read that applicant's self-description to her the other day.

Must be a *Google Translate* situation...

As I mentioned previously, I'm experimenting with outsourcing the creation of some info-products to the Third World.

My first attempt(s) were, well, horrible.

Without rehashing them directly, here's what I learned:

  • Don't work with anyone who doesn't respond RIGHT AWAY.
  • Give PRECISE, easy-to-do tasks only.
  • Don't offer to pay anyone on an hourly basis - not at first anyway.  Pay on a per-task basis only.
  • Use Dropbox (or Google Drive) to monitor their work.
  • Fire anyone the instant you get a bad vibe.
  • Have a sample of work that applicants can do to demonstrate competence before hiring.
  • And, so far, I would say,....HIRE WOMEN only.

Right now my first female hire (a Filipino) is finishing up making 100 math worksheets similar to the one above...

And I'm only paying her $18, total.

Guess what....I think I could have done it even cheaper too.


Anonymous said...

You can make these on Excel. I made your sample in 5 minutes using the functions IF, Concatenate, Rand, and Round. It would take another 5 minutes to write a VB program to print 100 of these into PDF files.

I think you paid too much.

I'll send you my template spreadsheet if you want it.
jca411 at yahoo

CaptiousNut said...


Thanks. I knew there was a Random function in Excel...but couldn't figure out how to get it in Word (with Search&Replace?).

I admitted that I slightly overpaid. Would you have done it for $18 - less 10% to Odesk? I doubt it.

In NYC....a drink at the bar costs $15-$17!

Also, generating random numbers was only part of the deal. The numbers that were added and subtracted changed across most of the sheets (starting with +1 and +2, etc.) That probably needed a human touch.

Oh, yeah, and the young lady called me *Sir (Captious)* in all her emails too! I'll bet you wouldn't have been so obsequious.

I have to make some mental multiplication sheets next so maybe I'll take a look at what you made. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It didn't take long and I'll use it for my kids. So, yeah I would have done it for $16.20. But I wouldn't have called you "Sir". You'd have to pay an extra $40 for that treatment!!

Justin Time said...

At those wages, I would've figured she'd call you 'Master'.

Meanwhile, back here in the USA, who will be able to afford your services after you and Walmart are done distroying the economy?

Justin Time said...

I meant to say 'destroy', but when they invent a definition for the word distroy, it will probably mean something like 'to employ foreign labor at slave wages to swipe uninspired, generic math worksheets from an unknown source on the internet and pass them off to you as original work.'

Justin Time said...

Oh yeah... I forgot to ask. Did you get an answer key for that price?

G. Lovely said...

Stumbled across your blog and read a sampling of your posts...and man I'm glad I'm not you, or you spouse, our your kids. Good luck with everything. I suggest you spend some alone time tracking down the source of your anger, and see if you can exorcise it.

Marginalizing Morons, indeed.

Justin Time said...

Hey C-Nut, I think G. Lovely is onto something... You should spend some time tracking down the source of your anger and frustration, and then share your findings with us in the form of a blog. Oh, wait...

CaptiousNut said...


This blog IS part of my comprehensive, physician-prescribed anger management therapy...

Anonymous said...

You're following an anger mgt prescription from a physician?
Big medicine and C-Nut under the same blanket!
Who knew?